Recently, the city of Paris was rocked by a series of shootings and explosions that took the lives of more than 120 people. France has declared a state of emergency for the nation. The BBC has outlined the series of attacks:
La Belle Equipe, 92 rue de Charonne, 11th district – at least 19 dead in gun attacks.
Le Carillon bar and Le Petit Cambodge restaurant at rue Alibert, 10th district – at least 12 dead in gun attacks.
La Casa Nostra restaurant, 92 rue de la Fontaine au Roi, 11th district – at least 5 dead in gun attacks.
Stade de France, St Denis, just north of Paris – explosions heard outside venue, three attackers dead.
Bataclan concert venue, 50 boulevard Voltaire, 11th district – stormed by several gunmen, at least 80 dead.
Meanwhile, not far from the Place de la Republique and the Place de la Bastille, three busy restaurants and a bar were targeted by gunmen armed with Kalashnikovs.
Around 40 people were killed as customers were singled out at venues including a pizza restaurant and a Cambodian restaurant, Le Petit Cambodge.
The other target was the Stade de France, on the northern fringe of Paris, where President Hollande and 80,000 other spectators were watching a friendly international between France and Germany, with a TV audience of millions more.
“We heard the sound of guns, 30-second bursts. It was endless. We thought it was fireworks,” Pierre Montfort, a resident living close to Le Petit Cambodge said.
However, earlier this year, there was a terrorist attack in Kenya where more than 140 students were killed. Fusion reports:
The brutal massacre happened at Garissa University College in the eastern part of the country close to the porous Somali border.
Members of the Islamic extremist group Al-Shabab claimed responsibility — calling it revenge for Kenyan troops fighting Somali rebels in 2011. This same group gained international attention in 2013 when they brutally killed 67 people at the Westgate Shopping Mall in Nairobi.
At Garissa, a handful of militants stormed the campus. After separating Muslims from Christians, they killed the Christians execution style.
Don’t get me wrong, I mourn for the people in Paris, and I still mourn for the people in Kenya, as well as other victims of mass murders elsewhere in the world no matter where they are. But it appears that our Western media, as well as its viewers, seem to only care about certain victims and show solidarity with the nations of those victims. It seems that as long as you’re white and(or) from a European nation or a nation colonized by Europeans, you have the privilege of being mourned by many, many people, including black Americans.
For example, on Facebook, I’ve seen dozens of pictures of black folks with their profile pictures donning the colors of the French flag, but I haven’t seen almost all of those same black folks don the red, black and green when Kenya was attacked or when black people have lost their lives due to police violence. Now, I know that having your picture colored after a flag on some social media webpage is small potatoes as opposed to actually getting off your ass and doing something. (How many of them would support black students of colleges of universities facing everyday racism?) Yet, and I’m sorry to say this, some black folks are too hard-headed to do those small gestures but will jump right onboard to do others for people that don’t look like them. A sign of interalized racism perhaps? Maybe.
I bet some of you haven’t even heard of the terrorist attack on Kenya. That’s okay, if you’re a news viewer. It wasn’t covered very much in the Western media. But as people we should mourn for those lives as well as we mourn for the people of Paris. Yet, some fools will come up with all kinds of lame-ass racist excuses not to. They will even tell us not to engage in the Black Lives Matter movement, but instead to focus on the tragedy unfolding in France as that is somehow more important. Half-assed humanity is completely anti-humane.
Over all, I’m not saying that we shouldn’t send our thoughts and prayers to the people of Paris, especially if that’s what you want to do. But we shouldn’t ignore the lives and victims of our brothers and sisters who are terrorized every-damn-day! We can support as many causes and send love to those in multiple tragedies as we want to, but we can not and must not overlook certain people simply because of skin color or region, especially to those who share the same skin color as we do.