“The terrorists hate our freedom” is a phrase that’s bandied about pretty casually these days. For people with one kind of ideology, it’s a reminder that we’ve got it pretty good, and some people who don’t have it so good really don’t like that, and through no fault of our own, mind you(!), our way of life, one blessed with opulence, choices, and the ability to act how we want when we want even if it’s not completely appropriate at all times (god bless America), has created a tension between us and some of the world (the parts with less freedom, god bless ‘em) and they hate us. Not because we’re dicks, but because those people, those spoil sports, are jealous of the freedom we enjoy.
To another group of ideologues, “the terrorists hate our freedom” is something that idiots say to avoid looking in the mirror and recognizing that many complex issues are on the table when it comes to a global economy and people on the bottom are gonna tend to be pissed at the people on the top. People who have it easy as a result of other people having it bad tend to not be the favorites of those who have it bad.
In an America that’s really not too old, we (white people [high five!]) owned slaves. I wasn’t around for any of that, but I have been privy to some of the aftermath and it seems like “the slaves hate our freedom” could very well have been a slogan. What I mean is, there’s still obviously a little racial tension here and there lingering in this country, right? There are (get this!) black people who have grown up in generations, legacies of poverty ever since the days of emancipation where they walked away from their former masters free, penniless, uneducated, without any direction, home or understanding of what was going on, all while being obviously black, into a world that didn’t want to help them get jobs, educate them or do anything but sit around and stew because suddenly everyone needed to PAY for the work once done by slaves. (In fact, it could be said by ex slaves that “those ex-slaveowners hate our freedom” and it would probably be the most accurate application of this type of maxim in the history of language). And it seems like there are still white people out there who are terrified of black people, who fetishize them, who think they’re dumb or inferior or any number of things that dominant cultures tend to think about subjugated ones. Cuh-razy. You gotta imagine this all started with the slave thing, right? Because before that…well, I don’t think that white guys and black guys really hung out at all.
My point here is that yes, slaves undoubtedly hated the ‘freedom’ of the white folks, but my guess is that they hated that freedom in a large part because they were the ones who were providing it at the expense of their own freedom. Anyone can say “man, the slaves hate our freedom” and it’s true, but it’s also shortsighted, shitty and really, really, really condescending, innit? The slaves hate our freedom! What a bunch of selfish slaves!
Now, I’m not likening Bin Laden to Frederick Douglass by any means, but I am saying that the notion of someone just blindly hating someone else’s freedom usually comes from a pretty rational place. Nobody just hates the freedom of someone without reason. If they did, then there would be a spate of people hating freedom in every single microcosmic community in the world. It’s not a thing. It doesn’t exist without a context that puts the hater in a position of subjugation, which, in turn, makes them feel bitter and shitty towards whoever they think is shitting on them.
I’m not saying this is always justified by any means, but man, if you live in (for example) an oppressive theocracy, you’ve got essentially two ideological choices (neither one of which are really relevant to the notion of hating someone far away):
1) be religious and not notice that your choices are being oppressed or
2) recognize that you’d like to do things that aren’t allowed and proceed to be scared shitless of what’s going on.
There’s no point where in either of those persepctives just randomly hating someone halfway around the world comes into play at all. In situation 1, you’re essentially a born again grandpa living in Texas (which is, let’s be honest, a bit of an oppressive theocracy with a scary tendency to kill people). You’ve got all the freedom you want because your idea of freedom is lock step with the freedoms provided by your state. You may look at ‘hollywood queers’ and find them to be gross, but it’s fairly abstract. You really don’t find a lot of born again Texas grandpas plotting to kill Brad Pitt (or even RuPaul). If anything, they impose the rules of their own community (which could be totally uncool, as in ‘no fags,’ ‘no coons’ type stuff) but that’s a local thing based in a pragmatism about a day to day lifestyle you (as a close minded dick) would like to maintain (still shitty! But not at all the same as the idea of hating “freedom” remotely). In 2, you’re terrified of your government (you’re the gay black guy in Texas from hypothetical situation 1, perhaps) and you’re not trying to do anything but avoid having your nose chopped off or your ass dragged behind a truck til you die. You probably don’t give two shits about anything except for the people who are persecuting you. Again, there’s no real hatred of freedom that’s coming into play there.
In fact, I can think of only one instance where people, from a distance, remotely, absolutely hate the freedom of someone despite the fact that it has no bearing on their lives. And that’s the case of my beloved (and increasingly disgusting) Lindsay Lohan. She does blow and blows off court appearances. Big fucking deal. Who cares? “I fucking care! If I did that, they’d lock my ass up!!!” Yeah, sure. But you don’t even WANT to do that shit (or maybe you do, but she’s not stopping you, and she’s certainly not making it harder for you to do it). It doesn’t apply to you. She has more freedom than you based on circumstances that, depending on your ideology are either because of her hard work, or because of the person that she was born as. Either way, you hate her freedom and she’s NEVER done anything to you. At least the US maintains a military base on holy lands and fucks with the notion of a Palestinian state. What the fuck did Lindsay’s coke habit ever do to you? So why are you so happy now that her probation’s revoked and she’s going to jail. There’s only one answer: You hate her freedom.
Now who’s the terorist?
Seriously though, her teeth are getting pretty disgusting.