This is the final part of a 5 part series: 50 Harsh facts of life.

This series isn’t about being negative or pessimistic, nor is it about seeing the worst in life or other people. Rather, it’s about seeing things as they are and dealing with them as they are, even if the truth is sometimes ugly and unpleasant.

These are the top 10 harsh facts of life. Disgusting, horrible, nasty, and 100% true…

10. Racism 

The above photo made me feel sick to my stomach when I posted it.

The energy it carries is so evil and negative.

Unfortunately though it’s the reality of the world we live in.

If you were to listen to the lies and propaganda of the US fake news media (CNN, ABC, CBS, MSNBC, etc.), you would think that racism is only something that African Americans have to deal with from White people in America.

What a fucking load of shit that is.

Racism is a worldwide problem. In every country. In every culture. With every people.

In fact, I quickly discovered traveling the world that racism is common everywhere.

Asians are racist.

Africans are racist.

African Americans are racist.

Europeans are racist.

Middle Easterners are racist.

Polynesians are racist.

White people are racist.

Lots of countries aren’t apologetic or shy about it either. For example: Japan, South Korea, and many other parts of Asia and the Middle East are often racist and proud of it, and give ZERO fucks what you think about it either.

Unfortunately, I don’t think racism is going anywhere anytime soon.

Every race wants to believe that they’re ‘better’, ‘special’, ‘superior’ etc. to other races, and that they’re ‘God’s chosen people’, living in ‘God’s chosen country’ etc.

9. Rape

In the last few weeks we’ve seen a ton of celebrities accused of rape or sexual assault:

  • Andy Dick
  • Brett Ratner
  • Danny Masterson (That ’70s Show)
  • Dustin Hoffman
  • Ed Westwick (Gossip Girl)
  • Harvey Weinstein
  • James Toback
  • Jared Leto
  • Jeremy Piven
  • Kevin Spacey
  • Louis CK
  • Nelly

But even before these recent allegations, lots of celebrities have been accused or convicted of either rape or sexual assault throughout the years:

  • Bill Cosby
  • John Travolta
  • Kobe Bryant
  • Michael Jackson
  • Mike Tyson
  • Tupac Shakur
  • Woody Allen

That’s not to say that I believe every man, woman, or child who says that they were raped by a celebrity were (people lie to extort money from celebrities all the time), but I definitely believe most of them.

Rape and sexual assault is a major worldwide problem, and according to the UN, over 250, 000 cases of rape, or attempted rape, are recorded annually, but over 90% of rapes go unreported.

Rape is especially a problem in these countries:

  • Congo
  • Egypt
  • England
  • Ethiopia
  • India
  • Pakistan
  • Sri Lanka
  • Sweden
  • South Africa
  • USA
  • Zimbabwe

Rape isn’t just something that affects only women either. Men are frequently raped in the Military, and in prison, and as we know tens of thousands of men were sexually molested as children by catholic priests going back for at least the last 50 years.

I’m glad to see people speaking up about rape and sexual abuse, instead of ignoring it and pretending it didn’t happen, and I commend actress Alyssa Milano for starting the “Me too” social media campaign, because it’s given people a platform in which to open up and share their experiences of rape and sexual assault and it tells other people who’ve been victims that they’re not alone.

I believe the penalties for rape should be much harsher than the average of 5 years imprisonment, and I believe that anyone who falsely accuses someone else of rape should receive the same punishment as the rapist would have.

In order words, if a man accused of rape would have been sentenced to 5 years in prison if convicted, than a woman who falsely accuses him of rape in order to ruin his life, and his reputation, should also be sentenced to 5 years in prison.

8. War

War is a fact of life, and will never go away, anymore than arguments, conflict, and fighting will ever go away.

Will we see World War 3 in our lifetime? Nuclear War? I hope not, but who knows?

What I do know is that since 1495, no 25-year period has been without war, and until we have peace in our hearts and minds, we will not have peace on earth.

Sometimes war is inevitable. Even if you live in a peaceful country and don’t want war, war might be forced upon you if your country is attacked or invaded by another country. If that happens, your only option is to defend yourselves and fight back or be taken over.

7. The worst mass shootings are still to come 

Last weeks shooting in a Texas church in which 26 people (mostly children) were killed, was not only disturbing because it happened in a church, or because the victims were mostly children, but because it highlights a disturbing new trend of mass shootings in America.

