Following the devastating attack in Nice, France that left 84 people dead and many others injured, people gathered by the thousands around the waterfront promenade on Monday to hold a vigil for the victims.
The crowd held a moment of silence, and then they sang the French national anthem with their fists in the air, according to Mashable.
Initially, it seemed to be an event where unity and solidarity reigned; however, once Prime Minister Manuel Valls stepped out to lay a wreath in honor of the victims, he was booed by the crowd in criticism for the country’s lax security measures.
In the last year, France has faced two major tragedies as a result of terrorism. Paris is still trying to get back to normal after simultaneous gun and bomb attacks claimed the lives of nearly 200 innocent people on November 13, 2015.
Eight months later, almost to the day, the Bastille Day celebration in Nice turned to disaster and chaos as Mohamed Lahouiaej Bouhlel drove a truck through a crowd of people who had just finished enjoying a fireworks show.
While France is certainly not alone in experiencing devastation at the hands of both ISIS and lone-wolf killers, witnessing two back to back massacres understandably raises concerns among citizens surrounding their safety.
In addition to booing Valls, many people also started chanting “Resign!” as the ceremony came to a close.
Since last week’s attack, the French government has called up thousands of police reserves to increase security throughout the country, as President Francois Hollande has also been criticized for not doing enough amid these fearful times.
According to an open letter written by regional council president Christian Estrosi, he asked for security to be stepped up in Nice days ahead of the Bastille Day celebration and was told there was no need — which as we know now, was the wrong decision.
Not only has this attack increased condemnation of French government and authorities, it has also fueled Islamophobia since several reports have linked the attacker to Islam.
After the vigil, a man was captured on video hurling insults at a group of people who appeared to be of Middle Eastern descent. He told them to, "Go back where you came from.” A woman can be heard passionately shouting back, “I was born in France!”
Emotions are running high, which is expected when chaos strikes, but the feelings that are overwhelmingly visible are fear and anger, which manifest into hate.
It is extremely important that we not blame entire groups of people for the actions of a few evil-doers.
Taking our frustrations out on each other and being hateful toward one another only gives the real “bad guys” exactly what they want.
Banner Photo Credit: Twitter @VilledeNice