Briones: Being oblivious

Publio J. Briones III

PEOPLE take to the streets. A peaceful protest suddenly turns violent. There is looting, Buildings are set on fire. Civilians confront authorities. Or is it the other way around? It doesn’t matter. Chaos ensues while the whole world looks on in horror.

I’m not describing scenes in Africa. Or even in Asia. These are taking place in a country where you least expect it. Although if you check its history, civil unrest is not uncommon and shouldn’t come as a surprise.

So have you guessed yet?

Those who have access to international news or those who have read or watched international news, hush!

I want to know if Cebuanos have been keeping abreast of what’s going on in the United States of America. Yeah, that United States of America. The land of the free and the home of the Kardashians.

I understand if they haven’t. After all, we are in the middle of a health crisis.

The government might have eased some restrictions, but most areas in the archipelago are still under some sort of community quarantine to contain the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).

Also, people have better things to do like wonder where to get their next meal or when they can return to work.

You know, eking an existence.

But even the local intelligentsia has been unusually quiet. I thought they’d be up in arms condemning the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man, in the hands of a white Minnesota police officer.

They sure made some noise, defending democratic ideals with Beijing’s handling of the Hong Kong protests.

By the way, I’d like to point out that not so long ago, the Duterte administration was criticized for trampling on the rights of suspected drug traffickers by the very same people who are now looking the other way while some American cities are up in flames because a man in uniform pinned down a civilian that resulted in the latter’s death from asphyxiation.

I guess, it’s not a human rights violation if the act takes place in a first world country?

Many of you are wondering why the events thousands of kilometers away should matter to us here? It shouldn’t. In the grand scheme of things, what we think would have no effect on the situation whatsoever. Our opinions simply don’t matter to them.

So why should we care what they think about us?