Thursday, 29 June 2017

Hate Speech




There are some things I find difficult to understand especially when you watch animated and video games as a child. The games are full of violence motivation, and when children become target of such, the society is really in a sorry state of affairs.
On street walls in some areas hateful slogans are displayed. And I wonder why not love, peace and unity instead. People are finding it easy to preach and promote hate this days especially on the social media.  Most people that do this go unpunished for it. They incite the vulnerable along religious, political, ethnic and other lines, and then cover it up with freedom of speech.  No doubt about that, because hate speech is not freedom of speech and free speech is human right, yet no rights are absolute. This I know. 
What we are in for    
Hate speech is spreading and has entered the internet spreading like wildfire and is dangerous. High numbers of young people are most technologically savvy and their lifestyle revolves round the internet, is my fear. From socializing to entertainment, reading to homework amongst others, the internet is an essential part of young people’s life.
There are many known online forums and groups, chat rooms, websites that promotes hates on the internet, and those sites are places where extremists meets with vulnerable youths and take advantage, by recruiting them into extremist groups . This recruitment is ongoing and is massive, and extremists are exploring the internet more and seem to be more than those using it to promote peace. It beat my imagination.   
On 30th May 2016, Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Twitter jointly agreed to EU code of conduct, obligating them to review “(the) majority of valid notification for removal of illegal hate speech” posted on their service within 24 hours.  On my mind, I really don’t know if this has been adhered to, so I need an answer. 
Recognizing, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPPR) states that “any advocacy of national, racial or religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence shall be prohibited by law”. I ask you again, if this covenant is enforceable where you live because mine is not. It is democratic that people are allowed to speak their minds on politic and social issues even when their points of view are unusual or unpopular. But the crime occurs when someone takes his/her speech to another level either by using, or uses, or seriously plans to use, or strongly advocates others to use force or violence to effect change.  That to my mind is hate speech too.  
            
Words are powerful    
Image result for south sudan war pictures
Violent acts of hate are generally preceded by hate speeches. These acts are expressed publicly and repeatedly by individuals and groups. But more alarming is when public figures promote it too. Basically I see the definition of hate speech as a call for violent attack against individuals or groups.  Whereas in most cases intolerable speeches; are mistaken and garnished to be hate speech. I see intolerable speech as comment, posts and picture uploaded on social media to build hatred. A case in study is the Rwanda genocide (Tutsi vs Hutus, - 1994). That left a sore taste on sand of time and never again should such happen! What of South Sudan? Hate speeches has helped escalate the war.
What about the ethnic cleansing of Bosnian Muslims in Bosnia Herzegovina (1992-95), and that of Dr. George Tiller (May 2009) with other doctors killed by pro abortionist in the US? Then to Nazi Holocaust. All were sparked by hate speeches.  All began with words of hatred then those words became weapon of mass destruction through guns and weapons.
Hate speech attracts vulnerable youths especially the marginalized poor, unemployed into action by taking side ignorantly. This has given rise to intolerance, bombing and killing, shooting and maiming innocent citizens to make cheap statement, and breaking news headlines. Take a look at Europe, in Greece when 27 years Shehzad Laqman, Pakistani immigrant was stabbed to death by right wing extremists. Another, in France was how a gunman went on rampage at Jewish School in Toulouse and the victims were 30 years Rabbi, his children- 4 & 5 years old, as well as the daughter of the school principal. I cried emotionally to know that 7 years old girl, Miriam died in her father’s arms as medics tried to resuscitate her from that attack. Also in Sweden, was a string of shootings in Malmo targeting victims with immigrant background? In Norway, 77 innocent civilians, most of them still in their teens, were gunned down by an extremist.  If you look at all these examples there are common feature; which is fanatical hatred of others by incitement. This shows the increasing divide between “us and them”.  That’s a huge gap to tackle. I have not mentioned Boko Haram in Nigeria, Al shabab in Somalia and Kenya, nor have I mentioned ISIS and Al-Qaeda and many others springing up dangerous groups that are recruiting youths into violence groups. Yet I pray for global peace to reign above all.
 Searching for the way forward   Image result for picture of peace                     
I know people are not born hateful.  They are fed up to hate. But education I guess can prevent hate. Like lessons in class rooms on equality and diversity can help too. Education against hateful ideas from the cradle can do better job. Young people must be taught how to love and be loved. Nothing is really wrong in being an extremist, but there is everything wrong when you become violent with your extremism. Let love leads.        

#hatespeech #dangerousspeech #onlinehatespeech           

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

“The miser of Marseilles” I want to be.




There is a legend about many years ago, an old man who used to walk the street of that seaport town. He was called “The miser of Marseilles”. He was an object of derision throughout the whole city and even throughout the south of France, for everybody seemed to know him. Apparently, he loved nothing and had no other object than to hoard every bit of money he got hold of: for what purpose none knew.
He was hated whenever he appeared on the streets. When he died, he was so despised that only a single person attended his funeral. Then his will was read, and these were its strange terms and I quote:

Image result for picture of miser of marseilles
“From my infancy I noticed that the poor people of Marseilles had great difficulty inn getting water. I noticed that water, the gift of God was very dear and difficult to obtain. And when they could get that water, it was not as pure and clean as God intended it to be. Therefore, I vowed before God that I would live but for one purpose, for one end. I would save money, money, money- that I might give it to the city on one condition that a canal is built to bring fresh, pure water from yonder lake in the hills to Marseilles. That I now make possible by leaving all my hoarded wealth to this city. This is my last will and testament “.
Image result for picture of miser of marseillesTravelers in Marseilles today hear the poor people say as they drink pure, sweet water from the lake in the hills, “Ah, when the miser died, we misunderstood him, but he did it all for us”. We called him miser of Marseilles, but he was more than that; he was the savior of Marseilles”.
If human being could but learn one inescapable meaning in this write up parable, we would know the secret of how to get the most out of life which is to give the most to life. Just as they knew of the miser’s   giving selfless service to humanity, I tell you what? We all have something we can give to change the world. Life is not all about how long you live but how well you live it. Short stories are most impact than long articles. So ponder on what you will be remembered for after leaving the earth. What will posterity hold for you and me? Then we can start living and sharing the little we have with others. It is never too late to do good to people you don’t even know. Life is for the living. You are the hope to someone. Peace to the world!   

