Rest in Peace Mr Wiesel
The other day I was asked why I mostly speak out or write for the marginalised i.e. muslims, jews, blacks, the poor, refugees and so on. At first, I thought the question was pathetic but then I took it more seriously. I speak out and write about and on behalf of them for the same reason people speak out and write against them or in opposition to them: To give them a voice! But my voice is willingly sympathetic and in the pursuit of harmony through dialogue not hatred through division.
They deserve one such voice don't you think? Elie Wiesel thought so. To be honest I didn't know much about him before I heard about his passing on the 2nd of July 2016, on social media. Judging from the quote imaged above he was a learned and excellent individual. I have been reading up on him ever since, grateful to find another person whose heart was not selective when people 'on the ground' were concerned.
And that's the point of all this really...people on the ground. What does this mean? It means that we are members of a community that live and breathe together in the same spaces as neighbours, consumers, shoppers, moviegoers, sports fanatics, friends, family, brothers and sisters and so on. The thing is, we don't all share the same religion, skin colour, gender, beliefs but somehow we live in harmony. Maybe we look a bit strange to each other at times, or say something odd to each other but this doesn't disturb the overall peace.
Now we come to mass media. Those who supply information via mass media have a heavy responsibility in being balanced in their reporting of events local and abroad. Unfortunately we are not seeing that anymore and this can only be described as an attack on the people on the ground. Us! They are manipulative and inflammatory in their rhetoric. They partake in "collective judgements" as Elie Wiesel states so aptly. Only racists make them! Ponder on that for a little bit. Be conscious of it in your daily to doings. Why? because you consciously want to speak up and defy racism and hatred wherever it spawns in our communities.
God bless all those who defend the weak and powerless. All those who refuse to remain silent on the sidelines. All those who do what they can when they can in whatever capacity. We live in a very different world to the one Elie Wiesel had to endure in his youth. Let's ensure we work together and maintain our communities by keeping the peace between us strong. I know I will.