Opinion: Can humanity be about life?


Carlyle Addy is a sophomore journalism major and a columnist for The Kent Stater. Contact her at [email protected]

Carlyle Addy

Most of the world has the city of Paris on their minds today. Seven attacks and several hours of terror shook France on Friday. More than 100 people are dead. There’s bound to be a higher estimate somewhere, but whatever the current number, it’s almost certain to be rising.

The Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the attacks, which is absolutely terrifying considering the day before they had claimed responsibility for two other attacks in Lebanon, which resulted in at least 41 people killed. That number will also probably be updated.

The world stands with Paris, but where are they with Lebanon? Where are they in Baghdad, where the same group killed at least 26 people Friday? the Islamic State did not just attack Paris. They attacked the entire world.

The Islamic State is only a part of a larger problem: humanity is as prone to violence as it is to compassion. People care when others care, and people attack when others attack.

The Islamic State is a result of groupthink where no one person acts alone and most likely would not act alone. If groups like this did not exist, it would be difficult for these people to justify what they’ve done. However, because they exist and because they affirm the ideology to each other, it creates an environment where this is possible. People harm others proudly, purposely and with conviction.

We need more of the response to Paris. We need more people calling out violence and shaming those who perpetuate it. It can’t just happen with terrorist attacks. It has to happen with all violence.

It has to happen with the police who kill, whether they think they can justify it or not. It has to happen with people who raise the prices on life-saving medication to make a few extra bucks. Every violent death should be met with as much anger as the world has managed this weekend. Society has to condemn every country that attacks without being attacked, including the U.S. when bombing hospitals.

What happened in Paris is a daily reality in so many places, and it isn’t met with an outcry of this scale. People don’t change their Facebook profile pictures to the respective colors of Israel and Palestine. People don’t use the hashtag “pray for Yemen.” There’s no painting of any Syrian landmark as a peace sign.

I spent the morning in the aftermath looking for something beautiful and, when I found it, it struck me just how sad it was that the first thing that made me smile was something humans had minimum to do with. It was the enhanced photos of Pluto NASA released.

Joann Sfar of Charlie Hebdo asked people to replace their pray for Paris statements with “Paris is about life.” It’s ironic, that a city like Paris or any city could be about life when it seems that humanity is so apathetic when it comes to death.

Carlyle Addy is an opinion writer for The Kent Stater. Contact her at [email protected].