Daily prompt: Change my mind, go on!

Daily Prompt
Agree to Disagree
Do you have a good friend or close relative with whom you disagree on a major issue (political, personal, cultural)? What’s the issue, and how do you make the relationship work?

‘HUNDREDS of bodies — too many to count — remain strewn in the bush in Nigeria from an Islamic extremist attack that Amnesty International suggested Friday is the “deadliest massacre” in the history of Boko Haram.’

This report has appeared on news outlets around the world, but it seems our month’s supply of outrage has been exhausted by events in Paris. What hypocrites we are, that we pick and choose which human atrocities deserve our attention, let alone our ‘knights on white chargers’ response!

If this were happening in a country with direct ties to Western government purse strings, we would have discovered years ago that humanitarian decency demanded we stop Boko Haram dead in its tracks. But what do the 10,000 Nigerians killed last year alone matter to us? If they were white Anglo-Saxon Christians… Or if their razed villages were sitting on oil deposits… Now that would be something! And all those homeless orphans? Brangelina et al can give them so much more than their own parents!

What? I’m a bitter, twisted, dried-up, cynical old bitch? Well yes, maybe I am. But you’re going to have to work hard to change my opinion on this one.

But do feel free to have a go.


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16 Responses to Daily prompt: Change my mind, go on!

  1. It’s true. As a nation, we do what we hypothesize is in our best interests. Even if it isn’t, really. We follow the money because we LIKE money. Or historical ties which let us stay in our comfort zone. We are more comfortable in Europe than Africa. Because problems in France don’t require our intervention. We don’t have to send troops, goods, or money. We just have to be sympathetic and that much, we can do.

    • Martha Kennedy says:

      Exactly, Marilyn. Nigeria is over our heads.

    • I could possibly even cope with that – humans are human – if we didn’t try to hide it under a cloak of glorious, righteous nobility. ISIL is a terrorist organisation. Boko Haram is an ‘Islamist extremist group’ and thus exempt from ‘The War on Terror’ – and I wonder how long it took the spin doctors to think up that sanctimonious piece of misdirection.

  2. Martha Kennedy says:

    I think what happened in Nigeria is beyond our comprehension. The (dumb) “Je Suis Charlie” stuff is not.

    • Because of the numbers? 17 is so much more comprehensible than 2000. Or because we’re essentially ignorant rednecks too lazy to take an interest in the world beyond our own backyards?

      • Martha Kennedy says:

        I think the numbers and I think the whole event is incomprehensible to us (it should be, if you think about it). However, in my personal world, Charlie Hebdo is irrelevant. But I’ve taught people who ran away from similar massacres in Somalia, Nigeria, Ethiopia, the Sudan. One thing I’ve learned here on WP is that I’ve been very fortunate in my life not only travel a bit, but to have the world pass through my classrooms. My personal view is that Charlie Hebdo is a bunch of self-indulgent wankers that ought to put whatever journalistic talent they have to awakening the world to situations like that in Nigeria. But that’s me. I don’t think people are lazy, just underexposed and, probably, not all that bright.

      • Martha Kennedy says:

        And it’s completely horrible that I can write “similar massacres” knowing the phrase will make sense. It shouldn’t make sense. It shouldn’t even be possible for me to write it.

      • To me, Charlie Hebdo is a bit like the death penalty for drug smuggling in Bali: I may not agree with it, but if you flout the rules knowing the consequences, you can’t cry ‘foul’ when they happen.
        I agree with you that events like Nigeria’s should be incomprehensible, but they happen, and it’s time we faced up to it.
        I know this will sound completely insulting and racist so I’ll apologise for it in advance and hope you’ll still speak to me, but… The ‘average’ American is ignorant, insular and parochial to a degree the rest of the world has to laugh about, or we might cry. I know overseas travel is expensive, your holidays are shorter than ours, America is huge and has a bit of everything… All of that. But underexposure is no excuse for ignorance in a country that has every conceivable resource for exposing its citizens to the world it ostensibly rules.
        On the other hand, America is also home to some of the world’s best thinkers and most brilliant innovators. Why the gap?

  3. m0j01 says:

    I don’t even know what the sides are in nigeria. With terrorists it’s easy. There is peaceful protest, and then there is undirected calamity.

    Sometimes I don’t even believe it. I don’t want to believe it. It seems like there is a mistake somewhere along the line. Someone was not thinking clearly.

  4. bkpyett says:

    Oil has a lot to answer for. People, just look at how we are treating our refugees. It is hard not to be cynical.

  5. Fran Macilvey says:

    Yes, it takes me aback every time, it surprises me afresh to notice how profoundly racist government policies are, in many fields. In so many ways, we forfeit the richness of other people, when we categorise them as ‘unimportant’ or ‘not like us’.

    Bless you! xxx 🙂

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