Have you ever asked yourself what makes you a human being? Ever imagined why you think you are superior to animals? Wondered whether your thinking faculty and feelings are, in fact, not lower than those of the animals you believe you are superior to?
You might take these questions for granted. Try to think unsentimental. While busy scrambling for an answer, let’s go back to the three gruesome atrocious murders that weeded out resourceful and promising lives in the inglorious name of unholy dogmatism – call it religious, racial or egoism. The much publicized Charlie Hebdo attacks on the 7th of January 2015 in Paris snatched barbarically, eleven innocent souls. The animalistic annihilation was totally and unequivocally condemned by the world ““ especially the Western world / media. That did not end there. The street of Paris was swarmed by the locust of world leaders, holding hands in defiant solidarity march never witnessed of recent. The image is still fresh in the minds of the whole world. That was in Paris; in the heart of Europe.
Three months after the infamous Charlie Hebdo attacks ““ on the 2nd April 2015 to be precise – another bigger tragedy struck. This time, the horrendous sadistic attack was on the innocent Garissa University College students in Kenya, Africa, carried out by the infamous Al-Shabaab terrorists. The death tolls: 147. Days past. Deaths counted. The hearts of the innocent victims` relatives chartered. But not a single world leader or concerned citizens trouped to Kenya or marched on the street in Nairobi to show solidarity or condemn the senseless murder. The attack was labelled a “disaster“ in certain Western media. Could this be an exceptional case? Or a case of semantic myopia or abracadabra?
On the evening of June 17, 2015, two months after the Garissa University College attack, the Charleston church shooting took place. Nine innocent, helpless blacks were cold-bloodedly murdered in a church by one white racist, while they were busy studying scripture. Some western media baptised it “terrorism“ others like our dear Fox news called it a “tragedy“ committed by a lonely unpredictable mad person ““ an unpredictable act, which can happen anywhere and at any time, indeed. Interestingly, USA Presidential candidate Rick Perry called the Charleston Church shooting an “accident.“ He went further to claim that the 21-year-old Dylann Roof, the murderer, may have been “medicated.“ Aha!!! “Medicated?“ Good excuse!! I am pretty sure that Al-Shabaab militants who mercilessly slaughtered the innocent Garissa University College students were equally “medicated.“ After all, with the Khat stimulant leaf readily available in Kenya, Somalia and neighbouring countries, would it surprise you to learn that the Al-Shabaab terrorists ‘ must have had some heavy khat leaf breakfast before leaving for the Garissa operation? With the mission destined to take long, a trailer load of khat needed during the long slaughtering exercise would not harm. So you now begin to understand Rick Perry`s “medicated“ theory, don`t you? With constant repetition of the preferred definitions of the murders in the news, the different “realities` of the attacks are created and the hidden ideologies behind those preferred definitions reinforced. It took the heroic courage and the intervention of the USA comedian Jon Stewart to see the true side of the (re)presentation of the Charleston church shooting coin by Fox Media. Mr. Stewart took Fox News Channel to task, accusing the media organization of blatant hypocrisy surrounding its coverage of the tragic Charleston church shooting.
Clearly, I totally and forcefully condemn killing in any form. No one has the right to kill!! Nor is it my intention to compare different murders. No! Murder, no matter the victim is a malicious act of reckless manifestation of extreme indifference to the value of human life. So, Killing is killing!! It must be equivocally condemned!! Regardless, looking at the different reactions of the media and our so called educated ones or elites to the malicious killings and the different carefully selected semantics ascribed to them, one begins to wonder why we human beings think we are more intelligent or sensual than animals.We never saw a swarm of the hypocritical world leaders heading to Kenya or holding hands in a solidarity march. No, not even a single world leader visited the country after the Garissa attack. It was treated lightly in many Western media. Same was the Charleston church shooting. Even animals mourn their lost ones.
Could it be that the same animals we believe to master are in fact more intelligent than us ““ or at least more intelligent than we think? Could it be that our sense and sensibility are buried in the mud of greed, insensibility, racial jingoism and aggrandizement? For sure, for those who refuse to show solidarity with those who lost their beloved ones or individuals who treated the mass murders as an “accident“ or “tragedy“wait till you become a victim, perhaps, that would unmask your hypocrisy and make you confront the truth. Perhaps, you might begin to know and feel exactly what the victims and their loved ones go through. Once upon a time, Mr Dick Cheney the deeply conservative former Vice President of the USA was the father of anti- gay campaign in the USA. He supported all kinds of bills that would make the lives of the American gay community impossible. He created, defined and reinforced different semantics to support his negative ideology against the gay group. All changed immediately Oga Cheney discovered that one member of the same group he tried heartlessly to destroyed was in fact living with him. Dick Cheney`s daughter Mary openly confessed to the father that she was in fact a lesbian. That was not all, some days before his election campaign, the daughter insisted that she must appear on the stage and make a speech with her gay lover. The rest is history. Today, Dick Chaney is a gay repentant and activist, who rather “understands“ the situation and difficulties gay people encounter. Life is, indeed, an experience. Isn`t it?
Until we honestly wake up from our hypocrisy, racial and insensitive slumber and confront the ugly truth, we will never realize that one day we could be the next victim of intolerance. Who feels it, knows it. All life matters!!!