Life That Matters and Life That Doesn’t

by Mark Chmiel

Three months ago
Michael Brown was like just about everybody

A nobody
Today maybe tens of millions of people know his name and fate

Black Life Matters
Many people are convicted of this in their bones

Other people are not
Same as it ever was

In distant past: indigenous life didn’t matter to the Spaniards
Las Casas testified so:

And the Christians with their horses and swords and pikes
Began to carry out massacres and strange cruelties against them

They attacked the towns and spared neither the children
Nor the aged nor pregnant women nor women in childbed

Not only stabbing and dismembering them
But cutting them to pieces as if dealing with sheep in the slaughter house

Not too many decades ago
Vietnamese life didn’t matter to Charlie Co. March ’68

“And women and children?”
“And women and children”

General Westmoreland promoted body count
The sure way to know the war was being won

How many dead Vietnamese the troops could pile up
The General was candid, you have to hand him that:

The Oriental doesn’t put the same high price on life
As does a Westerner

In the Orient life is cheap
It doesn’t matter

He said this as the U.S. had been decimating Asian life
In Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam for years

Short memory, that General Westmoreland
For example: The Westerner’s (German) same high price on Jewish life

The Westerner’s (USA) same high price
On lives in Tokyo, Nagasaki, Hiroshima

The Westerner’s (France) same high price
On Arab lives in Algeria

The Westerner’s (USA) same high price
On Iraqi children’s lives 1990s and beyond

Madeline Albright interview:
We think the price is worth it

Many people today are convicted in their bones
And so act out the truth in their lives

That Black life matters
That Navaho life matters

That Mexican life matters
That Burkinabè life matters

That Afghan life matters
That Ugandan life matters

That Salvadoran life matters
That Palestinian life matters

Other people are not so convicted
Same as it ever was