Both the Las Vegas Mandalay Bay shooting, and the Texas church shooting, are two of the top five deadliest mass shootings in modern American history, and yet they’ve both occurred in just the last 6 weeks, and are just a couple of the more than 380 mass shootings that have occurred in America in 2017, and more than 1500 mass shootings that have occurred in America in the past 5 years.

Without dwelling on the past, let’s do a quick recap of some of the more recent high profile mass shootings:

October 1st 2017: Las Vegas Mandalay Bay shooting: Stephen Paddock, a 64 year old retired accountant, kills 58 people and wounds 489 others attending a country music festival, in the deadliest massacre in American history.

June 12, 2016: Orlando nightclub shooting: Omar Mateen, a 29-year-old security guard, walks into Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, with a semi-automatic assault rifle and starts shooting people on the stage, on the dance floor, in the lobby and out in the patio, before taking hostages in the bathroom, calling the cops, and pledging allegiance to ISIS. He kills 49 people and wounds 58.

December 2, 2015, San Bernardino shooting: Husband and wife, Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik, shoot and kill 14 of their coworkers and seriously injure 22 others at an annual training event and Christmas party at their workplace, with AR-15 semi-automatic rifles and pistols before leading police into a high speed car chase and final shootout.

December 14, 2012: Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, Newtown, Connecticut: 20-year-old mentally ill Adam Lanza shoots his mother Nancy in the head four times whilst she lays in bed, then drives her car 5 miles to the Sandy Hook Elementary School where she works, and he used to go to school, walks on to the school grounds at 9.35am and shoots and kills 20 young children between the ages of 6 and 7 (12 girls, 8 boys), the principle, 5 of the teachers, and them himself.

July 2012: Century Movie theater shooting, Aurora, Colorado: 24-year-old James Eagan Holmes buys a ticket to a midnight screening of The Dark Knight, sits in the front row for 30 minutes before exiting through the emergency exit around 12:30 am and comes back throwing canisters of tear gas into a theater filled with more than 400 people, and opens fire with a semi-automatic rifle, a shotgun, and a Glock handgun, killing 12 people and injuring 70.

These are just a few of the more than 1500 mass shootings that have occurred in America since 2012 (more than 330 per year), and there were thousands of mass shootings that came before these such as the 2009 Fort Hood Military Base shooting (13 dead, 30 injured), the 2007 Virginia Tech shooting (32 killed, 17 injured), and the 1999 Columbine High School massacre (13 dead, 31 injured). 

Unfortunately mass shootings in America aren’t going away anytime soon.

Nope.

Mass shootings in America will continue for 3 reasons:

  1. Guns are too freely available. There are 300 million guns in America, and another 50, 000 are sold each day. That means that it only takes one person to get their hands on one of the 300 Million guns for another mass shooting to occur. Please note that an estimated 1% of Americans classified as psychopaths (3.2 million people), so that’s a lot of criminals, gangsters, murderers, mentally ill, radical Islamist’s etc. with access to a lot of guns.
  2. The mass murderers who shoot and kill people don’t give a fuck about the consequences, and are often on a suicide mission themselves. That’s why they often commit suicide shortly after their mass shootings. These people have a death wish, they don’t care if they die, they simply want to take as many people with them as possible. Unfortunately, it’s almost impossible to stop someone from killing another person if they’re willing to die themselves.
  3. Americans are brainwashed to love violence. Violence is glorified throughout American society: In comic books, Hollywood movies, rap music, sports, TV, video games, the internet, and in every other form of media and pop culture. It’s simply too deeply ingrained in the American psyche for it to go away anytime soon.

Growing up in the 1980’s, I never once saw my heroes Arnold Schwarzenegger or Slyvestor Stallone portrayed as mass murderers who were responsible for the deaths of hundreds of people, but as great men to be admired and respected.

I never once saw them feeling regret or sadness when they killed someone, nor did I see them suffering from nightmares or PTSD, or facing the consequences of their actions in court or prison.

Instead they always seemed pretty happy whenever they killed someone, if not indifferent, and the killing and violence they committed was always portrayed as justified and necessary, as if it was the right thing to do, and the only possible solution to their problems.

This set up a false cause-effect reward system in my mind, and it made me think that violence was cool, and often justified and necessary. I’m sure it setup a false cause-effect reward system in the minds of hundreds of millions of other people too.

