The recent flooding took center stage
over a scandal that took place at a local high school and rightly so. While
the outrage that many felt over students dressing up as Hitler and Nazi
stormtroopers is certainly justified, sometimes it is better to take a step
back and rationally and realistically assess the situation and our
priorities. Many readers were rightly angered over the incident but the fact
is a little matter of a 40-50 cm of water in the business district and much
higher than that in other areas around the city, took precedence over the
foolish and ignorant behavior of students at a school who’s teachers should
have known better.
And while I deplore the ignorance of
the students and the lack of supervision by teachers I have one question to
ask those who are appalled that these students don’t grasp what this means
to Westerners. Do you have a similar visceral reaction to say, the rape of
Nanjing where Japanese soldiers went on a killing frenzy, raping and
murdering hundreds of thousands of innocent Chinese civilians? And what
about something a bit more recent, the genocide of Cambodia and Pol Pot,
genocide that our more enlightened and experienced nations turned a blind
eye to? Or perhaps we can discuss the systematic torture and rape that goes
on in parts of Myanmar even today?
Yes indeed, Thai students should know
more about Hitler and the horrific genocide he perpetuated on millions of
people. But perhaps, so should we learn more about other countries and
cultures and the history that they learn.
And maybe, while we should be
concerned, perhaps we should re-assess our priorities and be more concerned
for the thousands of Chiang Mai residents and the millions of Thai people
who are currently suffering from terrible flooding instead of focusing on an
ignorant and foolish display that can be corrected with education. The loss
of lives and homes is not so easily fixed.