I have always done my best thinking in the wee hours of the morning. Perhaps that is why it is 4 o’clock in the morning and I am writing on my class blog. Although I am a procrastinator, infamously so, my last minute energy tonight is not due to an approaching deadline. Tonight I lie awake reflecting and thinking, chewing on Rorty’s statement, “[…] we are not doing anything to help the Muslim women who are being gang raped or the Muslim men who are being castrated, any more than we did anything in the thirties when the Nazis were amusing themselves by torturing Jews.”
His statement keeps playing over and over in my head, like the scene in a horror movie that you just can’t shake. But tonight I cannot calm my fears by telling myself it was just a movie it, because unlike a scary film genocide is real, the animals and the perpetrators of genocide aren’t fictional masked men of a movie, they are real.
I tried to write down a list of my thoughts, to relax my brain, to say what I was thinking with no one around to judge what I wrote. After completing my list I looked down my paper, it wasn’t filled with guilt ridden thoughts of my inaction to be apart of something bigger than myself, it was my to do list for the next day. Like a rude awakening I reread my list and decided to revisit Rorty for some enlightenment on why I couldn’t put in words what I was thinking and feeling. Just as disturbing as before Rorty made his claim, but no longer in a horror movie sense, I had an “A-ha” moment! What Rorty was saying became clearer to me, right and wrong is dependent on the individual, but as long as we stand by and watch other humans turn into animals we too become the animals.
“[…] we are not doing anything to help […].” I tossed and turned all night and struggled to persuade myself that I was doing something, that we all were doing something for others, for something bigger than ourselves, for the victims of genocide. But the truth is I’m not. All night I wracked my brain for an answer, desperate to sleep and pacify my thoughts with some sort of rationalization. But there is no rationalization I too am an animal, an animal of inaction.
Although I don’t believe that being nonmale is nonhuman, I seemingly plague the genocidaire and the victims alike, “a plague on both your houses.” Wouldn’t I rather be an animal involved in the fighting game fighting for my view of right and wrong, than a follower of inaction who believes, “[…] no point in human beings getting involved in quarrels between animals?”
If I like the Serbs fight for my belief that every human being should be treated equally then I wouldn’t be awake frustrated with my inaction, I would be an animal carrying out my beliefs, an I would be embraced my Morpheus right now.
I feel like a weight has been lifted off of my shoulder as a weight has been put on, I have found my rationalization for my inaction, but a new weight has been put on – what will I do to join the action?
Now is it almost sunrise, I’m feeling better my thoughts, whether they make much sense or not, I feel enlightened. And for those of you reading this I apologize for my 4am writing skills, perhaps next time I will find a better time to reason with genocide. Good night, or rather good morning!