Je Suis Charlie, Je Suis Nigerian?.
“Mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun.’ Noel Coward
I’m a quote person. That is the quote that went through my head as I watched the violence in Paris. My nightmares usually take place in empty subway stations in the evening, dark New York alleys and garages at night – not public places in broad daylight.
I am shocked at the terrorist attack on the satiric newspaper office “Charlie Hebdo” when gunmen ruthlessly shot journalists and two policemen. This was followed by another horrific attack in a Kosher market killing four people. There were fifteen hostages and thirty people who hid in a cold freezer for hours.
I am at a loss to describe the odd feeling of grief I have for the deaths of people I do not know.
I love reading and writing. I think it is important to share a story and for people to read these stories. I don’t know enough about Charlie Hebdo to say if I agree with everything they do. I do know that humor can help you learn about the world in a more appealing way than watching the news every night.
I buy my food in a neighborhood market and go several times a week.
There is a lot of criticism that we care more about what happened in Paris, then the massacre in Nigeria and other third world countries. It isn’t that we care more, it is that we can relate to it more. France is a first world democracy like us. Africa is a place where a lot of bad things happen. Unfortunately when bad things happen all the time, it gets reported in the news less.
Last week Boko Haram killed more than 2,000 people in the town of Baga and neighboring villages, burning entire communities to the ground. I am horrified about what happened in Nigeria –also by Muslim extremists; but a French cartoonist or shopper in a market in Paris, is probably more like me than an African villager. The African villager cares more about his daily problems than mine – as do the French.
It doesn’t make it right or even make sense but that is how we as humans think. It is why the world is in the mess that it is in –several billion of us thinking about ourselves and our tribes. Maybe it should be “Je suis human.”