Tuesday, 13 January 2015

So, what next?

There are pictures over several pages of the paper this morning. They show "millions" of people marching "in support of free speech". There is even a line of "world leaders" and one of a few hundred people standing in the rain in our very own CBD.
Last night those marches took up about eleven minutes of the news service on television.
This morning there is a single paragraph about children returning to school after around one hundred of their classmates were massacred. There is another paragraph about Boko Haram using a ten year old girl as a "suicide bomber". The first of these stories did rate a mention-with-interview on one news service but the second was considered "too upsetting" to get more than a mention on the same news service.
Most people won't get as far as reading the paragraphs buried pages into the paper. If they watch a commercial news programme the stories may not even have been mentioned.
So, what next? What are all these people who marched going to do? My guess is - nothing. Marching will have made them feel good, feel better, feel that they have done something. Most of them will feel no need to do anything more. They will believe it proves they are not racist and that they are not religious bigots. that they are not intolerant and that they do believe in "freedom of speech".
They will go back to their comfortable lives in middle class suburbs and expect life to continue as before.
I don't blame them. I am not even surprised. It is so much easier to do that than consider the children who will never go to school again. It is easier to march than think of the ten year old who should have had the rest of a long life ahead of her. It is easier to hold a pencil in the air than think of the toddlers living in tents in the snow because of the power struggles in the neighbouring country they once called home.
It would be better if we could use the pencils to positive effect.

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