“Camden town tube station is now closed due to riots, please find alternative routes home” said the announcer on the tube. I thought to myself, maybe we shouldn’t have stayed for another drink, when sat on the underground. It was 10.30pm, and you could cut the tension with a knife, the air was thicker than usual and the silence heavy. So I detour, get the bus and become confused by the situation.
And then it starts…
A barrage of hate, while the rioters are wielding baseball bats and throwing bricks; the regular social media user is vomiting hate speech. It times like these I hate social media, and question freedom of speech. How is responding to rage with more rage helpful?! How is naming and shaming productive?! We should try to understand why this is happening through enlightened dialogue not malice.
You may see the London riots as merely opportunist hooligans, or a result of racial tensions, or a reactionary disengaged youth; this is your prerogative and yes, you do have the right to your opinion as we live in a democracy. However, what you do not have the right to do is be abusive, ignorant and spew violent abuse over cyberspace. Like the rioters do not have a right to loot. Have we learnt nothing from recent global events?! Be the bigger person, rise above the current violent outbursts.
Obviously, the riots are bewildering and saddening, and I do care about people’s safety; livelihoods being destroyed, but I also care about understanding why this is happening, and not by reacting abruptly to a reactionary situation. WE, as a free nation of rational individuals should try to have an open and logical discussion, as now more than ever: this is necessary.
- Things I believe about the London riots (guardian.co.uk)
- Social networking fanning London’s flames? (news.cnet.com)
- Riots Spread in London and Beyond – NYTimes.com (policyabcs.wordpress.com)
- What are the reasons for continued rioting? (bbc.co.uk)