Post-Paris, Where Will We Go From Here?

lynellmorganwalletLynell Morgan


It’s the morning after the Paris terrorist attacks and so many thoughts are running through my mind.

The fear that those innocent murder victims felt up to their last moment is the first thought. One can only hope that most of them went so quickly that they didn’t have time to process that fear, didn’t know what was happening.

Yes, it is murder plain and simple. Various people will call it various names, try to repackage it and place a bow on it but no matter what they do, it can never be made pretty. It is murder.

Each time an ISIS attack occurs anywhere, I pause and I hope you do too. As a practicing Christian, in my case a Roman Catholic, I realize that all of us could face a decision in our lifetime that I always considered just an interesting yet powerful line in the Bible.

Yes, we practice our faith in our churches and the majority of us try our best to practice our faith in our daily lives.  Think about those Christians who have been beheaded by ISIS. Could we follow through on this, are we strong enough in our faith should we find ourselves kneeling on a beach with a not-so-sharp sword held over our head? I never thought I would live to see that day that I could be tortured and murdered simply because of my faith.

Surprisingly, I’m not writing this about religion – at least not religion in terms of spiritual faith or a church. I will let the priests, pastors, rabbis and other church leaders address the religious aspects of this escalating violence.

Earlier this week, I became disgusted and furious — yes FURIOUS — with a group of journalist-in-training in Missouri. They, along with at least one instructor, harassed a working journalist/photographer who was covering their on-campus protest about the alleged racism on the University of Missouri campus in Columbia. In a Cliff’s Notes version: a couple of racists acts were alleged to have happened, many felt the university president did not respond appropriately, players from their football team said they wouldn’t play until the president was gone, the president resigned. Period.

What they did to the photographer was claim he could not cover their event and tried to bully him away. The instructor was perhaps the most out of line. You can view the whole incident on youtube.

Excuse me????  A protest on a public campus. The photographer was simply shooting images.  The students and instructor came to him looking for a fight. Their ignorance in the role of journalists and public/social events is discouraging. Even a freshman journalism major knows about the 1st Amendment — freedom of speech.  Even a freshman journalism major knows about gathering in public and how it is considered a public event — open to everyone including the press. The day after the incident, the student body president went on the record saying that she is “tired of the 1st Amendment.” She doesn’t feel safe when people can say or do things she doesn’t agree with.  Wow.  How much does college cost mothers and fathers?  Is this what students are learning for all that money?  Have they adopted a religion of “only-what-makes-me-happy”?

This morning, what the twits did in Columbia takes on a new light.

They say freedom of speech should be reconsidered or at least re-defined. We are seeing world-wide terrorism that is being coordinated through social media. The same media that they (the college students) use to do their protests. The same media I am using here.

If you remember the 90s movie Independence Day, the alien ships (sleeper cells) hovered over major cities waiting to receive their orders about when to attack earth through coded messages (social media/internet) coming from the Mother Ship (ISIS).

You don’t have to be rocket scientist to know that our days of using the Internet without much regulation are coming to an end sometime in the future. In February, 2015 the FCC voted to “regulate broadband Internet service as a public utility, a milestone in regulating high-speed Internet service into American homes. Tom Wheeler, the commission chairman, said the FCC was using ‘all the tools in our toolbox to protect innovators and consumers’ and preserve the Internet’s role as a “core of free expression and democratic principles.”

So will the government also become “tired of the 1st Amendment” or more likely become fearful of more coordination of attacks using the Internet? Will protection of the citizens outweigh your right to google “what was the name of Will Smith’s character in Independence Day?” without your searches being filtered and searched? It will be interesting to see what gets cracked down on and what doesn’t.

We now live in interesting times. We now live in scary times.

My thoughts and prayers to all in Paris and to mankind itself.