Thursday, March 24, 2016

Terror in Belgium!

Many non-Westerners always complain about western solidarity when they [westerners] are attacked by terrorists. These complaints are genuine concerns because we see many unreported terrorist attacks in places like Yemen, Nigerian, Syria, Turkey, and other countries. However, we don't see the same level of outrage we see when any western target is hit by terrorists. 

Should terrorist attacks in Nigeria outrage Washington, Brussels, Paris, Berlin or London in the same manner terror does in the case of Paris or Brussels? It's an unrealistic expectation! We give westerners more credit or blame than they deserve.

It should be clear by now to non-westerners that the use of the term 'west' to refer to Western Europe and North America isn't an accident. It's what sociologist Paul Gilroy would call 'an index of differentiation', a self-consciousness derived from the idea that the 'west' is a logical continuation of the Greco-Roman civilization. This 'in-group bias' is a universal phenomenon so we need to put these terrorist attacks and the complaints against the 'west' into a very clear context. Why exactly should westerners care about what happens to people outside their delineated compartment?

We can resort to morality and say: 'because it's the right thing to do!' However, westerners have shown to the world time and again that they don't care much about what happens to the rest of the world. Since the days of transatlantic slave trade and colonization, they've shown time and again that their interest lies where their benefit is. 

They care less about what doesn't affect their political interests, or their citizens. Terrorists attacks are only relevant if they lead to deaths of westerners or threaten western geopolitical interests. We see grim reports of Saudi Arabia using stone-age legal methods to hang their citizens like goats and chicken  but no western 'moral' leaders speak out a word against them. Palestinian civilians in Gaza are killed and their houses demolished by IDF but western 'moralists' support such Israeli heavy-handedness.

It's indeed possible to protect the interest of Israel and its innocent civilians without subjecting Palestinian civilians to immoral brutality. However, as history proves it, Palestinian civilians are the sacrificial lambs being used to assuage the 'western' historical guilt from the brutal treatment of Jews over many centuries.

The 'west' has told the Rest of the world that "we'll care for our own!" Why can't the Rest do the same?

While I see the moral rationale in the complaints, it's time for Africans, Asians and Middle Easterners to initiative methods that can protect their citizens from terrorist activities. Why expect something you don't expect?

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SELF-ESTEEM AND DISCRIMINATION

As someone who grew up in war conditions and lived as a refugee for a long time, I'm sometimes considered by many people in the 'west' to be prone to (or have) low self-esteem, be poor or illiterate. Living as refugees or displaced persons, who depended on the good will of others put people in a situation where they don't think much about themselves. But that's not everyone though.

As I stood by our front desk at my place work talking about Race and Identity in relation to my book, Is 'Black' Really Beautiful?, the issue of why many African peoples in North America become so over-sensitive when racial issues come up! For many rational people, this owes its origin to slavery and racial segregation.

But one of my coworkers, a person of European descent, was surprised to realize that her 'black' friend, a very intelligent woman, easily becomes irritated by simple things she [friend] considers racist. The friend considers any mention of a watermelon racist; and complains a lot about 'white privilege.' This means that discrimination is considered something 'whites' don't face because of 'white privilege.' In any discussion between 'blacks' and 'whites', 'white privilege' issue comes up!