The world has been programmed to prioritise white pain and victimisation. I’m not here for the hierarchising of whiteness that is racism and its accompanying peak xenophobia that follows these attacks and reifies global and state institutionalised racism. However, this argument isn’t an algebra of blood to say that Paris isn’t as bad as what Bokem Harem has done in Nigeria or what Israel does in Gaza or what state power does to Black citizens in the United States.
No, to steal a phrase from anti-black opponents, all lives REALLY do matter, an argument within itself that seeks to undermine and erase the specificity of the particular ethnic suffering of “Black” people yet when said argument is made regarding the tragic events in Paris it is met with hostility and seen to be undermining the specific and particular suffering of events that took place in Paris?
The convenience and hypocrisy by which such critiques are met- that HERE we are allowed to and supposed to focus on the specific and particular suffering of a particular group, where to make “All Lives Matter” type comparisons is seen as gross and inappropriate reveals the institutional anti-blackness/racism at work made no more evident by the overwhelming response to said events in Paris (a post and neo-colonial capital of imperialistic white power built on a on going legacy of the destruction and exploitation of black and brown bodies) by the immediate displays of solidarity and lack of skepticism, apathy and victim blaming that accompany the destruction of black and brown bodies.
This is made glaringly clear via social media and what we have seen with Jesuis Charlie, the SCOTUS passing of gay marriage and the current tragic events in Paris while the same now outspoken majority remain silent when it comes to the destruction of black and brown bodies whose lives are blatantly and obviously construed as less than whether those bodies be in the strip of Gaza, the universities of Kenya or the streets of Ferguson. They remain silent for the very same reasons why they those voices are so prominently raised when tragic events such as Paris take place and it is this collective value and currency placed on white bodies that in part, sits at the heart of the violence that has taken place in Paris.