America wages war of terror

Fear of the unknown permeates through American culture.


Illustration by Trevor Lunde/THE CHIMES

Tim Seeberger, Writer

A simple search of the phrase “terrorist attack” on Google will give you a stream of articles about the recent ISIS terrorist attack in Brussels, Belgium. If you search the term on any other normal day, you will also see a stream of attacks that occur daily.

a powerful tactic

In the U.S., presidential candidate Donald Trump uses fear to justify his policy of a temporary ban on all Muslims entering the U.S. and building a wall on the border of Mexico and the U.S. to keep out “rapists.” Because of all these tactics and events, the rise of xenophobia in America runs rampant. When we give in to the fear of the outer world, though, we show our weakness. This can lead to far worse consequences than we can imagine. We cannot fear the outer world. We must embrace it.

Fear is a powerful tactic pushing people and nations to the point of total isolation. In the 21st century, what was once only an emotion is now used to move people away from cultural exploration and side with certain candidates, even if what they say is hurtful. ISIS uses fear through posting videos online of beheadings of journalists in the Middle East. Though small in comparison to larger attacks, these simple, constantly-released videos make sure the power and fear of the terrorist group that stays on the world’s radar.

rise of xenophobia

Unfortunately, fear is also used in politics. The rise of xenophobia in America due to terrorist attacks, coupled with political candidates such as Trump feeding us lies about the world we live in, instill fear of the unknown and foreign into the common American. He proposes temporarily banning Muslims from entering the U.S. based on the actions of an extremist group not technically associated with Islam. He justifies hate with fear. This fear can drive us to isolate ourselves from the world around us.

In theory, we have every right to isolate ourselves as a nation from the amount of threats we receive because of our way of life. But we cannot let this theory become real. We cannot isolate ourselves.

We need to love the world around us. One way to combat the rise in terrorism and xenophobia is to go into the world and travel. We need to immerse ourselves in the vast amount of cultures that exist in the world. By doing this, we not only have a better understanding of the world, but we combat groups like ISIS at the same time. We show them we are better than the havoc they wreak on the world. We can look past their destruction and appreciate the beauty of the world.

Do not isolate yourself

So go to places like Paris where ISIS attacked the Bataclan theater in November 2015. Look past what happened there. Do not isolate yourself. Do not fear venturing into places outside of the U.S. Show kindness and love rather than hate by engaging with the world some want us to fear. Be a citizen of the world and stop letting fear be instilled by those inside and outside of this country.

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