Sunday, November 15, 2015

Beirut Bombing

There is a quote by Karuna Ezara Parikh - famous Indian movie and bikini star - going around on on FB on a b&w poster. The sense of it is "Okay, Paris, bad thing, but you all ignored bombings in Beirut and Baghdad because those those people aren't white. And calling all those Arab people coming into your country over the border "terrorists" instead of "refugees" is worse.  And those people are poor and you don't welcome them. So you suck. Pray for Paris if you want to."

It would have been simple, and fair to say "There were bombings in Beirut and Baghdad. Those people also deserve your prayers."  I suspect most people passing the sentiment along mostly mean that, without any specific intention of accusing their political competition in their own countries.  They are accusing themselves a bit as well, saying "We could do better still.  Let us expand our love more." There are folks I know personally who shared this along, and they are nice people, soft-hearted, simply wishing the world were better.  They don't necessarily read that closely or think things through. If someone is suffering, they reflexively want everyone to stop and help.  They might theoretically understand that some kindnesses kill, because mercy to one often involves injustice to another, but they just can't get past the emotional response. It is this phenomenon from whence comes the old phrase "knee-jerk liberal."

I have others, however, who never miss an opportunity to turn any tragedy into a chance to show off their own superior morality compared to their evil political opponents. When I see that happen a dozen times or more, I stop giving the benefit of the doubt. Such things are evil. When one reads enough Chesterton, Tolkien, and especially Lewis, the idea that good appearances might mask deeper and deeper evils becomes second nature.

For the record: The people in Lebanon and Iraq might be startled to learn that they're not white. This is the sort of projection from the left I most hate, even when the conservatives are acting embarrassing and loony. They are sure whiteness must be the reason Americans don't care.  Except of course, when a Russian airliner went down, those people were pretty white and we didn't pay much attention to that either.  The fact that France had much more involvement in our country's settlement, founding, development, and culture is apparently not the reason.  It's just racism. Which tells me That's what it would mean if it were you.  You pretty much just gave that away. As an additional irony, it is France, not Iraq, that liberals point to as in our peer group among nations whenever they are discussing health care, gun control or funding colleges.

As to refugees, I don't know of anyone who calls the whole group "terrorists." I think that will turn out to be a lie.  Invaders or economic migrants , which are certainly negative terms, are pretty frequent. "Carrying their few possessions on their backs" is supposed to elicit sympathy, but hey, you could say the same about the Mongol Hordes. These are people who paid smugglers to get themselves across Turkey.  The Lithuanians offered to resettle 2,000 of them, but they couldn't find takers in the resettlement camps in Italy and Greece.  Are there real, deserving refugees, persecuted people who are risking all because home is so dangerous?  Absolutely.  I'm figuring about 15% of the migrants fit that description, and another 15% fit it sorta close enough that we should overlook the bad parts of their story.


Christopher B said...

Somebody on my FB shared the inevitable moral equivalence posting. In this case it was wondering why nobody thinks the KKK represents Christians while thinking ISIS (or Islamist terrorist in general) represents Muslims.

Hmmmm ...

My FB feed blows up pretty regularly with people who seem to think the KKK or similar folks ARE the representative face of Christianity. That it's typically other Christians making the charge is mildly ironic but doesn't invalidate the point.

And it could be that Christians, from our leadership to pastors to folks in the pews, publicly and with some regularity denounce the kind of ignorance and bigotry that the KKK represent. And we back those denunciations up with support for our coreligionists of many races and nationalities, and not infrequently with support given to anyone willing to take it, regardless of race or religion.

So ya, sorry, I'm not seeing a lot of equivalence there.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

And the KKK has been killing so many people lately.

I give some Muslim groups full credit for doing everything they can to condemn and prevent the violence. That is absolutely real and deserves credit. They can get elected to my school board or state legislature anytime.

But there is way too much of "We condemn the bombings, but..." from others. I give no credit for that.

Earl Wajenberg said...

I am curious: Where do you get the 15% figures from? And how would you characterize the 70% that don't fall into the two 15% segments?

Assistant Village Idiot said...

UN figures 75% men, 13% women, 12% children. I figured the 12 and 13 had considerable but not entire overlap. So 15% families. The other 15% was just a guess.