Stop Praying for Paris and Ask More Questions

Rather, we should be praying for the families in Paris who innocently got straddled into political drama that had nothing to do with them.

Everyone has their own opinion about this. I am very much aware of that. But I live with this motto: if you throw the boomerang, be prepared for it to come back. So today I’ve decided to throw the boomerang, ready for whatever anyone has to say whether they disagree with me or not. We shouldn’t be praying for Paris because of the recent bombings [1]. Rather, we should be praying for the families in Paris who innocently got straddled into political drama that had nothing to do with them. And isn’t that how it normally happens? Someone with power gets upset at another person in power and then one of them is bold enough to fly a plane into a building for revenge, hoping to shatter the economy of their enemy? Or maybe there is no enemy but a motive, instead, to enter another area by way of force and to instigate an emotional experience for worldwide support. We don’t like to think of these situations because then we’re called upon to be conspiracist. But if people steal and kill for $10, why wouldn’t someone do the same for billions?

The amount of coverage this attack is receiving – while instigating another war – is shocking and mind blowing. I can’t remember the last time Africa got that much attention. Oh wait, I do remember: Ebola. The Ebola "epidemic" was portrayed so vastly throughout all media outlets, one would have thought we were suddenly experiencing a zombie war. The level of reporting on Paris negates the struggle, poverty and invasions that the underdeveloped countries endure 365 days per year.

Why can’t all tragedies get an equal amount of reporting? Why can’t all bombings incite an international investigation?

What makes this specific attack so different from the bombing on the Doctors Without Borders hospital in Afghanistan that killed 19, including three children? One of the biggest differences is that the bomb that fell in Afghanistan was, actually, an air strike carried out by the United States Army. According to The Huffington Post, The U.S. military said it conducted an air strike "in the vicinity" of the hospital, as it targeted Taliban insurgents who were directly firing on U.S. military personnel. The U.S. government promised a full investigation into the incident but more than a month later, this story has been buried underneath a rug and forgotten.

What happened to the 147 people who were killed in Kenya at Garissa University in April? What happened to our girls in Nigeria? Who planted the bomb in the Nigerian city of Yola that killed 31 people days after the Paris attack? Why is South Asia running out of medicine for their sick? What is really good with Puerto Rico’s debt? What happened to Sandra Bland? Why the hell is Haiti’s presidential debates organized in the U.S.? Why the fuck is Donald Trump running for president? And, why – now that I think about it – do underdeveloped countries even exist?

Since the 17th century, the French has colonized a total of 27 countries – two in the Caribbean, 16 in Sub-Saharan Africa, six in Southwest Asia and North Africa and three in Southeast Asia. The motive for colonization is simple: to obtain resources and gain money.

Often times people don’t understand nor care to grasp what it truly means to colonize a people. Nowadays it is done very discreetly so it is understandable if many people feel as if it no longer happens. Allow me to share with you a more relatable example. My big sister has a higher paying job so she is able to afford a better car, more food and cute materialistic things. Whenever I go to her house, I check out her jewelry box just in case she’s purchased any new earrings. I take what I like. I visit her fridge and stuff my face with as much food as I can. I even, secretly, put some in my purse for later. If I have to go anywhere, I take her car keys because she has air conditioner, great surround sound, a tank full of gas and an updated ride.

It never fails – the moment she realizes something is missing, she calls to yell at me. I take the yelling and when I visit her again, I do the same thing. In my mind, she can afford it. Look how much she already has! Look how much money she makes! Surely, she can afford me taking this bottle of shampoo every once in a while. Right? Well, here’s the problem with what I’ve been doing to my beloved big sister. I always leave her home with the intention of taking for myself while, unconsciously, leaving her without.

I didn’t realize that I was colonizing my sister’s home by trying to take control of it and the things she had. I didn’t realize that everything I took, forced her to spend more money. Every gas tank I depleted, forced her to refill. Every piece of bread I ate took away from the mouths of my niece and nephew. Don’t get me wrong: my sister fought back. She explained to me that I just ate my niece’s lunch for school the next day and now she had to go buy more. She explained to me that she had purchased those earrings for a very important meeting coming up and now she needed to go find another pair. She explained to me that her new bottle of lotion was for her eczema and now, because it’s very specific for skin problems, the store was sold out so I better bring it back. Through all her explaining, her yelling, her telling me how annoying I am – I still took and took. Keep in mind, I’ve never replaced any of her things.

Now change the roles and replace my sister’s house to Haiti (or any of the other 27 countries) and me to France. Magnify the example I’ve just provided because in real life, the colonized people aren’t relatives with the invaders and they aren’t making phone calls to yell. They are being killed, raped and enslaved to ensure the taking remains consistent.

Underdeveloped countries aren’t underdeveloped at all, you see. Their richness is precisely the reason why they’re in such a demand. They’ve just been stolen from for so long that they’re not given the option to make use of their own resources.

We are hearing all over the news outlets that ISIS has claimed responsibility and are now threatening to bomb Washington, D.C. and New York. Has anyone ever wondered why – all of a sudden – there is this obsession with ISIS? Why is every bad thing blamed on them? How are they funded and where do they get their weapons from? Most importantly, how are they always two, three steps ahead of the world’s intelligence agencies? Maybe it has nothing to do with ISIS...

Syria has $2.675 billion worth of exports in natural resources like petroleum, phosphates, chrome and manganese ores, asphalt, iron ore, rock salt, marble, gypsum, hydropower, crude oil, minerals and the list goes on.

Throughout all of this, I can't help but be reminded of George Orwell's novel, 1984. Published in 1949, Orwell wrote it looking to the future. The world he created is very similar to what we're experiencing now. Big Brother, their government, created a motto that says, "War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength." They control their people through repetition of these ideals, proving that if humans see/hear something enough, it will become normal. It doesn't matter the time of day you turn on the television or decide to surf the web -- you will find articles and videos about who we are at war with and why we must fight back. Don't you notice how the someone and someplace is always changing? I had a debate with my uncle a couple weeks ago and he said President Obama has made us look weak to the rest of the world. Have we been conditioned to accept war, to think we need it (like the characters in Orwell's book)? I truly wish Orwell was alive today to have this discussion. But even his perspective may be tainted because, after all, he was a white man from the U.K.

We will never know the real extent of corruption that is currently brewing under world government organizations. We also will never know if the people in Syria that are now being bombed are the real threats. Our world “leaders” are people who have become very good at telling us what they think we want/need to hear. We do know, however, that France (and many  others) have been involved in a lot of political drama and warfare throughout the years. We do know that the only reason France (and many others) is such a beautiful country on the surface is because of the countries they’ve stolen from. 

What happened last week Friday was horrendous because it proves that colonies aren’t the only ones who suffer but, also, those innocently residing on the land of the colonizer.

It is nice to witness the overwhelming support, love and prayers that Paris is receiving. Sending good energy to a people is never a bad thing. It only becomes a bad thing when the good energy is selective.

Let us utilize this opportunity to start asking more questions, to start demanding concrete answers and stabilize forward movements toward living in a better world. Be gone, Big Brother, be gone! 

Homework

If you dare, please state your answer(s) in the comment section below.

1. Justify war.

Key Words

epidemic - a rapid spread or increase in the occurrence of something

colonize - (of a country or its citizens) send a group of settlers to (a place) and establish political control over it

resources - a stock or supply of money, materials, staff, and other assets that can be drawn on by a person or organization in order to function effectively

selective - affecting some things and not others; relating to or involving the selection of the most suitable or best qualified

[1] I won’t call them terrorists attacks because I have come to realize that he say she say aren’t reliable sources and it is the media who is predominately spreading gossip.