To The Young People Of Libya, Egypt, Tunisia, Sudan, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Lebanon, India, Bangladesh, Philippines, Indonesia, Yemen, Kashmir, Palestine, Morocco, Nigeria, Iran, Bahrain, Turkey, Syria and Iraq,
In life there are moments of definition. Moments that define us. Moments that speak of who we are. That explain our humanity. Our compassion. Our dignity. We own these moments. We are responsible for these moments. We create these moments. Moments that for our generation will shape our future. Our destiny. Our path towards a more connected community. For the past 10 days we have watched, in horror, others co-opt this moment.
This not who we are. I wish I was able to sincerely express to you how deeply I care about the future of our generation in more than words. I cannot be silent about the destruction propagated by a hateful man in California that gave other hateful people an excuse to do hateful things. This is not why we stayed up night after night cheering on our brothers and sisters in Egypt as they occupied Tahrir Square. This is not why we cried with our brothers and sisters in Iran as we watched Neda die before our very own eyes. This is not why we re-tweeted our brothers and sisters in Libya as they stood up against a leader who had torn apart their country. This is not why we rallied against our government to end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and stop the killing of innocent civilians. This is not who we are. We don't apologize for the actions of hateful people. We condemn them. Although our country was founded on the right of free speech, it doesn't mean that we can't speak back. We will speak up as loudly as we can, as a bullshit 14 minute disgusting self-described "film" will not represent us and will certainly not shape our future.
We have seen the images of negativity in your countries. We have seen the burning of our flag. We have seen the inexcusable violence directed at our embassies and consulates, however we know that this does not tell the whole story. This is just the negative. The negativity of a few hateful people. But, we know there is more positive. We know you are the positive and we are not hearing from you. Positive doesn't sell newspapers. Positive doesn't sell television advertisements. Positive doesn't get clicks on the internet. We know that. We understand that. We are much more connected than they think. We know that Libyans tried to save Ambassador's Stevens life after they found him alive. We know that young people held signs letting the world know that the hateful people in their country do not represent them either. We stand with you. We stand together. We ask you to raise your voices even louder and we will amplify them, just as you have amplified ours'.
This is our time. This is our moment. This is the point that we have worked so hard to get to. Adversity. Challenges, we are not afraid of. We will not turn back. We will push through. We have come too far. We will overcome this. We will pray together. We will eat together. We will tweet together! This is when we are defined. This is when we are connected. This is the moment that we will create. For us. For our future. For our generation.
With deep respect and solidarity,
Michael Skolnik is the Editor-In-Chief of GlobalGrind.com and the political director to Russell Simmons. Prior to this, Michael was an award-winning filmmaker. Follow him on twitter @MichaelSkolnik