For the past few weeks, I’ll admit that I’ve been sitting idly by while the world to the west of me was going crazy. I mean, Cairo is far away and there’s been a lot of really good college basketball to watch.
My first reaction to the protests in Egypt was a fleeting “oh that’s scary,” to “oh that’s really scary,” to “why are they messing with Anderson Cooper,” to “I think Mubarak is somewhere in America,” mostly because I love a conspiracy theory. But when I woke up this morning and read that CBS reporter Lara Logan had been beaten and sexually assaulted while trying to do her job last week, the situation suddenly got very real for me. And now I’m pissed.
I’m not going to sit here and pretend that a revolution can be peaceful (can you imagine what it would take to get Barack Obama out of the White House? Uncle Ray, don’t answer that.). And I’m not going to sit here and lecture anyone on the ideas of social contracts, the pitfalls of a military state and the course that chaos can take. My opinion on this has nothing to do with what the Egyptian people are trying to do. Where we are all going wrong here is with respect to human decency.
You can sit there and hate Americans. Quite frankly, by our own laws and mantras, you’re entitled. And, in the essence of Voltaire, I would defend your right to think that way. But when hatred leads to violent assaults, especially against those with no political power and little defense, you lose all your credibility. What could you possibly have to prove with a sexual assault on any woman? Did that get you closer to taking your country back? Did it get back Mubarak’s billions? Did it do anything to lessen the power of America in the global sense? No. It did nothing but show that you have no sense of the worth of people. And therefore, you don’t deserve the respect you seek. In my mind, you’ve ruined the Egyptian cause for everyone. Good job.
No one is entitled to a free pass anymore. Anything you want, you have to earn. The uprising in Egypt at the beginning was impressive, because it proved that together, people can cause change. But it’s what we do with that change, what we do after we’ve gotten what we wanted, that will cement our places in history.
Ugh. Now I’m all mad. I’ve kind of had it with everyone today.