Since the tragedy in France my timeline has been consumed with mostly people bickering back and forth about how to express their feelings regarding said tragedy.
There are essentially two camps. The #prayforparis camp and the #prayforeveryoneelse camp.
The internal debate centers mostly around profile pictures being set to honor the French flag and both sides make salient points.
The #prayforeveryoneelse faction makes the very valid point that almost every other day scores are killed in terrorist attacks. The only difference is the methods and the victims (and suspects). An F-16 dropping bombs or a drone attack is still terror. So why are we not praying for all victims of terror. The #prayforparis faction makes the equally valid point that when people say #blacklivesmatter it’s disrespectful to the movement to say things like #alllivesmatter so with all things being constant it’s less than respectful to the victims of this grave tragedy to be dismissive of them in this moment of collective grief.
Here’s my take: before people were praying for Paris, Paris has been preying on the homeland of the very people that carried out that dastardly attack. I’m not saying this to say that this is chickens coming home to roost I’m saying it because it’s simply cause and effect. Violence begets violence. When we think of Paris we think of the Eiffel Towers, fashion models, exotic foods, and a sexy language. We don’t think of war mongering, xenophobia, racism, colonialism and imperial endeavors. Friday’s attacks did not happen in a vacuum. They’re part and parcel to the untoward acts of the French government. Much of which have been done in concert with NATO, the United States and other western imperialists.
France played a larger than normal role in the ouster of Mummar Gaddifi sending Libya descending into anarchy and chaos while greatly exacerbating the refugee crisis that eventually found its way to their boarder leaving them with little choice but to take many of them in. After all it was the French president that insisted that NATO and the US intervene in the Libyan civil war so as to take advantage of all of the crude oil beneath the war torn soil.
I say all of this not to say to cease praying for France. They do need prayer. I’m also not saying that you have to pray for Kenya, Palestine and other places in the third world where terror takes no vacations if you’re going to pray for France (though that would be nice). I’m saying all of this because my prayers are for us all to better understand global conflict and geo-politics so that we cease supporting wrong causes that end up bringing us to our collective knees in sorrow due to their almost immediate effects. I’m also praying for the refugees and other peace seeking Muslims within France’s boarders that will no doubt feel the sting of misguided angst and retribution from many of the French citizens that so many here are keeping in their own prayers. Never been to France but I did pay attention in world history and to world history and it don’t take a history major to know that France as a nation has committed some dastardly deeds. They’ve also grown more and more intolerant towards Africans, Muslims and other non-Europeans as of late.
After 9/11 the American flag was everywhere you turned your head and the US Government used that faux sense of patriotism to unleash endless bloodshed in the Middle East. We are witnessing a replay of it and many are unwittingly supporting it. I don’t begrudge those that are changing their profiles to be in solidarity with the victims of the massacre in Paris because for the most part their hearts are in the right place. I just wish that they would put some depth of thought into what they’re really supporting and what’s going to be the eventual outcome. In lieu of Fridays attacks France has massively increased their bombing campaign. So while we are praying for roughly 500 or so victims of last weeks attack understand that there will be 10-20 times the amount of victims once France, the United States and the rest of the NATO is done “retaliating” so I hope all of my prayerful brothers and sisters state side have strong knees because if the outpouring of prayer on the heels of the Paris attacks are sincere and devoid of media programming (social and mainstream) than they will be on their knees for the next few weeks (at least).
Side note: The meme wars that ensued in light of all profile pictures laminated with the colors of the French flag are hilarious and kind of telling.