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“We are all Belgium,” But Who Wants to be Human?

Ilka Oliva Corado

Thursday 7 April 2016, posted by Ilka Oliva Corado

All the versions of this article: [English] [Español]

Every time we learn about a terrorist attack in developed countries -according to the system- we feel this tragedy as ours, and it is not because of our human nature since it is clear that we are devoid of it. We react according to our double standards, racism and classism. The disavowal of what we are as a society.

Mass reactions are alarming because of the false outrage. How many of us were Je Suis Charlie when 12 cartoonists were murdered in France? We were outraged and demanded that freedom of expression be respected. Do you remember? However in Mexico more than 103 journalists have been killed since 2000, and how many of us have taken a stand in that regard? Could be that for us freedom of expression in Mexico worth the same as in France?

How many of us said we are all French when the attack happened in the Bataclan concert hall? How many of us said we are all Tunisia when terrorists entered the National Museum of Bardo and killed 23 people?

How many of us have said we are all USA whenever massacres are carried out in schools and universities? Well, how many of us said we are all Kenya when terrorists killed 148 students at the University of Garissa? How many us said we are all Kenya when terrorists killed 67 people in a shopping mall in Nairobi? How many of us identified with the victims of guarimbas in Venezuela? The clandestine graves in Colombia?

Remember the Ebola epidemic?, how many of us regretted the deaths of those falling in the streets of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone? How many of us denounced the inhumanity of the developed countries that refused to provide medical care? How many of us were outraged by the kidnapping of 219 girls in Nigeria? Do we have any notion of what these creatures are undergoing at the hands of Boko Haram terrorists? What are we made of that we feel outraged about some and not others? Perhaps it has to do with countries, social class, skin color, degree of education, ideology? What is our conscience about? Do we have consciousness?

How many of us are all the 43 of Ayotzinapa, the enforced disappearances, the thousands femicides and the latent genocide in Mexico? How many of us are the Central America Northern Triangle and the dozens of daily killings? How many of us are all the femicides and rape thousands of women suffer daily around the world? How many of us are all the victims of organ trafficking and sexual exploitation? There has to be a bomb attack and a specific country, for us to react? It’s so how our consciousness work, by means of maps?

How many of us just a few days ago said in chorus “we are all Belgium”? How many of us felt outraged by the terrorist attack in a stadium in Iraq where 26 people died? How many of us felt outraged by the attack in Pakistan where more than 70 people died? How many of us have been hurt in the soul by the invasion and the countless massacres that the United States executed in Somalia, Libya, Iraq and Syria with the consent of the European Union? And what we say of Israel in Palestine? The Saudi Arabia invasion in Yemen? These deaths do not count? Ah! But the Wailing Wall is visited by people from all over the world and they cry and pray in it, calling for world peace. What’s our conscience made of?

Belgian government authorities announced that they would attack Syria to “fight” the Islamic State. What else do they want to do with Syria? Is it not funny that the attacks happen a few weeks after the ceasefire accord in Syria? What did John Kerry have to do -i.e., the United States- in this decision of the Belgian government? Which capitalist governments created the Islamic State? In the same way they created imaginary enemies in many countries around the world to invade them and steal their life.

What is the responsibility of the European Union-in the smuggling of blood diamonds-, in genocides and terrorist attacks in Africa and in Europe itself? What does the foreign policy of the United States has to do with all this? What responsibility does the European Union and the United States bear for the deluge of refugees drowning in the seas seeking to save their lives? For the thousands coming out of Syria? For the thousands Africans seeking support in Spain? Who is outraged for the thousands of Central American immigrants who die in Mexico and the US border? Dying for the same reason, trying to save their lives, seeking sustenance. What does the United States has to do with these forced migrations?

Why the word refugee does not infuriate us the way terrorism does? Why the US blockade to Cuba doesn’t make us angry? Why the atrocities and genocide taking place in Palestine and Syria does not infuriate us?

Without going further afield, what is happening in our countries, neighborhoods, communities, and towns that is making us incapable to wake up in indignation against the system of neoliberal policies that makes us a bunch of puppets? Because we think what the system wants us to think. Because we react as mandated by polarization. Because we are unable to think for ourselves, to feel in the deepest of our soul all injustice as ours. With regard to terrorism as a tool put to work in favor of governments with capitalist policies there are many things that can be said. Let’s not stay silent, in the face of injustice we cannot be neutral.

“We are all Belgium,” but, who wants to be human?


Translated by Marvin Najarro

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