Over the last couple of weeks there has been a massacre of ethnic Uzbeks on border between Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan. According to the AP, "Entire Uzbek neighborhoods in southern Kyrgyzstan were reduced to scorched ruins by rampaging mobs of ethnic Kyrgyz, who forced nearly half of the region's roughly 800,000 Uzbeks to flee. Interim President Roza Otunbayeva says as many as 2,000 people may have died in the clashes." Almost all of the homes of these displace Uzbeks have been burned to the ground, their business trashed, and the police that the Kyrgyzstan government sent in to "protect" the returning Uzbeks are not to be trusted. The UN has appealed for 71 million dollars to rebuild, but nothing has been done to assist the returning Uzbeks at present, other than some food supplies, which have been stolen. Which brings up a question that has bothered me for a very long time. Why does the world champion some human rights causes, while almost totally ignoring others?
One could easily jump to the conclusion that in this case it was because it was it was Muslim on Muslim murder. Why care if it's Muslims are killing their own people? Maybe it's because they are not white? Others might come to the conclusion, that this event is an act of war, and we are knee deep in war. No country or the UN wants to commit troops to another war zone. We can point to Rwanda and see that the world stood by while the Hutu slaughtered the Tutsi. Not even the UN intervened, other than with condemnation and some poorly run refugee camps. If I were to play devils advocate, I could point out how well the Somalia had worked out. Americans need only to remember the movie "Black Hawk Down" to understand our hesitance in getting involved in conflicts. Sometimes, our best intentions are met with brutality. Yet one has to step back and look on in horror as this is going on right now in the Sudan, as men are murdered, woman are raped and children are unwillingly forced into being child soldiers. Where is the world's outrage? Where is the UN taking a hard line position and sanctions? Is it because, as the movie Hotel Rwanda put it:
Colonel Oliver: [explaining why the world will not intervene] You're black. You're not even a nigger. You're an African.
One could conclude from that statement, that racism plays a roll in who we decide gets aid, but I think that it may also be this; if a country has little to offer the international community, then they are ignored. Rwanda offers nothing much in natural resources, therefore worthless and forgotten.
Yet, we do see aid in times of disaster. Bangladesh, Hati, Indonesia. Celebrities like George Clooney and Angelina Jolie champion these very tragedies and people from all over the world respond. Is it because it was an act of nature and not a political act that made the difference? Maybe? But then again, the response to these natural disasters is only for a limited period, and the world seems to have a short memory. Right now, Hatti still needs millions of dollars to rebuild, yet they are all but gone from the world's memory.
In recent times the championed causes by the international community and the UN seem far more political. Apartheid in South Africa, the conflict in Northern Ireland, the Israel/ Palestinian dispute have brought international outcry for these causes and many edicts and demands made by the UN. But why these diverse regions and people. Could it be that they don't require much in the way of monies for aid or possible harm to armed forces to achieve their goal, or is it that they in someway are more connected into the international community due to history? The pain of these people is no more than the others, and in some cases far less, yet they garner so much attention from the international community that the difference in attention is almost shocking, had we not grown so used to it.
That there are many reasons that people can come up with why some ethnic groups garner the attention of the world, while others are forgotten on page 24 of some newspaper, and never make the nightly new. As I write this, the Uzbeks are terrified to return to their homes, fearing for their lives, and Haitians have little food and shelter to make it though the hurricane season and the world seems to have turned a blind eye these people, and I am asking why?
Please watch the video. The news and the world seems to have forgotten about these poor people.