And this is the problem…

Instead of showing our children the brutal reality of violence, we glamorize and promote it everywhere: In comic books, movies, rap music, sports, TV, video games, the internet, and in every other form of media and pop culture.

We also portray the people who commit violent acts on film, whether it’s Arnie, Sly, or any other action movie hero, or martial arts fighter, not as violent people with anger issues, but as heroes, or anti-heroes, to be admired and respected.

No wonder children and teenagers casually say to each other: “I’ll kill you” or use the term “killer” as a compliment.

Children see so many acts of murder and violence that by the time they’re teenagers they’re completely desensitized to it.

According to the American Academy of Family Physicians:

  • The average American youth witnesses 200,000 violent acts on television before the age of 18
  • 91 percent of movies on television contain violence
  • 97 percent of American teens play video games for 13 hours per week, and 68 percent are violent
  • Gun violence has tripled in PG-13 films since 1985

You might say “these things (movies, TV, video games etc.) are just entertainment, it’s just fun, it’s not real!” But the problem is that children can’t really discern the difference between fantasy and reality, and when you play violent video games like Call of Duty or Grand Theft Auto, you’re visualizing yourself killing people and being rewarded for it, and you’re becoming desensitized to it, as if it was OK.

It wasn’t until I drank Ayahuasca in the Amazon Jungle in 2015 at the age of 34 that I finally saw violence for what it was: Disgusting and horrible.

Before that I was completed desensitized to all forms of violence. I loved fighting, I loved the UFC, I practiced martial arts 7x a week, and all of my favorite movies were violent. But now I hate all forms of violence because I finally see it for what it is. Evil. Shit. What’s so great about hurting people and making them suffer?

But most people are still too brainwashed and under the spell and love violence. And when you glorify violence in a violent society with an excess of guns, mass shootings are inevitable.

As the lying fake news media quite rightly says: “Thoughts and prayers are not enough”, but in America nothing will change anytime soon.

6. The worst acts of terrorism are still to come 

Similar to mass shootings, Terrorism isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.

Since September 11th 2001, when 19 terrorists from Al-Qaeda shocked the world by hijacking American Airlines and United Airlines Boeing 737’s, and flew them into the Pentagon and the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center, killing 2,996 people, and injuring over 6, 000 more, there have been a surge of terrorist attacks around the world including:

  • March 2004, Madrid, Spain: Madrid train bombing, Al-Qaeda terrorists plant bombs on four Madrid commuter trains during morning peak hour traffic (192 dead, 2050 injured)
  • April 2013, Boston: Boston Marathon bombings (3 dead, 264 injured)
  • April 2014, Chibok, Nigeria: Boko Haram kidnaps 276 teenage girls from a school
  • October 2015, Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt: ISIS terrorists plant bombs on board a Metrojet Airbus A321 and it explodes in mid-air over Egypt (224 dead)
  • November 2015, Paris, France: ISIS terrorists shoot concert goers inside the Bataclan theatre in Paris during an Eagles of Death Metal concert (130 dead, 413 injured)
  • March 2016, Brussels, Belgium: ISIS plant 3 bombs at Belgium’s Brussels Airport and subway system (32 dead, 340 injured)
  • July 2016, Nice, France: An ISIS supporter deliberately drives a 19 ton cargo truck into pedestrians in an attack on Bastille Day (86 dead, 434 injured)
  • December 2016, Berlin, Germany: An ISIS supporter deliberately drives a truck through a Christmas market in central Berlin (12 dead, 56 injured)
  • May 2017, Manchester, England: Manchester Arena bombing: An ISIS suicide bomber detonates a bomb outside an Ariana Grande concert (22 dead, 500 injured)
  • August 17, 2017, Barcelona, Spain: An ISIS supporter deliberately drives a van into a crowd of people, and stabs another person to death by the attacker as he flees (14 dead, 130 injured)

As we’ve discovered, September 11, 2001 wasn’t the end of radical Islamic terrorism, it was just the beginning.

“Since 2000, there have been over 61,000 terrorist attacks, killing more than 140,000 people.” – Global Peace Index

That stat represents almost 10 terrorist attacks a day around the world, with the majority (98%) occurring in Africa and the Middle east.

