Why should everyone join the Anti-Racist protest today?

Today, July 18th 2016, in Lebanon, Beirut, an anti-racist march will begin at 6:30PM at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Achrafieh and will end at the Ministry of Interior in Sanayeh.

 

Why should everyone join the Anti-Racist protest today?

Refugees and migrants face racism in Lebanon. They are the scapegoat of our problems that are present since before the Syrian civil war.

Electricity? The Syrians.
Water? The Syrians.
Garbage? The Syrians.
Security? The Syrians of course.

Syrians and Palestinians and many other nationalities fled war and death, just to face state racism in Lebanon. Migrants face an open-air prison with the Kafala system, where the employer effectively “own” the employee.

Join this protest if you don’t believe that every town and neighborhood should have a watch against “strangers”. Join this protest if you believe that the nationality of a terrorist doesn’t determine how the totality of a population should be treated. Do some people really believe that a curfew will ameliorate Lebanon security? Do some people really believe that terrorist groups will run away to their homes at 8pm and that will stop their attacks against Lebanon?

I hate to speak in this manner, but in 9/11, four planes were hijacked, two planes infamously crushed against the twin towers in New York, one plane against the Pentagon, and the fourth crashed in a field in Pennsylvania, it was brought down after the resistance of passengers. The hijacker and pilot of the fourth plane was a Lebanese national: Ziad Jarrah. Does it matter? Not really, but bigots and racists need to ask themselves: would you be pleased to have all the Lebanese in USA under a curfew, because it happened that a Lebanese was lunatic enough to join AL Qaeda? Would you find it just? Fair? If the answer is yes, then you have other serious issues of self-blame.

That I need to use this fact as an example is problematic in itself, what if all of them were Saudis? Would you accept the bigotry? What if Steve Jobs wasn’t partly Syrian? Who would have Banksy drawn on the walls of the Jungle, the infamous refugee camp in France?

Can’t we see that racism, bigotry, and stupid bigoted generalizations have led us to a civil war in the past? Today it is the Syrian, tomorrow, it might be (or it is already) the Palestinian, the Sunni, the Christian, the Shia, the Druze, the Jew, the Maronite, the homosexual, the black, the Arab, the handicapped ..
The other.

The other is only the other if we want to make it so.

Today, it is important to join to show the refugees and migrants, that some people in Lebanon will stand by them, and help them to lead by themselves the struggle against state racism and racism in our streets.

Ali Bazzal’s Execution and his family response. [Opinion]

A Lebanese policemen has been executed by Jabhat el Nusra. May Ali Bazzal rest in peace.

One could understand the anger and the frustration of the families, their impatience with the government that is slowly, barely acting. But a family can’t use force and violence and act as it will go unpunished.

Rana Fliti and Ali Bazzal and their daughter Maram (Photo courtesy of Rana Fliti) –

A family can’t demand the execution of other people because their sons has been executed, as much as they are frustrated. A family can’t decide on its own to block international aid to refugees. This is not the answer for your child vile execution.

A family can’t decide to kidnap others people. Yes, the families are on the good side of the fight, but how do you expect the terrorists to respond if not by executing more Lebanese soldiers and policemen. You don’t respond to execution with executions.

Yes, the state is useless here, and I stand with every civil, peaceful act they used, road-blocking, pressure on the government, etc. They have every right to do so, but they have absolutely no right to act as vengeful blood-thirsty citizens.

We stand by the side of the families that have their sons and brothers kidnapped. Just don’t make things worse by escalating the tension already untenable for all the country.

Let the army do its job.

The Policing tendency of some Lebanese citizens.

I wrote that us, Lebanese citizens, were too much blaming each others for misconducts or our “uncivilized” tendencies, for example some will blame the people that won’t respect laws. In my point of view, this tendency to blame the “uncivilized” other should be redirected on the government’s lack of control in the country. With control, the incivilities would shrink and eventually stop.

This lack of control is dangerous because it also leads to policing each others ; in other words, everybody becomes everybody’s police because there is a clear lack of authority and appliances of existing laws. We begin to point out our fingers on some incivilities, shaming some in public thinking it would help to improve the society.

This is clearly visible on Twitter regarding the violation of driving laws, the dangerous of some vehicles and the illegality of some license plates. Some may tweet an image to the Traffic Control, and they will retweet you. I also did that, thinking it was enough. But it’s not. Let’s look at some of these revealing tweets.

https://twitter.com/AngRy961/status/535096775854788608

This brings us to another result. We police each others and report it to the formal authority, consequently, the formal authority will “reshame it”, pointing out a finger on the citizen, omitting that it is their lack of control that is the base of this situation. Let’s stop with taking pictures of entire families on tiny motorcycles and be surprised about it. Some families may have not the money to buy good cars, and some may find that getting on those tiny motorcycles is better than using the public transport. In some areas of Lebanon, the public transport is rare, sometimes nonexistent. Those people know that they risk their lives, we mustn’t me surprised every time we see these “backward” people, we must go to the origins, the lack of the control, the lack of basic transport. If the police were effective, we wouldn’t see them much, and if the government were effective, it wouldn’t exist.

Let’s say that the Police will act after the pointing out, great you may think. But is it our role as citizens to help the police solving clear road safety and law issues ? The common citizen may help the police to solve a mystery when it is asked to do so.

The lack of control doesn’t come from the citizen but from the government.
Another outcome of this could lead to expressing short but strong outbursts of Power from the government ; it is clearly shown with the minister of Health Abu Faour iron fists on food and water irregularities. The current government, lacking power over the people on social and sanitary issues, will try to inverse this situation. Abu Faour strikes the restaurants, shaming them and blaming them for their lack of control and their disrespects expiration dates etc. But is it not the origin, the base of all this debate the lack of the government control on food and water ? Abu Faour clearly wants a better country, but is the way of doing it ?

Let’s stop this nonsense, and point our fingers at the correct persons responsible for all the irregularities, the misconducts, the disrespect of laws, the “shocking” pictures you could see on twitter. Let’s point our fingers on the government because it simply can’t do a proper job.