Zipped Lips, Bloodshot Eyes
(part of The Darkness Visible series)
Every since the end of the October massacres the few strong voices on Twitter and the blog-a-sphere have warned us of the coming "third massacre". Hate groups such as 969 in Myanmar have been feeding the fires that fuel the hate for Muslims across Burma. This was the same sort of fuel that had sparked the flames of the first two Rohingya pogroms. The religious fervor that they feed upon has not been subdued or left to die as the Buddhist monks help prop it up. And it was this basis that had led many of the Rohingya activist around the world to fear the next wave of massacres.
Jamila Hanan on Twitter (@JamilaHanan) spends countless hours warning her 8 thousand plus followers of the both present and coming massacres. Yet the vast majority of them remain silent or stuck in the world of retweets as the genocide goes unabated. Their voices remain silent as the screams of the Rohingya people echo out of the abyss Myanmar has created.
Aung Aung out of Sittwe, Burma (@AungAungsittwe on Twitter) is one of the few voices coming out of Myanmar can only get 2.5 thousand followers? Is the voice of the suffering not important enough to warrant some attention? Or is Justin Bieber's 36 million plus followers just too fixated upon an idol to be bothered with the agony of their fellow man?
We may not all be able to travel to Burma to help the few NGOs still delivering aid to the Rohingya do their jobs. We may not all be able to gather the attention of millions of online followers. But we all can take a few moments out of our busy days to be human... to pay some attention to the plight of the most overlooked people on the planet. Our few voices raised together can help those in the most need. And yet our lips remain zipped.
I for one have been watching the horrible news scroll pass on a daily basis. The lack of help from others has left me jaded to the point of wondering what it would be like if genocide started here in the US tomorrow. Perhaps if the Myanmar monks used the phrase "nigger" instead of "kahlar" to describe the Rohingya than perhaps the West would pay attention. Perhaps if the Rohingya were not Muslim but rather Christians than US citizens might find them more ready for their help. Or perhaps if the Rohingya were not wrongfully accused of being "illegal immigrants" than perhaps conservatives could find it in them to scream for the Rohingya.
Or perhaps this post is just a result of my bloodshot eyes and jaded mind. Whatever the case, the plight of the Rohingya people leaves me to ask just how much better a world it would be if there were more people willing to scream?