The events in Paris last week upset, horrified, shocked and appalled me - I have yet to find an adjective adequate to my feelings.
The coming together of masses of human beings, Sunday, in honor of those who died in public places without much organization and before security could have begun to be equal to the task, yet doing so without violence, proves that there are many decent persons still left in a world seemingly being destroyed from within. I was moved. And yes, I am knowingly avoiding mentioning the world leaders at the front, many of whom are terrorists themselves.
This week my reflections take me in an entirely other direction: we are mainly not “I am Charlie”s as we would wish to be perceived, but hypocrites.
At the same time that 17 lost their lives in Paris, gunned down by fanatics in the name of their supposed religion,
- approx. 35 persons were murdered in the USA (2013 statistics for murder and non-negligent manslaughter stood at 14’196 for the year, divided by 365 = 39 per day).
- In the War on Gaza, at least 17 journalists were killed (chilling the resemblance in the numbers isn’t it), not to mention the more than 2’000 civilians killed, a full quarter of whom were children.
- In the war on the Taliban, Al-Qaeda and other fundamentalists the number of the victims from drones lies also in the thousands.
- In Syria where it’s Syrians against other Syrians and the USA in supposedly bombing ISIS also kills civilians.
- In Central and South America, drug lords are responsible for the deaths of 100s of civilians, but even more shocking than my litany for just a few of the wars responsible for civilian deaths in large numbers in 201 and now in 2015, is this last:
- At the same time that these 17 lost their lives in Paris, 2’000 (yes two THOUSAND) were killed in Northern Nigeria by the Boko Haram.
It is easier to make ones self feel better by loudly proclaiming “I am Charlie”, but what about the rest of the time, when the emotion has fallen and yet another atrocious crime becomes simply a statistic? What about those around us killed by speeding drivers, killed by violent spouses, killed for being in the wrong place at the wrong time: where is the outrage, where the large crowds demanding live and let live? Never was the adage “do as I say, not as I do” more prevalent.
I am not “Charlie”
I am “Hypocrite”