Friday, April 24, 2015

Tonight's Televised Special

Tonight will herald the Diane Sawyer – Bruce Jenner interview. I will not be watching. It may be a story of human interest, but frankly, I’m just not interested. Not in Bruce, not his struggles and certainly not the Kardashian Klan.

What does concern me is the loss of life as a boat packed with hundreds of migrants capsized in Mediterranean waters, many were trapped inside behind locked doors. This is nothing short of genocide.

Maltese authorities, who were working with Italian rescuers, said around 50 of 700 people on the boat had been saved. A migrant, who spoke to investigators after being airlifted to a hospital in Catania, was among dozens who authorities say were saved from the sinking vessel. He told investigators there were 950 people on board – a number that hasn’t verified. 

It was the latest in a series of dangerous voyages for hundreds of men, women and children who boarded the boat in Libya, hoping to make it safely to Europe. Passengers on the boat were from a number of nations, including Algeria, Egypt, Somalia, Niger, Senegal, Mali, Zambia, Bangladesh and Ghana, prosecutors said.

According to the International Organization for Migration, Italy registered more than 10,000 migrants arriving in the first three months of 2015, and about 2,000 were rescued at sea during the first weekend of April in the Channel of Sicily.

Most migrants recorded this year come from countries in West Africa as well as Somalia and Syria, the IOM said. They use Libya as a country of transit.

At least 480 migrants have died while crossing the Mediterranean since the beginning of the year, often because of bad weather and overcrowded vessels used by smugglers, the International Organization of Migration said.

Sometimes the captains and crews abandon the ships, leaving passengers to fend for them selves.

Most of the migrants are asylum seekers, victims of trafficking or violence, unaccompanied children and pregnant women.

Dear God? Where are our priorities? And what can I do outside of penning these words?

God my Father, God my Mother – keep my heart soft and in tune to “the least of these” – my brothers and my sisters. Guide me, direct me and show me how I can make a difference in this world.

Even so, Amen.

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