- Wed Jun 10, 2020 12:07 am
Tin-foil hat time.
It is worth a discussion. It centres upon film, photographic, and documentary evidence Not to mention the witness testimonies which are now, sadly, breathing their last.
The Holocaust is accessible and therefore more understandable.
Anyone able to pinpoint Togo on a map? We are all experts, (this week, at least) on the genocidal criminality of King Leopold but, truth be told, I only have a few years' head start on most other people. And this is only by virtue of being with a Flemish partner for slightly longer than was strictly advisable. She was appalled by my support for the Belgian football team, given the country's shoulder-shruggery regarding their former monarch's vile behaviour. Photos are beginning to emerge but there still seems to be little traction. I dunno. It's "Only Belgium", possibly.
Rwanda? It's what those savages do. Yugoslavia? They don't even have that excuse. There is plenty of media record which documents both of these. Perhaps, the light will be shone on these crimes. One might like to think so, given the zeitgeist, but the temptation to let bygones be bygones, through Truth and Reconciliation commissions remains an open sore.
Back to Auschwitz for a moment. Even though I am a bit of a Jew (different trajectory), no single event in my life has ever had such a profound impact upon me as a visit to this unconscionable crime scene. I didn't sleep properly for a good six months, my mental resilience has never recovered, and, as I write, I can recall my legs buckling at the entrance to the one remaining gas chamber.
I have not been to Srebrenica. I have not been to Kigali. I have not been to Charlottesville. But, I can only begin to imagine the waves of horror because I bear witness to the personal heartbreak of Auschwitz, Ravensbrück, and Flossenbürg. This isn't about skin colour but it does perhaps resonate more because of the PLU factor. We can empathise with butchers, bakers, and web developers.
To George Floyd for a moment. Was he a butcher, baker, or web developer? Who knows and the fact that no one is even asking is at the root of our problem. Being black, just like being Jewish, Muslim or Hutu, is what killed him. The link that he shares with the Holocaust is the documentary evidence and, moreover, that the perpetrators caught on film saw nothing wrong in their actions.
Not easy, is it?
(I appreciate that I am riffing with these thoughts and using you all as a sounding board. I will be delighted to be be schooled.)
Jack believed in the inherent goodness of humanity, and felt a deep social responsibility to protect that. Through us all, Jack marches on.