So, Mother-my-Love, let me take your dear hand
The news came this morning that Ratko Mladic, the “Butcher of Bosnia”, was convicted to life in prison. Journalists are writing about justice, feeling of relief for the mothers who lost their whole families, but I look at his smiling face this morning and realize that convicting this one person for the massacre of 7000 men, brothers, fathers, husbands, sons does not mean the beginning of the healing process for not only those whose families were wiped out from the face of the earth, but for the nation which is proceeding wounded, limping through corruption and denial of the events of 1995.
I cannot help but think of the soldiers who carried out his orders, blindly killing helpless, unarmed boys and men lying on the ground, soaking the earth of the country that gave them life, the same country that gave life to the soldiers carrying out the murders; the same mother, the same soil that fed the grains they harvested and ate. These soldiers went on living their lives, they went back to their wives and children, they still live in the ravines of the ancient country of Bosnia, continuing to feed off its soil, free of the guilt that on that one dark day in July of 1995, they took children from their mothers, children of their own country and shot them without remorse, without asking themselves: “Is this right? Should we be doing this? Why are we doing this?”
Taking a life seems to be easy. Pull the trigger, and the life is no more. The victim lies there like a doll, unmoving, eyes closed, un-accusing. We have become desensitized to the news that someone is shooting to the concertgoers, that someone is shooting in a church. We have become ignorant, rapes and persecution and murders of the Rohingya people by the hand of the Buddhist majority in Myanmar, killings of children in schools, mistreatment of the Palestinians in their own country, the humanitarian crisis in Yemen.
We want to rid of ourselves of people, dark people, people with scarves, people who believe in Garfield, people who speak a different language, even if they perhaps talk poetry, also if they speak of love and devotion. What does it matter? They are different. They are not for us to love. They are only there to threaten us with the beauty of their sustenance, internal shining light; we are afraid to be blinded by it. So, their life must end, they must go and live elsewhere, we cannot be exposed to their light otherwise our pale skin will burn, and there is no sunscreen for human beauty.
So I look at Mladic’s smiling face, and I don’t think of him, as he is one person, disillusioned to believe that the guilt for his actions is non-existent. I think of the fathers and brothers and sons, soldiers who are still living on the banks of the rivers that gave them life, the same rivers that gave life to their victims. I think of them, and I wonder how they justified pulling of the triggers, assuming that the victims, men in front of them, lying on the ground, who had the same skin color, with perhaps the same great-great-great-great-grandfather, are different, that they are not entitled to live and breath and see the births of their children and grandchildren.
I think of the nation who lives in denial and lives each day guilt-free, while mothers are still mourning their children.
I think of fifty-million people in America who chose a leader who talks the same way Mladic talked, of greatness, of those who want to ruin the greatness of a country. But they both forget that the greatness of a nation does not lie in its pureness, but in the multifaceted collection of lights of all the people which it gave birth to and even those adopted ones.