Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Top 5 emotional news

Excuse the 2 day delay. Here are the Top 5 emotional news, as promised.

Dec 18: Top 5 worst movies
Dec 19: Top 5 emotional news
Dec 20: Top 5 excursions
Dec 21: Top 5 stores
Dec 22: Top 5 products

This Top 5 list deserves more attention than the others. First, let me explain the subject. My initial thought was to write a list over the most important news this year. But how and who can define what's important or not? To me, news is information about the world we live in. Information is important, we can not care about and experience what we don't know. That's why I decided to write a list over the news that had the biggest emotional impact on me.

1. The Swedish general election
This event literally made me cry. I have written about this subject before and I will try not to repeat myself. It was a historical election in many ways. This was the first time a right-winged government had been re-elected. But more importantly, the racist party, The Sweden Democrats, was elected into government. This had a profound impact on me. Not only because I'm an immigrant myself, but also because I'm a human being. If you want to read more detailed reflections on the Swedish general election, read my other blog posts: "The Swedish general election", "Segregation" and "There are no words...", all published in September.

2. Stockholm terrorist attack
This happened just a few days ago. On December 11, Sweden experienced their first suicide bomber. He's name was Taimour Abdulwahab. He set of the bomb in the center of Stockholm and the message was a threat, that the Swedish people need to beware. The Swedish people's daughters and sisters will suffer the same fate as the sisters and daughters of islam have suffered.

As horrible as I think it is and as much as I wish Sweden would remain the safe and protected country I believed it was, I worry that the consequences of this event has just begun. I can't even start to imagine what motivated Taimour Abdulwahab to kill innocent people and leave a family behind. However, I am fully capable of knowing the fear and shock the Swedish population feel. Things like this are not meant to happen in Sweden. People are scared and afraid of the unknown. The problem is that people might not know what the "unknown" is. I might be afraid that the world is changing and I might be afraid of terrorist attacks, but I refuse to be afraid of people just because they believe in a certain god or are of a certain ethnicity!

I have already discussed how I feel about the Swedish election and the racist influences sweeping across Sweden. This random act of madness, has not only fueled the already existing protectionism and suspicions, it has turned some of the most freedom-loving and open-minded persons I know into people afraid of bearded faces. I beg of you, try your hardest to stay open-minded and don't let a mad man limit your ability to embrace people.

3. Gay rights
I'm a huge advocate of equal right for all, including equal rights to be married, regardless of sexual preferences. Right now, at this very moment, this is a very hot topic in California. This year could prove to be a very interesting year. I can try my best to give you a brief history about what has lead up to the current suspension, but why do something when someone else already has done it for you?

This year has offered great news, disappointments, frustration and new hope. Fingers crossed, next year might be the first year California, once and for all, decide to honor equality. If you want to read further reflections on gay rights and equality, read my September post "This summer's revelations".

4. Nobel Peace prize winner
I wrote about the Nobel Peace Price winner, Liu Xiaobo, when the Nobel Peace Prize Committee announced their choice. It was a great decision and he is a great man. Read more about my reaction in my October post "Let us celebrate a hero".

5. Guatemala STD experiments
On October 1st, Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius offered their apologies to Guatemala for intentionally using the Guatemalan people for STD experiments. The experiments took place between 1946 - 1948 and it involved infecting male prisoners and female mental health patients with syphilis and gonorrea without the their consent or knowledge. The experiments were an collaboration between US Public Health Service, Pan American Health Organization and the Guatemalan government, who were heavily influenced by American interests.

The whole story is insane, but there are three components that really fueled my emotions. First of all, if the American government can't find any other solutions that human experiments why not infect your own people? I guess it's really convenient to infect others who are poorer and more powerless, to act like proper imperialists. Let's not forget, the experiments started just after the Second World War, where the human race should have learnt how wrong it is to treat people like disposable lab-rats.

Secondly, this was by no means a headline, especially not internationally. The US government infects people with STDs and it barely registered?

Thirdly, Guatemala only receives an apology because a professor of Women's Studies at Wellesley College, Susan Reverby, discovered documents and posted them on her website. If no one would have found out, the US government would have gotten away with it and would never have offered an apology.

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