This is probably going to be the mother of all my politically incorrect posts.
And I’ve had my share of those.
Warning: If you are white and tend to get defensive when you see the #BlackLivesMatter hashtag and/or immediately change it to #AllLivesMattter, then I recommend you stop reading right now…. or head over to @Smartassatheist to read what he has to say. Perhaps by doing this you’ll finally understand that the movement is not about blaming white people as a whole but instead about bringing down white supremacy and white privilege.
Are we cool? Awesome.
Let’s proceed, then.
I’m sure that by now, everybody and their grandmothers know about Cecil the Lion.
My first reaction was -as you all would expect – one of outrage and heartbreak.
It was a low, low act and the implications are many. Not only one majestic lion is dead but now as many as 40 something lions, Cecil’s offspring, are in danger of dying as well due to lions’ law. That’s how the lions’ society/hierarchy works and has nothing to do with humans. So yeah, that is just the way it is, some may say. Though shit, they may say. Not our problem. But at the end of the day, a human hand had a big saying in those deaths, if we don’t step in to avoid them.
If you ask me, it is now our responsibility to rehome all the cubs before they are slayed by the new alpha lion. And I know I am not alone in feeling this way.
So yeah, I am saddened, angry, outraged by the fact that we human beings can be so disgusting. Nothing new here, mind you but I am not hardened by the many instances and every new atrocity hits me just the same.
So far, there is nothing there is nothing controversial or politically incorrect here, you may say.
Well, hang tight and buckle your seat belt.
in less than 24 hours, news of the death (murder) of Cecil the Lion became viral.
This is a good thing!
- Why news of the deaths (murders) of countless other lions, leopards, tigers, rhinos, bears, gorillas, giraffes, cows, chickens, goats, pigs, cats in labs, etc never caused the same kind of world-wide outrage? Why is Cecil’s life more valuable than all the others? I know the answer, but I am not going to tell you.
- Why news of the deaths of countless non-white, non-first world human beings never caused the same kind of world-wide outrage? Case in point, why aren’t we as universally outraged over Sandra Bland’s death as we are over Cecil the lion?
About one, it is my opinion that the problem is two-fold.
On one hand, it is the hypocritical classification of farm animals and pet animals. People will tear their clothes and cry out to the heavens when they read about the dog trade in China while think nothing of eating cows and pigs and goats and sheep and chickens. “Dogs are NOT food” they say. I beg to differ. In my opinion, animals are not food, as simple as that and I have blogged about it before so I won’t mention anything else here other than this corollary:
That as much as we adore our beloved pets (which are NOT food as we already established), it is OK to torture them for the sake of finding new medications to cure whatever or for beauty products.
Because we fucking love our beauty products so if we have to torture a few monkeys, cats, dogs and bunnies for it, so be it. The loss of a few pets is an acceptable price to pay. We’ll just look the other way and pretend we know nothing about it. Except for monkeys. Since monkeys are not pets, it is ok to do whatever you want with them. You can even eat them for that matter. Only pets are not food. All the other animals are fair game.
As for the second hand, here’s when my son the philosopher comes handy:
Lions have been appropriated by Imperial culture for so long, they are seen as a “white” animal (in the socially constructed sense).
I think that we should have enough rage for both things, but I also think that it is possible to analyse this particularity in the case of the lion.
I think one of the reasons for the fact that universal solidarity has emerged is that the identity of the lion isn’t seen as potentially subversive. I think that the lion has been socially constructed as a “human” animal, and that black people have been dehumanized as “animal” humans.
Ultimately I also think that we should strive to find connections, and my intention wasn’t to dismiss anger, but to also include this reflection.
As the article linked above points out:
Sure, wildlife are photogenic and apolitical. Cecil the lion never made a video for #BlackLivesMatter and half of the people in the U.S. aren’t trying to convince themselves that somehow Cecil deserved his fate.
Oh, how it burns!
Personally, I am tired of the hypocrisy.
I am tired of white privilege even if I as a so-light-that-could-almost-pass-as-white brown person sometimes benefit from it. I’d rather not have privilege unless we all enjoy it.
I am tired of police brutality, and of white people defending said brutality on the grounds that cops put their lives on the line therefore we should cut them a lot of slack.
I am tired of black people being targeted.
I am tired of the first world not giving a rat’s ass about the terrible conditions people live in on the unprivileged parts of the world.
But I am also tired of the bullshit.
But I guess that most of all, I am tired of being tired because no matter how tired, enraged, angry, sad or whatever, nothing is going to change.
But at least now we have this:
Police brutality? Of course there’s an app for that!
The ONE app to get if you live in the States. Yes, I do realize it is a sad world where such an app is required.
So that’s that.
But because I don’t want to leave you with a bad taste in your mouth I’ll finish with this instead