The above list represents less than 0.001% of all terrorist attacks since September 11, 2001, and it doesn’t include the massive numbers of foiled US terrorist plots including:

  • March, 2003: An Al-Qaeda terrorist is arrested after attempting to destroy the Brooklyn Bridge
  • August, 2004: An Al-Qaeda terrorist is arrested after plotting to destroy the New York Stock Exchange, World Bank, International Monetary Fund, and the Citigroup Center
  • August, 2004: Two men were arrested after attempting to bomb the New York City Subway on the day before the 2004 Republican National Convention
  • June, 2006: Seven men with ties to Al-Qaeda were arrested after plotting to bomb the 110 story Chicago Willis Tower (formerly Sears Tower) and FBI offices
  • September, 2009: A 19-year-old ISIS supporter was arrested after attempting to bomb the Wells Fargo Bank offices 60 story skyscraper in downtown Dallas
  • December 25, 2009: A 19-year-old ISIS supporter attempted to blow up a Northwest Airlines Airbus A330 plane on Christmas Day with 290 people on board a flight over Detroit by detonating a bomb sewed into his underwear
  • October 2012: A 21-year-old Al-Qaeda supporter is arrested after trying to blow up the Federal Reserve building in New York
  • June 2016: 3 ISIS supporters were arrested after a foiled attempt to bomb Times Square, and New York concert venues and subway stations. One of the suspects told an undercover FBI agent: “These Americans need an attack” and said he wanted to “create the next 9/11.” He also said: “We seriously need to car bomb times square. Look at these crowds of people!” and said he wanted to “shoot up concerts cuz they kill a lot people … We just walk in with guns in our hands. That’s how Paris guys did it. I wanna kill them in thousands. We have to make a ocean out of their blood. Leave no one standing.”

Yep, Islamic terrorism has become a horrible trend, and anywhere there is a large crowd of people has become a target. A concert, a marathon, a movie theater, a plane, a school, a shopping center, a sporting event, a University – anywhere.

Currently there are over 275 different terrorist groups around the world, but between them ISIS, Boko Haram, Al-Qaeda, and the Taliban are responsible for 75 per cent of all terror-related deaths, and currently these pieces of shit are in training to do a lot more than kill a few hundred people. They want to murder millions in the name of God/Allah.

Maybe it won’t happen today or tomorrow, but sometime in the not too distant future, Al-Qaeda, ISIS, or some other piece of shit terrorist organisation is going to try to detonate a nuclear bomb in a place like New York City, London, Paris, in an attempt to kill 50, 000+ people.

But the world has an even bigger problem that mass shootings and terrorism…

5. Depression and suicide

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), more people die each year from suicide and self-inflicted gun wounds, than from all the mass shootings, murder, terrorism, and war, in the world combined.

In fact, one million people die from suicide each year (that’s 2, 200 people each day or one person every 40 seconds), it’s just that it only makes the news when it’s a celebrity suicide such as Kurt Cobain (lead singer of Nirvana), Chris Cornell (lead singer of Soundgarden), Chester Bennington (lead singer of Lincoln Park), or actor/comedian Robin Williams.

Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death of people aged 15-29 worldwide, and there are 25 attempts at suicide for every one person who ‘succeeds’.

I’ve lost friends and family to suicide and I’m sure you have too.

And even if someone isn’t suicidal, that doesn’t mean they’re not suffering from depression.

Adele, Beyonce, Halle Berry, Jim Carrey, J.K Rowling, Lady Gaga, Miley Cyrus, Owen Wilson, Sheryl Crow, Trevor Noah and Wayne Brady are just some of the celebrities who’ve spoken out about their battles with depression, but they’re just a tiny fraction of the more than 350 Million people who suffer from depression worldwide.

Please note: The number of people suffering from depression has risen by more than 18% since 2005.

My advice: I’m not qualified to offer advice to anyone feeling depressed or suicidal. It simply breaks my heart that it happens.

I do feel strongly however, that anyone feeling depressed or suicidal is probably focusing too much on the past and/or on what they don’t have, or don’t want, rather than on an exciting future, and what they do have, or do what.

If you’re feeling depressed or suicidal, please seek help immediately from a medical professional, and don’t keep it to yourself.

4. Global Poverty

Worse than death and non-existence is a life of suffering.

