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VPR's coverage of arts and culture in the region.

Young Writers Project: We Don't Care

Courtesy, Susan Reid
Lonna Neidig, a junior at Bellows Free Academy in St. Albans, says she has always wanted to write something "comparing how we process tragedies."

This week's young writer, Lonna Neidig, a junior at Bellows Free Academy in St. Albans, says she has always wanted to write something “comparing how we process tragedies."

We Don't Care

European tragedies call for changing profile pictures to the colors of a flag.
We rally together in times of need and support each other with pixels.
We color our faces to match the flag of those who have fallen.
There are vigils.  Candles.  Prayers muttered on knees and clenched hands.
We tell our loved ones how much we love them.
How thankful we are for them.

Middle Eastern tragedies call for silence.
We blame Islam.
We blame black presidents.  
We blame everything and offer no sympathy.
There are no vigils.  No candles.  No prayers muttered on knees and clenched hands.
We say nothing.

European tragedies call for blaming rising Muslim populations.
Facebook comments rally together, chanting over and over again,
"This is why we cannot mix cultures."
"Islam is a faith of war."
"We cannot let extremists into our country!"
"Make America great again!"
We light our candles and paint our faces once more.
We hold vigils and pull loved ones closer.
We gather with tear-stained faces because our aunts and uncles and cousins might have been in that airport.
We gather and pray.
We speak words of love and acceptance and luck and joy.
And we prevail.

We don't care about Aleppo.
We don't care about Syria.
We don't care about innocent blood being spilled by the terrible red gallon.
"Bomb them!"
We don't care that we mistakenly blew up a mosque with civilians praying there.

We don't care about the 57 Syrians who were having vigils, lighting candles, muttering prayers on bent knees and clenched hands with tear-stained faces.
We don't care that they have loved ones.
We bombed them.
And we bring war to them.
And push them aside.
Our silence and complacency whispers,
"We do not care about Muslims."
"Stay in war-riddled countries."

We don't care that innocent people are dying.

The Young Writers Project provides VPR's audience another avenue to hear and read selections from Vermont's young writers. The project is a collaboration organized by Geoff Gevalt at the Young Writers Project. The thoughts and ideas expressed here are the writers' own and do not necessarily reflect those of Vermont Public Radio.

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