Do you see an increase in insensitivity in the world?


De Birhan 

January 04, 2o15

I do! Why is it dying? Why are we getting so mean? Why are we becoming so quick to provoke, offend and insult? Yes and it is being most common in the part of the world that is best known for having the highest threshold of human rights, equality and tolerance.  The growth of so many protests and parties that are anti-religious, ethnic group, ideology and social grouping; the writing and distribution of materials that have the potential of offending others – take a look at some of the most popular and most liked comments on some of the world’s famous media outlets especially when the issue reported is about the “other”, the inability of some groups to tolerate the freedom of expression of others and their inability to respond to it in an in-excessive manner, and what we as “others” are experiencing each and everyday in and through our daily lives are some of the indicators.

It is not to say that the insensitivity in our part of the world, the developing, is fine and something to condone. Insensitivity, intolerance and abusing a person anywhere for any reason is reprehensible. As I said above, it however becomes absurdly worrying when people who claim to be the guardians of tolerance sprout intolerance and hate. Yes not all of them but a growing number of them these days – you know who! Sure the lack of intolerance is from both the so called guardians and ‘attackers’ of tolerance – both accuse each other of intolerance and extremism but the elements are found in both circles!

In several discussions I hear these causes being the reasons for the return or growth of intolerance: the economic recession of 2008-09 that has made many people jobless and became a good breeding raison d’être  for the intensification of anti-‘others’ politics, others say it is the surely the socio-demographic change of homogeneous countries due to immigration leading to all types of concerns by the natives, it is the election of Obama, others argue, which has made some groups feel as if they were giving up power to the ‘others’, who  had never been in such a state of power and most others say it is the threat that is being posed by the proliferation of the ideologies and actions of the other, which is now spreading widely with some of its features and actions becoming medieval brutal and sadistic.

In the middle of these arguments and tit for tats, one group suffers. It has historically been subject to attacks and continues to be so from colonialism to today. The endless discrimination, abuse and pain of these people mainly stems from skin color. Whatever background one has, his/her color get him/her judged. This is one big backwardness that the world has not come any far. Despite the rhetoric of modernity, globalization, equality, civil rights and egalitarianism, the world is still divided by color. There is a big big divide between black and white as in the expression and in reality. The powerless in this divide will always suffer. This suffering is now taking a more overt, politically incorrect face and is re-emerging. Those who faced it, who live it; know it. It reminds me of my ARTICLE, I wrote few years back on the same issue. Is it because I am too sensitive for it or because I am over curious!

Either way, I do not have a shoulder to handle or tolerate whoever’s superiority! Be it the African minor ethnic group that subjugates my people or the groups elsewhere that want to remain so on the basis of their color or identity. As many advice me I can not accept and say ignore the hate by these people and fight the hate by those people only. May be I have not seen the most tolerant country so far or failed to look at the success of many “others” who have made it among the less tolerant.

So what is the solution? The first solution I believe is that we all as human beings need to rethink that offending or provoking ‘others’ is more offending to our own moral and lives than it is to the victim. Can you spend a joyful day after disrespecting and abusing another person? The second is in the hands of the victims; one color is not an ideology or a religion that we fight for so…any such attack/provocation should not make us hot tempered at all but should be ignored as much as possible…two respond to such provocations as wise as possible based on the contexts.

Because it is only love that perhaps should always win and common humanity than ethnicity or narrowness!

Next time I will have an introvert look and argue why we Ethiopians must avoid and ban the derogatory Fer**ge word from our vocabularies!