There was a small shooting yesterday, and perspective is important.
We were in our apartment when a notification popped up on my dad’s iPad. Shots fired on the Champs-Élysées, one officer killed.
I was here for the Charlie Hebdo shootings, and I was way, way too close to the November 2016 attacks.
Yet this morning, after skimming the facts over morning coffee, the situation was just sad. I felt sorry for the officers and the wounded tourist, but I didn’t feel unsafe. The subject was known to the police, and they were exploring any further connections.
So my dad and I hopped the train and went walking up and down the Champs-Élysées before lunch. There were a lot of news cameras, but plenty of tourists and people going about their business.
What scares me isn’t the attack, but the backlash from the Front National and the creeping xenophobia that has entered European and French political rhetoric. I’m scared for the elections on Sunday, that this shooting will prompt people to vote more ‘conservatively’ than they would have otherwise, out of fear.
Things are feeling very politically tenuous these days and I’m trying to live firmly in the moment and enjoy my dad’s visit. I don’t feel like I’m reaching a particularly deep place when it comes to my reflections, but I’m happy.
Sometimes it is a lot to reflect on vocal anti-immigrant politicians. Sometimes it is a lot to reflect on the changing role of France in the European and global economy when so much of the future is uncertain. My thoughts on organic products or boring fashion design don’t feel like engaging alternatives when I’m focused on enjoying the most 1-1 time I’ve had with my dad in my whole life!