(This article is published in Salon.)
I can think of no symbol of the West’s obscene moral depravity more troubling than #JeSuisChien.
A French police dog died in a raid on an apartment of extremists in Saint-Denis, a Paris suburb. Messages of sympathy for the deceased canine flooded social media. “Je suis chien” (which means “I am dog” in French) went viral — a play off of the “Je suis Charlie” slogan that went viral in the wake of the January Paris attacks.
Western outrage is entirely selective. Westerners only mourn certain victims — the white ones, the rich ones, the ones who don’t have “funny-sounding” names or long beards or too much melanin in their skin.
More press coverage has been given to a dead French police dog than to many thousands of dead humans around the world.
We now even know the name of the dog, Diesel, but not the names of the people who once had families, and friends, and lives.