“…important artifacts are in museums in countries where history is respected”

While browsing through my Instagram feed at around two in the morning on October 25, I came across a post attached with a dismal story about the looting of The Great Pyramids west of Cairo and the Egyptian museum in Cairo. What caught my attention was a seemingly innocent comment that said:

@_______ I’m so glad most of the important artifacts are in museums in countries where history is respected

This stood out because it, to me, seemed filled to the brim with ignorance. But that’s just my irrelevant opinion; ignorance is the most incorrect word to use anyways, but you understand that I’m feeling skeptic towards this comment. Let’s dissect this a little more.

The post isn’t very clear about who did the looting, but they do mention “teenage boys” and “Ansar Beit al-Maqdis.” In brief, artifacts worth a lot of money and value were stolen, burned, destroyed and there were no police or soldiers in sight for days thereafter. Now, let’s fast forward to what’s happening now, in America. Mayor Dwight Jones and Richmond’s city council are planning to build a baseball stadium over Shockoe Bottom a site that holds archaeological remains of slavery. If America is one of those countries where “history is respected” then explain to me how respectful it is for America to eradicate parts of African-American history by building a baseball stadium over the historic site. It’s nearly as bad as the looters because in both cases, pieces of history are being destroyed.

Also, its too much of a jump-to-conclusions type attitude to group all Egyptians into a category of people who don’t respect their history. Jimmy, Karen, Horton, Lynal, Tessa and Fred are all hiking together. When they get to the top of the mountain, they plan to have a picnic and then hike back down. When their destination is reached, they eat as planned, but before hiking down, Lynal decides it’d be a perfect idea to jump off the cliff. He says there’s a lake at the bottom so the water will break their fall. Because Lynal wants to free fall off the cliff does not mean Jimmy, Tessa, Karen, Horton and Fred want to join in on this dangerous activity. Likewise, just because there were looters who destroyed parts of ancient history, does not mean all Egyptians want to destroy parts of ancient history.

The aim of the looting, the post says, was to attack the army posted at the Egyptian Sinai Peninsula. A large explosion followed suit and twenty-five people died, making it “one of the deadliest attacks on security forces since violence spiked following the oust of President Morsi.” Teenage boys then “burned mummies” “broke limestone sculptures too heavy for the thieves to carry” all in the name of “getting back at the government for killing people in Cairo.” How cute.

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