“Rot in Hell” read one sign at the recent protest at the dental clinic of Walter Palmer the now infamous lion killer. Talk about twisted priorities, there are all kinds of human tragedies occurring and the killing of a lion is front page news.
You can’t get more cynical or hypocritical than this. With all the terrible things happening to human beings, only the really privileged can put their focus on the killing of an animal. And these folks weren’t mad at the wanton killing of animals just for sport, they were upset because one lion was killed.
Even Zimbabweans were wondering what all the fuss was about. The international press has scarcely reported on the suffering occurring in the country as a result of a water shortage and shortage of jobs.
“It’s so cruel, but I don’t understand the whole fuss. There are so many pressing issues in Zimbabwe — we have water shortages, no electricity and no jobs — yet people are making noise about a lion?” asked Eunice Vhunise, a Harare resident in an Associated Press interview.
I couldn’t help but notice all the kids at the protest. Is this what these folks are teaching their kids: Walk over the homeless downtown; blame the victims of police brutality for their own deaths; treat immigrants like they are worse than animals; close your eyes to what your government does to those in Iraq, Afghanistan, and its drone killing; insist that your neighbor who is down pull herself up by her bootstraps; but grab the protest signs and get up in arms when an animal is killed.
Last week, an 18-month-old Palestinian boy was burned alive by a fire set purposely by two others — passing as human beings — who call themselves settlers, religious Zionists. Very little attention was brought to it or the deaths of five Palestinian youth killed by Isreali armed forces. Unfortunately, few people take the religious Zionists to task for their hateful and violent form of religion, while hypocritically castigating Muslims and blaming them for the few who have bastardized Islam.
Sandra Bland was likely murdered in jail for asserting her right as human being, but there was little protest in Bloomington or elsewhere. And I didn’t know folks in Bloomington, Minnesota cared so much. This city is so caring that when some folks children decided to use their beloved Mall of America to bring attention to the hunting down and murdering of defenseless Black people in this country by law enforcement, Bloomington tried to jail them. In fact, they won’t let it go. They are still trying to jail #BlackLivesMatter activists involved in the protest.
I don’t have a problem with folks loving animals, but in the pecking order of living beings, humans come first. But speaking of animals, the West doesn’t have a very good record of real animal loving because any time animals or their habitat stood in the way of western progress they were annihilated. That’s a nice way of saying they were slaughtered like Cecil.
And didn’t the protesters know that the lion was in Africa? Since when do relatively well-off U.S. suburbanites care about what goes on in Africa? The only time they bring up Africa is when they are being dismissive of the continent or trying to make the point that Black folks are better off in the U.S.
Of course they know something about that since European nations practically ransacked Africa of everything of value, even leaving them with poor examples of statesmanship. And it continues to this day. Personally I would be a little more humble if folks who looked like me had something to do with this.
What made this particular African so special is that he was a lion and he had allowed humans to get close to him, which was his undoing. Poor Cecil learned the hard way that humans can’t be trusted (especially those with colonizing on their minds). Indeed, they can’t even be trusted to empathize with their own species.
Mel Reeves welcomes reader response to firstname.lastname@example.org.