This video, at various points, made me sick. The graphs, of each figure equaling 1000 people who died, and that red line of Russian casualties . . . goodness. I thought it would never end.
Yet, when it came to the midway point, when Halloran said, "More people died in WWII than in any other world in history. For comparison, here are twenty or so of the very worst wars we have on record," I couldn't help but think of a quote from a book I recently read, Born a Crime.
Trevor Noah, an American comedian born in Apartheid South Africa writes,
The thing Africans don't have that the Jewish people do have is documentation. The Nazis kept meticulous records, took pictures, made films. And that's really what it comes down to. Holocaust victims count because Hitler counted them. Six million people killed. We can all look at that number and rightly be horrified.
If you look at that infographic closely (minute 13:13), only two African countries are mentioned, "The Congo" listed at 8 million and Mideast Slave Trade at 19 million. And these are just the millions that "count". And they mights simply be guesses.
. . . When you read through the history of atrocities against Africans, there are no numbers, only guesses. It's harder to be horrified by a guess. When Portugal and Belgium were plundering Angola and the Congo, they weren't counting the black people they slaughtered. How many black people died harvesting rubber in the Congo? In the gold and diamond mines of the Transvaal?
As the film spans out and the graph of millions dead shrinks, the title, "Worst Atrocities on Record" appears.
How many more have died who haven't been recorded? How many more are still dying today, during the "Long/New Peace"? Because even though we are better than we were, can we honestly call this a time of peace, just because the major powers (dare I say important powers) aren't fighting each other?
If people are still dying, needlessly, at the hands and minds of others, and if people are still fearing for their lives and losing their homes, can we really call this a time of peace?
What about the refugees that are spread all across this world? The wars and genocides that have plagued Africa and the Middle East, what about the thousands of deaths that are growing daily in shit-hole countries? . . . oh. Right. Now I get it.
That's why we're allowed to be content. Because we're only counting the countries that count.
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