By now, people of myriad ideological persuasions have weighed in on the latest tragic attack to rock France. Liberals exhort us to not give in to hatred and embrace Islamophobic rhetoric, lest we play into ISIS’s hands. Just about everyone in the alt right – as well as mainstream conservative pundits and politicians – has criticized Islam, Muslim immigration, or even multiculturalism itself. Certain individuals have been less than thoughtful, with one Israeli rabbi asserting that this tragedy was payback for European anti-Semitism. Just thought white American conservatives who slavishly worship Israel should know just whom they’re subsidizing.
I think there’s merit in both liberal and conservative responses. Longtime readers of this blog know that I don’t hold Islamophobia in high esteem and that I regard it as a distraction at best. I also have a dim view of American imperialism, and like the late and great Sam Francis, assign a large amount of blame to the West’s broken foreign policy. Such foreign policy failures are only compounded by Muslim immigration to the West. Needless to say, this whole Invade the World/Invite the World policy needs to be immediately jettisoned.
However, Western countries hardly have a monopoly on deadly terrorist attacks. Around the same time as the Paris attack, Beirut, Lebanon, was the site of deadly suicide bombings – also claimed by ISIS. Unlike the Paris tragedy, most of the world doesn’t give two shits about Lebanon; understandably, the Lebanese are rankled by this. They feel like Arab lives don’t count as much as white Western lives.
Obviously, any terrorist attack is a deplorable tragedy. Nevertheless, I can’t help but laugh whenever I hear an Arab or leftist denounce Westerners as hypocrites for not caring as much about non-Western deaths. It’s as if they’re shocked or appalled that people naturally relate more to those like themselves.
Needless to say, whites are hardly the only people who are selectively outraged or saddened by human tragedy. Take Uighurs, for instance. While most of the world could care less about China’s repression of this Turkic minority, their cousins in Turkey have expressed great anger – even going so far as to label China’s actions “genocidal.” For that matter, as much as #BLM activists are aggrieved over various trespasses – whether it’s police killings of blacks or even offensive Halloween attire – I highly doubt that the black agitators who accosted students in Dartmouth’s library lose any sleep over the suicide epidemic among middle-aged whites. And going back to our rabbi friend, many (if not most) Jews aren’t as concerned about troubles of goyim as they are about the well-being of the tribe.
For that matter, as China and India continue to rise, the people of those nations will likely care more about the lives of their fellow Han and Hindus than humanity as a whole. And frankly, I wouldn’t expect anything different.
To once again quote Dale Carnegie, a person’s “toothache means more to that person than a famine in China which kills a million people.” Applied to groups, I would say that a “microaggression” upsets a people more than the deaths of thousands of out-group members. In our Hobbesian world, individuals and groups (exceptions notwithstanding) are innately self-interested and unconcerned about the plight of people they can’t relate to.
Deal with it.