Monday, June 26, 2006
A couple of months ago, the generally rather peaceful people of Belgium were frightened out of their peaceful dreams by a murder. A seventeen year old boy was murdered by two Polish youngsters, stabbed to death during the short fight that ensued when he and his friend refused to hand over his iPod. What frightened people was that it didn’t happen in some back alley in the dead of night, but in Brussels Central Station, one of the busiest railway stations in the country, smack bang in the middle of rush hour. Thousands of bystanders couldn’t prevent the incident or bring Joe back to life.
A couple of weeks ago, an 18 year old Belgian boy walks into a store selling guns and arms, and buys himself a small arsenal. Then he sets off for a walk trough the historical centre of Antwerp, shooting at anyone with a brown skin. He wounds a woman of Turkish origin and kills another Malinese woman. She was babysitting a two year old Belgian girl, which he also blasted to pieces. He was stopped when a police officer shot him in the belly. He acknowledged later that he had racist motifs.
Last Saturday, a 54 year old man was kicked to death on a bus in Antwerp. A group of youngsters were fighting on the bus, and he tried to intervene to calm things down. His community feeling was not appreciated; all the youngsters turned against him and started to kick him. When the bus stopped, they ran away and subsequently the man suffered a fatal heart attack.
The media call this ‘pointless violence’, but it seems to me all violence is pointless.
People are getting the impression they’re living in Iraq, and in line with an old Belgian tradition, they feel the government(s) should do something about it. But maybe they should look at what they can do, such as giving their children an education and not expecting that the school and the state raise their children. Or try to help when it’s needed instead of pretending they’re hard-boiled in front of the cameras.