17 Julio 2016

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Ancient buildings and disco balls… 

A totally unrelated picture to the rant I felt like writing today. As you may or may not know, I’m French. Consequently, I obviously feel touched by the attacks in Nice –even though I know no one from there nor have I ever set food on the Promenade des Anglais. But more so than the attacks themselves, which, sadly, are starting to feel as normal as a mass shooting in the US, what disturbed me the most was the reaction that followed…

1) The obvious.

Again, again, and again, the world is demonstrating it really only cares about a certain type of deaths. Just over ten days before the attacks in Nice, a busy district of Baghdad was hit by a suicide truck –that one, more classically, contained a bomb instead of running people over. Over 200 people were killed –more than twice the death toll in Nice. And yet, correct me if I’m wrong but I don’t think (m)any buildings lit up in the colors of the Iraq flag, I didn’t see quite as many sympathetic tweets in my Twitter and Facebook feeds, the world didn’t seem to be in shock. Why would it? Hey, it’s only Baghdad after all. They’re used to it over there. Plus, muslims have it coming, right? Really, why am I surprised that no US cities had their buildings lit up in Iraqi colors (I really need to fact-check that actually…), when their Republican candidate to the presidency wants to ban all muslims from the country, Hitler-style?! They’d almost be right to fear a revolution if they donned Iraqi colors –although… do Americans even know the colors of the Iraq flag? It’s red / white / black with a touch of green by the way.

So when I first read the news my thought process went as follows: (1) Oh fuck, again!? ; (2) Oh great, now the French flags, the #prayforNice etc. are gonna start pouring in, right after no one gave a flying fuck about hundreds of people dying in Baghdad… Sigh… It annoys me all the more since I never post anything following any attack, anywhere. Well, except this.

Anyway, do people REALLY not get the imbalance and blatant racism? Or do they just not care? How can we ask a good half of the world to understand us, think we’re awesome, to let us lead the way and other BS, when we show them over and over and over again that they don’t matter? 

2) The more personal.

“PRAY for [insert affected place]” pisses me off so much! I get that all religions have at their core a message of love and understanding, and maybe I should enjoy the showing of support and solidarity and just shut up, but the prevalence of this hashtag (which mostly is about people making themselves feel better anyway), blatantly excludes a part of the population from the collective mourning. Why is it that atheists ALWAYS have to respect other people’s religions but religious people do not have to respect our atheism?! It doesn’t make me feel all warm inside to see my feeds covered in invitations to pray…

I actually find it kind of ironic, given that religion is the motive / excuse behind those attacks. Why not use something more inclusive? Like… #thoughtswith[insertplace]? Or even #jesuis[something]? It’s more neutral and conveys the same idea.

To me religion (any religion) means the institutionalisation of the oppression of women, of non-whites, of LGBTQ people, of anything “different”, so, NO, I don’t want to be told to pray when something terrible happens, very often at the hands of someone who thinks their deed just sent them to heaven…

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