For more than Paris

I am so sorry for what happened in Paris. It’s very sad to think of all the innocent lives lost. My heart is truly broken.

But I’m not changing my profile picture.

I’m amazed by how many people have and also a little disturbed.

Solidarity is beautiful. And it’s comforting to see how many people have been touched by Paris.

But why this insane response to Paris?!

The war in Syria has been going on for quite some time now. I can’t say I’ve see as many people on my news feed as touched by it. There have been terrorists attacks and natural disasters all over the world. But still, they don’t get profile pictures in their honour.

I’ve read a few posts and articles that are also commenting on this. Most are just saying that because there was such a big response, Facebook followed. Other people have said that so many people were touched because Paris is such a tourist attraction.

Really?! Tourism!

I must admit, I spent 36 hours in the city and I loved it. It definitely was magical and I look forward to returning.

But I’m still not changing my profile picture.

When the Charlie Hebdo situation happened, I was working at a violence-prevention organization. When management said we needed to make a statement, I was perturbed. Black youth were being killed by police, civil wars were happening in so many countries, and we’d never made a statement. When like-minded people voiced this, the response was that Charlie Hebdo was bigger.

Bigger. More important.

Parisian lives are more important. More important than Syrians, Kenyans, Lebanese, Japanese, Mexicans and blacks.

Paris’ safety is more important. It’s a first-world country and should be treated as such.

That’s all I hear — that things only matter when it attacks the middle-class white community and their belief system.

My prayer is for the world. May the hopeless find hope, the mourning find comfort, and the wicked find justice. I pray that our world will stop being divided by religion, race, gender, sexual orientation, or socio-economic status. I pray for equality, unity, and peace.

Every life matters.


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