I want to step outside of things relating to my book to briefly address the events in London this evening.
I happened to be reading an article earlier today about London’s ever-transforming food scene, and longed– among other things– for a return to the Borough Market. It made tonight’s events all the more poignant.
Please understand, this is an attack on diversity, inclusiveness, and culture-sharing. As such, we should all respond by promoting diversity, inclusiveness, and culture-sharing.
For those of you who have never been there, Borough Market is rightfully beloved by Londoners and visitors alike. It is a beautiful, welcoming place– a place of peace, a place that celebrates the free world’s wondrous abundance, a place where peoples with backgrounds from all over the world (if not actual immigrant status from those places) sell the foods and wares of their culture directly beside people who are just as likely to be from another continent as from another borough of London, and a place where the collisions of those cultures play out in wonderfully creative ways. There are Christians, Muslims, Jews, and Hindus there, people from India, Egypt, Ethiopia, and the Levant, all a stone’s throw from Welsh and Devon meat purveyors, a guy whose family has hand-harvested oysters for over a century, and a stand selling truffles worth more than a mortgage payment. It represents the best of the world’s liberal values. And that’s what made it a target.
Please stand beside me in standing beside the people who made the Borough Market what it is. Please remember to stand up for all those places like it– the places that we love, that make us a human community, that bring difference and wonder to our world.
And please fight the inevitable kickback from the frightened and the insular– the ones who want to meet an attack on openness and diversity by pushing for more restriction and segregation, who think that winning this war can only be attained by enacting the very thing that our enemies so covet. As said in Romans, “If it is possible, as far a it depends upon you, be at peace with all men.” The only way to achieve such a thing is to welcome those whose strangeness you fear into your own home so that you may make that strangeness a part of yourself.
Stay safe. Stay vigilant. But don’t be afraid to revel in the victories we achieve by living in peace and sharing the bounty that is human multiplicity. For the only way that we might possibly lose this war is to forget that we have already won it.