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Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Breast is important too- Early Warning Signals to breast cancer on the go




Cancer is a serious illness that can affect many parts of the body. Cancer starts when some cells begin to grow very quickly in an abnormal way, causing growth (tumor) in the body. Sometimes, tumors go away without treatment but many tumors get larger or spread, causing health problems in several parts of the body.  
What causes cancer?
One cause of cancer throughout the world could be increasing amount of industrial pollution and toxic chemicals in our environment and in our bodies too. The increasing number of people living with cancer is a concerned that should lead our Government to act quickly to protect people’s health and saves lives. But this is not coming very soon.  
Several types of cancer are known to be caused specifically by toxic chemicals and include – cancer of the lungs, bladder, liver, breast, brain, blood (leukemia), multiple myeloma and non Hodgkin’s lymphoma. People exposed to toxic chemicals over a long time have greater risk of getting these cancers than people with or no toxic exposures.  But in our today’s world, it is evenly exposable and knowing about it may help and help in many more ways for early detection and treatment.

Finding and treating cancer early
Finding and detecting cancer early often saves life, because the person can get treatment before cancer spreads. Getting young people to know about it, is still a challenge in Africa and I don’t know if it is the same in other continents? Treating cancer is far more expensive and still seems as death sentence to many as victims. Some early warning signals of cancer are tiredness, chronic weight loss, lumps, and pains in the body parts. Although these can be signs of other illness as well, yet it is good people know and act on time.

Poverty of preventive information materials is the greatest vulnerability to cancer patients across Africa especially young adults. One way to find out if a person has cancer is to have a test that takes a few cells from the affected part, and for early treatment. I tell you cancer is not death sentence. People can actually live and overcome it. But early detection remains the key.

To Breast Cancer awareness
 Image result for breast cancer picture
Breast is very important to all as human and recognizing that every human was infant, and infant’s first six months from births relies on it, if not wholly on breastfeeding. Breast feeding of infants as you may know, is the way forward for resilience to six babies’s killer disease especially in Africa. Therefore, we must do all we can to protect and respect breast too; from where almost all of us are nurtured from.
But I have come to realize that breasts are receiving alarming threat from cancer the more I look. And I had wondered why? Why some superstition had that breast feeding causes cancer. Why young girls are left to grow with wrong notion or had to believe such to deny their babies opportunity to be breast fed at motherhood. Why children die before aged 6?  While some are disfigured by illness at childhood for life. Why those unfounded misconceptions are left and or treated with levity. I have come, come to know just one thing from it all. People can perish for lack of information.
 There are many causes of breast cancer from exposure of chemical toxic to pesticides, oil, cleaning products and air pollution amongst others. If a woman, mother or a sister has had breast cancer, one may have a greater chance of getting it too. Breast cancer is most common in women above 50 years.  But do not wait to learn or know about it till then that may be late. So learning ways to prevent it as you graced healthfully in age is commonsense that should be made common to all. Breast cancer usually grows slowly and is sometimes cured if found early. Hiding it is the silliest thing to do as I see. Women can watch for signs of breast cancer by examining their breast themselves. Look for lumps or unusual discharge from the nipples. If a woman can do this once a month, she will be familiar with how her breast looks and feel, and will notice any changes easily and on good time.   
Surprisingly it is the vast number of women that grows up without knowing how to check their breast or identify changes in them and prevent breast cancer. As cheap as prevention of breast cancer is, or as low in cost as per early detection of this is, this is not given adequate attention any where I go to. But this article has came to do so. To close gaps of ignorance and misconception, gaps of information.
Image result for breast cancer picture

It came to simply tell you and me that, we have a role to play in raising awareness about breast cancer to young girls and not excluding young boys too. It came to take breast cancer awareness through simulation campaign to secondary schools in Nigeria by an NGO – Children and Young People Living for Peace-  www.cyplp.net.ng  It came on time so lives can be saved.  To inform, persuade and remind young girls how to check up themselves alike-
1.       Look at your breast in a mirror. Raise your arms over your head. Look for any changes in the shape of your breast, or any swelling or changes in skin or nipple. Then put your arms at your sides and check your breast again.
2.       Lie down. Keeping your finger flat, press your breast and feel for any lumps.
3.       Be sure to touch every part of your breast. It helps to use the same pattern everytime. Such as spiral or rows of straight lines.
What to do if found a lump
1. If the lump is smooth or rubbery, and moves under the skin when you push it with your fingers, do not worry about it. But if is hard, has an uneven shape and is painless, keep watching it especially if the lump is in only one side of the breast, and does not move even when you push it.

 Image result for breast cancer picture
2. See a qualified doctor if the lump s still there after your next monthly bleeding. This may be a sign of cancer.
3. Also if there is discharge from the nipples that looks like blood or pus.   See a doctor immediately.
And I hope this did help you. Please share this information to others too. Help us prevent breast cancer, as breast is important too.
  
To support breast cancer awareness campaign in Nigeria - contact
youngpeopleforpeace@gmail.com

#breastcancer