Sunday, 16 December 2012

On indiscriminate killing and discriminate mourning

"She was beautiful. She was blonde. She was always smiling." So said the grief-stricken father of one of the children killed in the Newtown shooting. 

Beloved Americans, you grieve eloquently and with a strange and touching innocence. Your grief always moves the world to tears. We gaze on the tenderness of your humanity and the violence of your society from afar and are bewildered in our compassion and our horror. 

But only when your politicians and ours recognize that the willful killing of any child is a crime against humanity will we move towards a different possible world. That means recognizing that children who are not beautiful and blonde count every bit as much as every other child, and they make no less a claim upon us. 

Your President speaks eloquently about his love for his wife and children, his sympathy for the parents and relatives of the victims and the traumatised survivors, and his determination to do something to stop this violence. Dear President Obama, please remember that every single word of your speech would be just as poignant, just as moving, just as true, and just as necessary, if your were referring to children killed by American drones.