Monday, December 15, 2014

Where Exactly Are We Riding To?

I looked at responses to the chocolate shop tragedy on Instagram. The posts seem pretty much split between sorrow for the victims and expressing solidarity with the Muslim community.

Ride with me. That's what they're saying. It's something to do with the fear that Muslim people will be attacked on the public transportation system. So non-Muslim folks are saying, Don't worry. I'll be here for you.  

I guess that's...nice. I don't know.

But I wonder if this will a new trend.

If a Jewish person goes on a shooting spree in Texas, are my fellow Texans going to show extra love to me and my family?

If a white cop murders another black man in the US, are we going to start being extra nice to white cops?

The next time a white man rapes and murders a woman, do we need to be extra nice to white men?

If there's another incident of a right-wing nut case bombing a building,  will we need to be extra nice to right-wing people?

Now I definitely don't think think we should use criminal tragedies as an excuse to show hatred towards innocent people.  FEELING some hatred is probably understandable.  Avoid acting out on it and hopefully it will fade in time and love will return.  

The other thing I'm wondering is this. If we're not supposed to judge Muslims and make assumptions of what they might do, shouldn't we also not make assumptions of what people might do against Muslims?  

Let's say someone goes on a bus, sees some Muslims, and gets all scared.  How is that different from a Muslim needing someone to ride with them because they're afraid non-Muslim people are going to abuse them?  

I do love the idea of solidarity. I love multiculturalism.  I love people loving people. I love coexist bumper stickers.  But personally, right now I'm personally not in the mood for this particular viral trend. OR at least let's expand it.  How about instead of it being about Sydneysiders being extra loving and protective towards Muslims, what if it's about everyone being extra nice to everyone?  

We can all ride together. Or walk.  


We should all skip together.  Holding hands!  (and to show love and solidarity with germaphobes, we'll make sure to carry antibacterial gel).    


  1. Hi Dina - the "I will ride with you" started with one girl on a bus witnessing a lone girl in a hijab scarf being threatened by hoodlums. We both would have done that. It is a very Aussie characteristic to immediately side with anyone suffering injustice.

    The Lindt Cafe is like a Godiva Chocolates store, upmarket, and the lunatic chose it because a TV studio operates from an office building opposite. he was on bail for violent crimes and wanted the publicity.
    One of the murdered customers was a barrister (upmarket lawyer) and from a family of barristers, so we can bet the ranch that nobody will get bail granted any time soon in any Sydney courtroom.
    Wishing you happy holidays
    *goes off singing Blue Christmas in my Elvis voice*

  2. I have intervened in a situation in the past but the person was South East Asian rather than Muslim. I have very mixed feelings about this I will ride with you. Shall I call it an experiment?

    I would guess that the hero cafe manager was gay, but he can't compete with a woman with three young children.

  3. Ann O'Dyne: I heard about the very nice woman being kind to the scared Muslim woman. Though I didn't know the Muslim woman was actually being threatened. Either way, I definitely think it's beautiful for someone to help a person who feels alone and afraid.

    I was wondering about why Lindt was chosen. I did know it was near a TV station, but didn't put two and two together. Thanks for that! Sometimes I fail to connect the dots.

    And happy holidays to you as well!!

    Andrew: It was very nice that you intervened. I hope I would do the same.

    It's horribly sad about the manager and the mother. Plus, there are all those other hostages who will probably suffer from PTSD. And some might have survivor guilt.

    Then there's all the families of the hostages who probably will be very stressed.