Rarely am I so moved to actually write a blog post, however I found this subject so sparsely covered I felt I must express it myself.
Many of you have seen the viral peace signs with the Eiffel Tower replacing the nuclear warhead in the middle. For those of you who have missed my warnings about this symbol, the so-called “peace” sign stands for nuclear disarmament, otherwise known as surrender. Regardless of the intentions of the social media user, posting the Eiffel Tower instead of the nuke indicates that you support France’s surrender to jihadi forces. Thus, my initial warning not to post this symbol still stands.
The problems with these kinds of social media campaigns go far beyond misusing an “inappropriate” symbol. Much to the chagrin of my Twitter followers, I have been very vocal about the uselessness of the campaign to re-colorize your profile picture to somehow show solidarity with the French people. What many people assume to be a simple way for low-information voters to proclaim their knowledge and position regarding the Paris attacks actually serves as a cover or penance for those people that support the very policies that allowed this attack to occur with such magnitude.
Take Debbie Wasserman-Schulz, the chair of the DNC for example. She supports the strict gun control measures that prevent the average French citizen from acquiring weapons and thus preventing the average person from defending themselves. This is the very reason that the so-called “gun free zone” that is Paris was chosen as the venue for this attack in the first place, as there is no one around with the ability to stop the attackers.
Should Debbie rethink her policy positions? Have no fear, Facebook is here! Debbie can just re-colorize her profile picture to show that she feels bad about those attacks without having to face any kind of backlash over the policies she supports that create the kinds of environments that allow these attacks to occur.
I know the re-colorized profiles reading this post are going to take all of what I have said personally and probably need to recover in a safe space for a week. However, the reality is your re-colorized photo does nothing of real use to help the people suffering from this outrageous attack. All it really does is provide a feel-good way of expressing your “good vibes” toward a situation that you will ultimately forget about in a week, if not less.
This is why I would encourage my readers to educate themselves about what really can be done in order to prevent these kinds of attacks from occurring in the future, and start becoming active in their local communities to get good policies enacted so that we can avoid attacks like this on our own soil.
This is the legacy of the Paris attacks: will your support go beyond a profile picture?