Othering

Someone on my Facebook feed shared an article on a Catholic website that includes part of an interview with an Iraqi bishop in an Italian paper. The Iraqi bishop “warns” Europeans and Western Christians, conflating all Muslims with the radicals that want everyone in the world converted or dead, ironically outing himself as the same kind of person deep down by stating that Muslims pose a danger and implying that they should be expelled lest that danger come to fruition.

It’s human nature to want to distinguish ourselves as separate, but also to band together. So we find ourselves in groups and insist that our group is the best. If our group is the best, then any and every other group can’t be as good, so they of course don’t deserve what we don’t want them to have. Like basic human rights.

Yes, this connects to the situation in Ferguson. Because despite the problems with militarization of the police, the real problem is more basic. Black people, black lives, have been othered. Like so many have said, Mike Brown’s murder is simply the culmination of decades-long systemic othering of non-white people, and is representative of what goes on around the country. Reservations, ghettos, barrios… Trayvon Martin, Jordan Davis, Mike Brown, John Crawford, Ezell Ford… the litany goes on. We’ve put anyone non-white into that “other” group that doesn’t belong, can’t be as good, so doesn’t deserve what we don’t want to give. And that. is. wrong. Correcting it is going to be a long process, but first we need to acknowledge that it’s something that needs correcting. That it is WRONG.

Every life matters. Muslim lives matter.

Black lives matter.

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