I’m still sad to realise that the outrage and social media hashtag outpouring of solidarity that swept the globe after Paris and Charlie has not happened after the recent events in Bangladesh, Turkey, Iraq, and now Madinah. The message is as loud as it is deathly quiet. White lives matter more. We’re not all in this together.
Why have you not heard of the wounded in black lands? Why has the latest bomb in Madinah – the holiest places in the realm of Islam barely made a mention? Would that make you re-think the official narrative that these terrorists are actually muslim at all?
Blair and Bush – two cheeks of the same arse – opened up hell in the Middle East. The Chilcot report will no doubt recommend Blair be given a medal and an earldom whilst British soldiers will be indicted for their complicity in systemic war crimes and torture. And the media will force feed a line of vomit that we are under attack by evil, cartoon baddies who’s hatred of the west is fuelling their insanity. Poor Paris. Poor Charlie. Poor Orlando.
That is an image of location for every single car bomb that has detonated in Baghdad since 2003. One city. I had to dig around for that. Can you imagine this hell in London? Can you imagine the outrage if it were?
I know the media is to blame for this division but I can’t help but think in an age of none-stop information that ignorance of facts is a choice. When I point out the disparity, nice white middle class people say I’m using divisive language, and that is like a kick to the teeth. It’s OK to live in a divisive world just so long as no one mentions the white elephant in the room. I guess what these folks mean is, ‘stop pricking my conscience because I just don’t want to have to care about any more problems’. The white privilege of playing the Get Out of Jail card.
And if I’m coming across as an angry black woman, then good. But I’m actually an angry white woman who is sick to her back teeth of injustice and the lies that perpetuate them. Even the little lies we tell ourselves to ease our own conscience.
And I think this goes beyond even Islamaphobia – it is no secret Muslims aren’t welcome in the west and if you doubt that then please wear Muslim clothes for a day to see how that works out for you (again, the privilege of being white is that you never experience discrimination, and just because you happen to be a nice person you don’t get to see the underbelly of those who aren’t). But when I look at how foreigners and black people are treated in our lands I can’t help think this goes much deeper. Our cultural blindspot is our racism, not from ordinary good folk, but from those who have a vested interest in hate and those who benefit from the status quo, and from the ordinary good folk who fail to notice the veil of protection and advantage their whiteness affords them and how the cards are ultimately stacked against others. You can’t solve a problem until you know the problem.
Of course… some people just don’t CARE about the problem, and see other lives lost as an irrelevance…
This tweet gave me hope last night, just as I was sliding into despondency – noticing the gulf between us all grow larger – feeling myself giving in to negativity.
No. They won’t win. Their aim is to sow hatred. I refuse to hate. Their aim is to sow division. I will build bridges. Their aim is to turn people against people. I refuse to be manipulated. You lose.
I’m still sad with the hatred and the disparity in the pyramid of value of human lives. We have a long way to go before the disparities in our world are erased, but together we can. I have no doubt that love trumps hate.
And here is a poem I always remember when I’m just on the cusp of feeling overwhelmed:
In Praise of Feeling Bad About Yourself
by Wislawa Szymborska
The buzzard never says it is to blame.
The panther wouldn’t know what scruples mean.
When the piranha strikes, it feels no shame.
If snakes had hands, they’d claim their hands were clean.
A jackal doesn’t understand remorse.
Lions and lice don’t waver in their course.
Why should they, when they know they’re right?
Though hearts of killer whales may weigh a ton,
in every other way they’re light.
On this third planet of the sun
among the signs of bestiality
a clear conscience is Number One.