I will not change my Facebook profile picture but I stand with France

Eston Nyakiya, a Peace and Hope Ambassador who is also my close friend has this to say about the France ISIS attack.

 “I stand with France but I refuse to change my profile picture to prove that. Why wouldn't the owners of this 'internet' (as Trump recently reminded us), give the same option during terrorist attacks in Kenya (hotbed of terrorism) and a number of other African countries?  As a matter of fact, Lebanon also faced the same misfortune. Why were we not standing with them in the same way? You know what? America and her allies will surely continue to colonise our minds, probably longer than the 100 years recommended by Donald Trump. I am a free man and this got me thinking. “

“Why are Africans so vulnerable? Haven't we witnessed only lately some of the worst terror attacks in Africa and the Middle East? In Syria, Libya, Tunisia, Egypt, Lebanon, Kenya, Nigeria. Other than misrepresenting Africa as a hostile continent and Africans as generally uncivilised, what did western media magnates do when Boko Haram kidnapped over 200 school girls in Nigeria? More than 250,000 people have been killed in Syria in less than four years, what have they done about it? What have they said or done about Libya? Just before Obama paid Kenya the homeland of his father a visit, didn't some wayward journalist say that ours is a hotbed of terror? Since 2011, we have had a series of terror attacks; remind me in case I don't remember when those so called owners of the internet paid special tribute to our fallen soldiers as is to France now. Even the propaganda that most terrorist attacks target western nationals and embassies are those no sane African can buy. Not that it is entirely untrue, no. In a lot more ways it is true. But those peddling it have a condescending attitude that thinks, quite incorrectly, that the life of one western national is more special than the hundreds of Africans who die in the attacks. One wonders why or how an attack happens in Libya or Nigeria for instance and all they say is, ‘the west is being targeted’.

“As for the Facebook profile nonsense, I am disappointed as a user. The Facebook team has a moral obligation to serve all users across the globe equally. Much as we appreciate that the internet is theirs, we want them to stand with and for us in our worst moments the same way they have done for France. Because, if anything, Kenya's Garissa attack claimed more lives than the figures government apologists gave us. Worse, most of them if not all were students. In all fairness, we deserved much more profound solidarity than we got. And another thing, I traversed the Internet for any gory photo of the victims of the attack, like the ones we and the international media throw carelessly whenever similar attacks happen in Africa, I got none. You know why? Because the west knows that a white man (even a dead one) deserves some respect and decency. Take a look at how BBC or CNN will cover this story and compare it with how they have done stories about Libya, Egypt, Tunisia, Nigeria or Kenya. You will be mesmerised, unless you are a senseless daft who sees no problem playing second fiddle to them.”

“Terrorism is a global phenomenon. No country, however sophisticated in weaponry and technology can claim immunity. Stand with France and the families of those who lost their lives we must. We bemoan and condemn the crude butchering of innocent lives. Our hearts go out to all the affected. We mourn with the world. But to be manipulated, I (on behalf of like-minded Africans) refuse. I refuse to change my Facebook profile photo.