THOUGHTS ABOUT PARIS THAT MIGHT NOT BE WELL RECEIVED BUT THAT I THINK WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT ANYWAY
For utter clarity: I unequivocally think we should be supporting and showing solidarity to the people of Paris.
- •I love Europe and Paris as much as many white (and not white, obviously), Western, privileged people.
- •I'm gutted about the attacks in Paris, and not only because it's tragic and awful to think of innocent people being murdered.
- •It's terrifying because as a person living in a western country, I think we often think in the back of our minds: "These atrocities on the news can't happen to me". And so it hits close to home.
- •I get that.
- •But this is selective grief.My social media blowing up with statement of solidarity with the people of Paris, people changing their Facebook profile pictures to be overlaid with the colors of the French flag, support offered from world leaders. These things are not wrong. We should always be horrified at mindless acts of violence. But the grief is SELECTIVE.
- •What I don't understand is the lack of critiquing our lens, and questioning the vast social media outrage that happens for this, while we ignore the bombing in Beirut just days before, treatment of First Nations people in Canada, or racism in Missouri.(For example.)
- •We are outraged because if it could happen there, it could happen here.
- •But it IS happening here.
- •We have friends and neighbors who have family in Beirut.
- •We live in a society that is ignoring the race relation issues happening in Mizzou/Missouri.In fact, the media is trying to silence their plight, because it's just "alleged" racism. No one died. But systemic racism in the States is real. And people have died.
- •First Nations people in Canada have been systemically oppressed since colonization.Treaties have been violated. Residential schools were an attempt at cultural and literal genocide. Land rights and the environmental concerns of indigenous people continue to be overlooked in the name of profit. For ten years an inquiry for murdered and missing aboriginal women was ignored by our government. So many remote reserves don't even have safe drinking water, nevermind food or housing security. This is HERE. Our communities, our government.
- •We SHOULD be terrified, and outraged, and heart-broken about Paris.But we should also be heartbroken about Beirut. And Mizzou. And First Nations oppression. And the Syrian refugee crisis. People are dying. People are scared. And my white-centric community is talking only about Paris.
- •It's not either/or, it's both/and.
- •And that's not the rhetoric that's starting to seep to the surface in the media.I don't want to live in a world where hate is met with hate. Where Islamophobia is masked as national security. These attacks didn't happen because France opened its borders to refugees fleeing for their lives. It happened because the world insists on upholding xenophobic fear and hatred, on all sides.
- •We can be outraged and saddened and scared about Paris, recognize the imbalance in where our community's grief is manifesting, and hold onto empathy and love.
- •It's both/and.