During the past 2 days, I’ve been struggling to answer this question in my head, specially when I see someone writing something that goes like “Why don’t we mourn for all people”. When I see such statements, I remember the big debate about #BlackLivesMatter and the attack on it to change into #AllLivesMatter but this time, it was us (People Of Colour) pushing for it. Is it actually the same? I don’t think so till that moment.
First, I don’t buy the argument of Facebook being a private company and has the right to choose which flags to offer to show solidarity or Safety Checks and “If you don’t like it, leave it”. You have the right to be an asshole and when you become one, I should call you out on being an asshole; that’s it.
Moving on, people do tend to feel more empathetic when the affected people belong to the same group whether ethnic, national or racial so, I don’t really see the point in asking Europeans to mourn losses in the Middle East that were caused by ISIS. They may or may not sympathise and there is no obligation there really. However, there are a few points that makes the argument take a different perspective. These arguments can be summed up in how The West recognizes its own massacres and how its media reports on terrorism.
1- Media reporting:
During any catastrophe such as what happened in Paris, we got used to seeing pictures of dead bodies all over out timelines on Twitter, Facebook and even newspapers but now, nothing. Don’t get me wrong, that’s a good thing; but, can’t we respect all people the same way and stop it for good or do you think that it’s okay to share or upload such pictures if the people who died were PoC?
During the second day, many newspapers reported on finding Syrian and Egyptian passports on site. I don’t really see how that’s different from reporting the brand of clothes or mobile phones found on site, how is this pure nonsense can be called journalism?
2- Recognition of massacres:
Why don’t Americans for once recognise the massacres that THEY committed and react to the loss of millions of innocent lives the same way they reacted to this incident in Paris? Just think of this (41 men targeted but 1,147 people killed: US drone strikes – the facts on the ground) for example and give me one reason why aren’t people even aware of such catastrophes when their own governments are the perpetrators here.
Why didn’t the French react the same way when their military killed and abused children in Africa while they were “peacekeeping”.
This is not Apples & Oranges, I’m not asking you to mourn for each and everyone’s loss. I’m just saying, please be aware that you are a part of a system that murders people in masses and you don’t give a damn about it.
People’s reactions or stands won’t change how sad I feel for all this, I don’t want to my words to affect badly anyone from those who were affected by the incident in Paris. This was more of thinking out loud and leaving my questions out there, perhaps I’m getting it all wrong but, I’m just tired of these endless pointless debates on forcing people to mourn or not. I think that you can’t demand feelings but you may demand a different way of thinking maybe.