During the last week a lot of things has happened in the geopolitical sphere, and of these things the two which stood out prominently for me as a liberal South African which take great interest in the ongoing war between the West and radical Islam.
These two things were, as you might have guessed by now the attack on Charlie Hebdo which left 12 people dead along with the attack by Boko Haram on Baga which left between 150 and 2000 dead.
What puzzles my mind is the fact that the whole World (and Benjamin Netanyahu) came out in support of the 12 journalists killed by extremist Muslims in Europe, and even Goodluck Jonathan condemned the killings, but very few of them have come out and publicly denounced the massive terror attack in Nigeria.
Then it struck me like a stone between the eyes, and I remember Leanardo DiCaprio’s exclamation “TIA”
This is Africa yes, and sadly the World in general does not care for Africa. It might sound as if I am painting the World’s population in one colour and with a huge brush by generalizing to this extent, but lets face it, Africa is like Las Vegas.
Generally the saying goes “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas”, and this seem to be the attitude towards African issues too.
Last week something pretty nifty saw the day of light, the Janicki Omniprocessor. A brilliant piece of machinery which takes human waste and converts this into water and electricity, and not only this, it powers itself!
After watching the video on YouTube I read some of the comments, and one of the comments read as follow from a user called Pavel:
“I think we should burn african children to create warmth necessary to survive during the cold african winters.”
Obviously, being an humanist firstly and an African secondly this irked my ire as to how someone could be so insensitive towards the plight of his fellow man.
Which brings me back to the Nigerian issue at hand, black faces, black problems, and the leaders of the World can’t care enough, nor can the general populace of Europe, Asia and the Americas actually really care for the sad state of affairs here in Africa.
People like Julius Malema, the leader of the upcoming EFF party in South Africa also fired a heavy worded barrage at Goodluck Jonathan about his silence on this matter considering the fact that this is happening under his “rule”.
Boko Haram is and will forever be a problem unless drastic measures are implemented to fight extremists like them. The same with the extremists who were responsible for the massacre in France.
In Nigeria it is a bit different though, because things there are not as civilized as in Europe, and of course, there are black people over there, and this is a case where black radical Muslims kill fellow black Muslims, so why should the World care?
“Let the Africans sort out their own problems, let them sort out their own internal struggles in Nigeria and while they are at it, a few less Muslims won’t be a bad thing either right?”
So the problem with this outlook is, that hate only begets hate, and we as the rest of the World has a duty towards our fellow human being to make sure they also get to live a quality life devoid of terror, fear, famine and disease. This is what makes us human and which sets us apart from the rest of the animal kingdom. This is also the only way that we will evolve beyond our current limitations and venture forth and become a space faring species.
For if you take away our humanity, our sense of community, then you will be left with something barely “better” than the great Apes.
Sadly, this is not only religious issue, but it is also a racial issue, because bigots still exist in our World to this day, and the only way to combat this type of bigotry and acts of terror at the same time is through providing quality education for people from all walks of life, all religious groups and all the different political parties.
Only once we start thinking critically about ourselves and about our place in the World within the greater community of mankind and our relation to those around us will we be able to determine if our leaders are really leaders who are worth while following.
So, I implore you who have access to the Internet to learn. Learn as much as possible. Get the facts regarding the topics and form your own opinions. Don’t just read one or two pages, read extensively and arm yourself with knowledge, because as the saying goes, “Knowledge is Power”
When the opportunity arise (and it does so almost on a daily basis for me as a South African) and you are faced with bigotry and hate preaching individuals challenge their ideas, do not keep quiet, but do so in a constructive way devoid of disrespectful commentary, because this will only harden their resolve to be bigots.
When someone says “Die fokken kaffirs fok alles op!” remind them, that these people are people, they are not just “kaffirs”, because this type of hate speech also leads to extremist acts of violence, like the terror acts by radicalized Muslims on the fringe of society who were pushed out into the fringes after being marginalized and shunned for their belief and their customs which differ from most of the people in the West.
The same goes for when someone berates groups of people like adherents of the Islamic faith. Don’t keep quiet, because if you keep quiet you are basically condoning this type of stereotyping and bigotry and the World will be poorer for it.
So, here is to the victims of Charlie Hebdo, the unsung victims of Baga, and all the other nameless victims of bigotry, racism and oppression! Do not let their deaths and suffering be in vein, because you, and only you can stop this as you make your way through life by educating others around you.
PS: What happend to #Bringbackourgirls … and do #blacklivesmatter ?