Like many people these days, my mother is living with Alzheimer’s. But while the memory is no longer what it once was, there are things that still come to mind… are triggered by something she sees on TV, hears on the radio, or reads. Oh, yes, she still able to do that.
So, as a little girl growing up in Antigua, there’s someone who clearly left a mental imprint, and that memory is always triggered whenever she’s watching the TV news and the madness we’ve been witnessing for decades in a few global hot spots.
So as we were watching the news a few Fridays ago, and the mayhem happening in Paris, my mother invariably recalled a gentleman whom she said would always utter this phrase when the (I imagine the radio) news came on. She said the man would always say, “[…] God’s world is ‘obsturbed.’”
Yes, at age 92, and in spite of her condition, her memory bank has not completely quite shut. There’re people and things that still come to mind.
Actually, I never asked my mother what international event was happening at the time that man made that statement, but I assume it was the madness of World War 11; his statement was apropos.The world is messed up; some people would use more explicit, descriptive words, but we’re all on the same page: not the whole world, but “some parts” of the world are not looking good right now. And while some would agree to disagree, all the madness and mayhem we’ve been seeing via the news that’s unfolding in those specific places didn’t happen in a vacuum. Many people contend it’s a result of outside forces meddling and fomenting for centuries and generations, all of which is coming back to haunt the perpetrators.
As I heard in a conversation, the events in Paris in 2015, including that most heinous massacre on Friday, November 13, is another example of “chickens—generational colonial chickens—coming home to roost.”
Ten years to the month, there was another crisis in Paris, which resulted in a state of emergency being declared.
Back then many people blamed the three weeks of rioting in the banlieues on what, according to an Internet article, “experts […] warned that the conditions are ripe for more rioting…”
And “the situation has worsened,” according to one of those experts.
Remember what set off the unrest? Three teenagers attempting to avoid interrogation by the police ran down a dead-end alley leading to an electricity substation, two of them were electrocuted in the “downtrodden suburb, where the largely immigrant population struggled to find work. The unemployment rate within the suburb was running at 20 per cent…40 per cent among the youth population.”
The Internet article continues, “[…] commenting on the anniversary, an MP in south Paris said: “In 10 years, things have changed, in that the situation has worsened. It’s more difficult now than in the past.”
“In recent years there’s been a decline that has set that is approaching on the irreparable, because ten years on these suburbs are no longer producing rioters, they are producing terrorists…”
A prophetic sentiment; Friday, November 13 was a shattering manifestation of that.
A woman, who had a two-week vacation in Paris this past September, recently spoke about the conditions (unemployment) described earlier. She said walking in a particular area she was “struck by the number of males—young, middle-aged, and older—who were just loafing… looking hopeless…”
The Internet article underscores that woman’s observations: “Social divisions in today’s French society run along ethnic and religious lines, and they also signify deep cultural rifts. The ideal of the French republic – the nation as a community of the willing, of citizens who enjoy equal rights, regardless of their ethnic origins or religious beliefs – is giving way to a volatile co-existence among communities that want to retain their identities and live according to their own rules…”
“Aside from the racial tensions (an African woman spoke to BBC news of the racism in Paris), the problems of poverty and disillusionment still remain. They still haven’t fixed the problem of schooling, of access to health, culture and public services as well as to training and jobs,” said one Mohemmed Mechmache, who founded the charity ACLEFEU (Collective association for Liberty, Equality, Fraternity, Together United) in the aftermath of the 2005 riots. “All of these problems remain.”
In the wake of the Friday, November 13 bloodshed in Paris, France’s colonial chickens (first, second, third generation…) are uneasy; they’re victims of ongoing retaliatory verbal and physical attacks, according to some.
As In 2005, marginalization and unresolved issues: social and economic exclusion, racial discrimination, and most importantly the capacity of the French Republic to respond to these challenges while maintaining its distinctive model of and formal commitment to the social integration of individuals, no matter what their color or creed” and what many perceive to be [governments’] inaction since the 2005 riots continue to nourish discontentment, ten years on.
And now France has declared war… on the apparent perpetrators of that horrific attack. And when all the killing and retaliation… is over, who will be the winner of this war, not a world war, a war of ideology and attrition?
Meanwhile, back in Canada, new Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has embraced the Lester B. Pearson model of doing business: not yield to the pressure of the war hawks by becoming involved in the world’s regional conflicts.
So what if he goes along with the old “make love not war” hippy philosophy? In my view these ongoing conflicts are not impacting the world; most of the world’s peoples are too preoccupied with their day-to-day affairs to worry about ISIS and that than whose dropping bombs on who.
“Be a strong leader…take a more aggressive stance like other world leaders…instead of taking ‘selfies’…” a certain radio voice admonished the prime minister when he decided that Canada’s six bombers will stop dropping their loads and instead fly home.
Locally, that young man who is “a bit racist” (don’t know how one can define, let alone quantify racism) who went on the Internet sporting his Joker mask (and others of his ilk) and let fly his anti-Muslim diatribe by threatening to “kill an Arab a week…” is lucky his forefathers didn’t receive the treatment he threatened when they stepped on the shores of Turtle Island.
Unfortunately, and “little bit racist” that he is, he’s a bold young man expressing the sentiments of millions of Canadians who would rather Canada slam the gate shut to those 25,000 refugees, in keeping with the Liberal Party’s election promise. Canada has plenty room.
Those refugees are lucky they’re not Black; that welcome mat would not have been rolled out that long.
Actually, going back to that man my mother still references, it’s really not the whole world that’s “obsturbed,” just a few regions of geopolitical interest to the world’s handful of military powers of the “civilized world” that, as stated a while ago, are… have been doing bang-up, explosive business these years…
Peoples of the uncivilized world know that. Maybe not; they’re too far-removed from all the killing madness.