The next time you complain about being poor or not having enough money to buy the latest iPhone or laptop, just remember the following facts:

  1. Nearly 1/2 the world’s population – more than 3 billion people – live on less than $2.50 a day
  2. More than 1.3 billion people live in extreme poverty – less than $1.25 a day
  3. 80% of humanity lives on less than $10 a day (6 billion people)
  4. There are 2.2 billion children in the world, and 1 billion live in poverty
  5. 22,000 children die each day due to poverty
  6. 800 million people worldwide don’t have enough food to eat
  7. 750 million people worldwide lack adequate access to clean drinking water
  8. 2.3 billion lack basic sanitation such as toilets
  9. 165 million children around the world under the age 5 have stunted growth due to chronic malnutrition

Hopefully this gives some perspective on what it means to be ‘poor’.

3. Life isn’t fair

Life ISN’T fair.

It never has been and it never will be.

Some people are born better looking, more confident, and with seemingly superior intelligence.

Others are born with mental or physical disabilities, without arms or legs or sight or hearing.

Some people are born into billionaire families, with great parents, lots of opportunity, and every advantage in the world.

Others are born into crime and poverty into third world countries, with shitty parents, where they had horrific upbringings, and were abused and molested by the people they loved and trusted most.

It’s obvious life isn’t fair.

Bad things happen to good people.

Good things happen to bad people.

You can be the nicest, kindest, most loving and compassionate person on earth, and still suffer from anxiety, depression, cancer, heart problems or any number of other mental or physical problems.

Or you can be a complete asshole, a bitch or a bully, someone who treats people like shit, and makes tons of money and gets everything they’ve ever wanted.

My advice: If you can accept that life isn’t fair, and never will be, you’ll have a much better time of it. You don’t get to choose your circumstances, or the way other people speak to you or treat you, all you can do is play the hand you’re dealt.

2. Life has no meaning

“Life has to be given a meaning because of the obvious fact that it has no meaning.” – Henry Miller

What is the meaning of life?

Life has no meaning.

Isn’t it obvious?

In fact: NOTHING has any meaning.

The truth is:

  • All meanings are illusory and subjective, not objective, and are made up in the mind of each individual, and that’s why what something means to me, will mean something else entirely to you, and something different again to someone else, and why the same event means so many different things to so many different people
  • You don’t know the meaning of anything, because nothing ‘means’ anything, and you certainly don’t know if something is ‘meant to be’ or ‘not meant to be’

No event, object, or experience ever comes with a label or meaning attached and tells you ‘this means this’ or ‘that means that’ or ‘this is what you should believe’ etc.

It is only we as people who assign meanings and say ‘this means this’, ‘that means that’ etc.

My advice: Instead of asking questions without answers like:

  • What’s the meaning of life?
  • What’s my mission in life?
  • What am I meant to be doing?

Start asking questions like:

  • What do I want to do?
  • What would I like to do?
  • What do I WANT my mission and purpose to be in life?
  • If I could have any job, career or business, what would it be?
  • What is the ultimate outcome or result that I wish to achieve in life?
  • What would I do if I knew I couldn’t fail?
  • What would I do if I only had 6 months to live?
  • If I could only do/have/achieve ONE thing before I died, what would it be?

“What is the meaning of life? It is too great a phenomenon to fit into any meaning.” – Sadhguru

1. Death

Death is the harshest fact of life, yet it’s the only sure thing.

I know death is something most people don’t like to think or talk about, yet it can serve as an awesome wake up call that can help us to get our priorities straight.

For that reason, I’d like to close with the top 10 regrets of dying people.

These are some of the things that people from all over the world, have told doctors, nurses, family, friends and loved ones, in the last and final moments of their life, that they most regretted doing… or not doing.

I think we can learn a lot from their mistakes and regrets.

