February 04, 2015

Only white lives matter?

Disproportionate Emphasis on European and US Victimhood Is Racist

By Mark KarlinIt is human nature, in general, to associate with the identity group that an individual feels is most like him or her. That may be one explanation why so many in the Eurocentric nations and their white colonialized offshoots--including the US and Canada--are aghast at the killings of people like themselves, but hardly appear to notice or grieve for people of other colors and backgrounds who suffer horrible massacres.

That was the case in Rwanda, in 1994, when some 800,000 to a million men, women and children were slaughtered in a ghastly tribal bloodletting. The Eurocentric nations--which have instigated wars for oil and "counterinsurgency" that fuel Islamic fundamentalism--didn't lift a finger to stop the slaughter in Rwanda. Nor do many in Europe or the US remember how a genocide was carried out--because Rwanda is not a strategic fossil fuel supplier and is a nation of Black people--in Africa as Western nations went about their business.

BuzzFlash contends much of this double standard (regardless of the different circumstances of the murders) is due to racism. Europe and white descendent nations of European colonization (think of the US, Canada and Australia, for example) identify strongly with whites who look like them, raised with a shared European historical, cultural, economic and cult of "civilization" value structure.

On January 22, "The Daily Show" Senior International Foreign Correspondent Trevor Noah (famous in his own right as a noted South African comedian and social critic) engaged in an unusually solemn discussion (with Jon Stewart) of how the Eurocentric nations are ignoring the terror, slavery and mass murder of Boko Haram in Nigeria. Noah pointed out that during the same period of the Paris killings, perhaps as many as 2000 Nigerians were slaughtered by Boko Haram and only a few statements of pro forma condemnation were issued by the US government. Meanwhile, the approximately 300 school girls Boko Haram kidnapped are still not released, amidst reports they are being sold off as slave wives and also being used as child soldiers.

Are these lives of less value than the lives lost in Paris? Why are we not marching with signs "Je Suis Nigeria?" Not to factor race into that answer would be mistaken.
Comment:  For more on the subject, see The Science of Racism and Indians, Blacks Are America's "Others."

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