December 2014. The first time I was really introduced to 9/11 “conspiracy theories.” Did I squabble and rebel against the idea? You better believe it! I was more progressive than ever before in my life–but that was too much. The US government knew the attacks were coming? Possibly were involved? No way!
Fast forward to now, and I am much more open to this possibility. So much so that last night I watched the 2004 documentary Fahrenheit 9/11 by Michael Moore. It is well worth two hours of your time.
If you’ve ever wanted to know the details of what built the “Bush Empire”, the connections that spun a web behind the Bush family, the Bin Laden family, and Saudi Arabia, the timeline in which actions took place, the justification of invading of countries that had no connection to 9/11, the slaughtering of civilians in those countries, the recruitment and, consequently, killing of U.S. troops, and the pain and sorrow of humans in many countries…go watch it now.
One of the greatest qualities of the film was the way it gave the history of how we arrived at 9/11 and then showing the humanity of what it is to lose someone (or multiple people) to war. It showed humanity in the worst of lights, killing other humans. But, it showed they had to psych themselves up to do it–and that they felt part of themselves dying with each person they killed.
As we enter a new presidential era, where we awaken each morning wondering what new executive order will be passed down from on high, let’s remember that we are all humans and we need each other.
However, as we know, running and/or hiding will solve nothing.
Instead, we must continue to stand up for the things we believe in–but this happens by examining ourselves and what truly motivates us. If standing with your political party is the most important thing to you, that’s not living an examined life. An examined life is one where we constantly look at ourselves, the world around us, and are open to our views changing–despite the inevitable pain that does come with change of self.
2.5 years ago I started on a hard path of critically analyzing my worldview–and I found it severely lacking. I didn’t want to immediately assume the worst of people, but by giving them the benefit of the doubt, I was assuming the people they were oppressing were wrong, and right to be treated as such. I would be lying if I said I never struggle against my old self, but I am much more in tune with the realities that circle around us and the wrongful actions that take place against people who are the “wrong” color.
Similarly, I see a huge group of people who feel unjustly treated and ignored–and as a result have voted a scary and ill-equipped individual into office. Part of self-examination is seeing that although you may be right, pushing people aside who hold a different view is not the way to make long-term progress.
Alas, we find ourselves frustrated with the state of affairs in our country, angry that people we thought held similar views have voted for someone who is either enveloped in scandal or…enveloped in scandal (and a misogynist, xenophobe, etc.), and feeling pretty helpless to do much.
However, let me encourage you: if you are not happy with the way things currently sit, look for a protest you can join to let your voice be heard.