What happened in France is unbearably terrible. I had a protracted – and very public – PTSD episode where I was when I heard about the human-on-human brutality this afternoon. And also. The same thing happens every day in the Middle East with US bombs and killer drones (the US has military in over 140 nations; it’s only going to get worse). Why, for example, no outrage over the bombing in Lebanon (did you even hear about it until just now)? Why no outpouring of grief, and sympathy and support for the 43 killed, and the 200 or so wounded in THAT bombing? Where is the grief, #prayers and #standingwith the 111 Palestinians – most of them youth/kids/teens/young adults shot and injured in the West Bank and Gaza today?
I know it’s horrible (and “too soon”) to say, and it will probably get me unfriended by some of you (just like me pointing out that more children die of preventable causes every day than people killed in the 9/11 attacks*), but the outpouring of sympathy every time white Westerners get killed, and the patent apathy or even, at times, downright enthusiasm every time non-Western people of color get killed, is difficult to tolerate. Maybe if all of us gave more of a damn about the daily massacres in other parts of the world – slaughter that our own Western/US governments are funding, arming and executing with our tax dollars (no – I can’t believe I have to say this – it’s not “the refugees”) – hideously senseless, howlingly tragic loss of life like in Paris wouldn’t happen in the first place.
*Since I’ve already offended everyone, I’ll just go ahead and also say that it’s easy to #standwithParis. It’s easy to post pictures and sketches of the Eiffel Tower and ask people to pray. Apparently, it’s also easy to get pissed off about a Starbucks cup or the absent pledge of allegiance at a Veteran’s Day service put on by a Christian University (more on that in a forthcoming post). It’s not, however, apparently easy to stand with the thousands of children starving to death the world over and other victims of the unconscionable global poverty that crony capitalism has wreaked. Why? Because their suffering implicates you and me. It’s easy to stand with victims when “the enemy” is clearly someone else. When our country – and our tax dollars – are on many direct and indirect levels responsible for the unending misery of millions? Crickets. I’m not saying you shouldn’t stand with Paris. But a) the people of France and all those left in the direct wake of this soul-crushing rampage are going to need support, prayer and healing (and a lot more than e-cards and hashtags) long after you’re done tweeting your sympathy (because that’s how it always goes) and b) standing with Paris doesn’t and shouldn’t mean you can’t at least be tweeting your rage and heartache about non-white, non-Western lives lost en masse on the reg also. Unless, of course, you don’t have any. That is a whole other level of tragic.