The top 10 regrets of dying people

  1. I wish I had the courage to pursue my dreams, and to do what was most important to me. Instead I let fear paralyze me and get the better of me.
  2. I wish I’d tried more things and experienced more of life
  3. I paid far too much attention to what other people thought, said and did, instead of following my instincts and doing what I wanted to do.
  4. I wasn’t authentic enough and didn’t express my feelings and the way I felt enough. I didn’t speak up enough for fear of the criticism and judgement of others. I often felt fearful and scared of being rejected and unpopular.
  5. I wish I’d made more of a positive difference upon the world and other people
  6. I wish I’d travelled more and seen more of the world when I had the chance
  7. I wish I’d been a better partner and parent, and spent more time with my children when they were growing up
  8. I wish I’d stayed in touch more with my friends and family
  9. I wish I’d forgiven quicker, and more often. I wish I hadn’t wasted so much time holding onto grudges
  10. I wish I’d stood up to bullies more often

The key life lessons from dying people

  • Live a life true to your values and don’t let fear hold you back
  • Make time for the people and things that are most important to you
  • Put your dreams first and make them your highest priority
  • Listen to your gut feel and intuition
  • Don’t waste your time or your life

Let’s face facts: Death is absolutely guaranteed, locked in, and inevitable for all of us.

What’s not guaranteed or inevitable however, is that you will achieve your dreams and goals.

Most people act like they’ve forever to do what they want to do, but the reality is that you don’t know how much time you have left, or when your time will be up.

God has not promised you a long life. Maybe you’ll live till you’re 100 years old, but maybe you’ll die tomorrow. Who knows?

My question is: If you know you’re going to look back at the end of your life and regret not doing the things that were most important to you, why not just do them, and prevent the inevitable deathbed regret? What do you have to lose?

Ask yourself: If you were to die today: What would be your biggest dying regret?

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the things you did do. So explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain

Recap

This concludes part 5 of a 5 part series: “50 Harsh facts of life”

Let’s recap the Top 50 Harsh Facts of Life from 50-1:

50. You were probably an accident

49. Your parents suck

48. You won’t find your soul mate

47. Your marriage won’t last

46. Your husband/wife will cheat on you

45. No one wants you to be yourself

44. Nobody’s listening and nobody cares

43. No one is sorry for the way they’ve treated you

42. You have no friends

41. Everyone is lying to you

40. Society promotes terrible role models

39. Society promotes terrible values

38. Society rewards bad behavior

37. The world is full of assholes and haters

36. Everyone is selfish

35. People judge you on things you can’t control

34. Most people aren’t very smart

33. Everyone is fake

32. Everyone is trying to manipulate you

31. Most jobs suck

30. The threat of consequences is necessary

29. Shit happens

28. The more you need help the harder it is to get

27. Most things in life are outside of your control

26. Big Ego’s thrive

25. Almost all pro athletes use steroids

24. Everyone is trying to brainwash you

23. Fake news

22. You are your own worst enemy

21. All men are NOT created equal

20. Everything is overhyped and overrated

19. People believe whatever they want to believe

18. Everyone has skeletons in the closet

17. Murphy’s Law

16. The more you respect someone, the less they will respect you

15. Nothing good comes easy

14. Nice guys finish last

13. Bitches and bullies thrive

12. Most people are part of the problem

11. Most religious people are brainwashed, delusional, hypocritical, and stupid

10. Racism

9. Rape

8. War

7. The worst mass shootings are still to come

6. The worst acts of terrorism are still to come

5. Depression and suicide

4. Global poverty

3. Life isn’t fair

2. Life has no meaning

1. Death

Summary

My intention in this series was never to be negative or pessimistic, but to be honest and realistic, and to give us a reality check, because ignorance isn’t bliss, and the solution to our problems isn’t to pretend they don’t exist.

It’s only by being honest and seeing things as they are that we can change things for the better.

These truths maybe harsh, inconvenient, ugly, or unpleasant, but turning a blind eye to them, and pretending they don’t exist, won’t make them go away.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this series and learnt a lot.

If you’ve missed the first four parts here they are:

Part 1: Harsh Facts of Life – Part 1

Part 2: Harsh Facts of Life – Part 2

Part 3: Harsh Facts of Life – Part 3

Part 4: Harsh Facts of Life – Part 4

Or if you would like to read some of my other articles: Life Lessons All Articles

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Footnotes:

Chester Bennington image credit: Christian Bertrand / Shutterstock.com
KKK rally image credit: mark reinstein / Shutterstock.com
September 11 2001 image credit: By UA_Flight_175_hits_WTC_south_tower_9-11.jpeg: Flickr user TheMachineStops (Robert J. Fisch) derivative work: upstateNYer (UA_Flight_175_hits_WTC_south_tower_9-11.jpeg) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Stephen Hawking image credit: Martin Hoscik / Shutterstock.com