DROWNED IN INDIFFERENCE
7 febrero, 2017
On Sunday, January 29th, an African immigrant lost his life in Venice, Italy, when he fell into the water of the Gran Canal and after a few minutes of fighting for his life, he drowned while the people around him were laughing and making videos and racist jokes. Nobody jumped in to help him.
On the last day, we could see many internet pages showing a video of a young man, of age 22, called Pateh Saballyh from Gambia, Africa, who fell into the water of the Gran Canal in Venice and was drowning. Although some people from the boats which were around at that moment threw him some lifebuoys, he could not get any of them and in the end, he died. Although, some witnesses and also the Italian police say that he jumped into the water by himself, and that his intention was suicide, it does not change the fact that nobody jumped into the water to help him or in the case of the possible suicide, to save his young life. What is more, people around were making videos, in which we can hear racist jokes and comments such as: “Africa!”, “Come on, go back to your country!”, “He is stupid, he wants to die!”, “He deserves it!”, “Let him die!”…
After a few minutes, witnesses only saw a man’s dead body floating on the surface of the water. Some media sources state that the people around tried to help him by throwing him the lifebuoys and that he just did not catch them. But what if he was not able to do so? They are trying to present themselves innocent, but why did nobody jump into the water to safe his life? Yes, the water during the end of January might be very cold, but we think that human life deserves at least the intention to be saved.
“A young man has jumped into the water. They threw him two or three lifebuoys, but he refused the help. It is a disaster. I don’t know his story. People say that he is African. I cannot imagine what he had been through, how many seas and deserts he had to cross in order to come here and he came to die here, in the most beautiful place in the world,” said an Italian taxi driver. Other sources say, that he was not an immigrant, but that he had already been in Italy for two years and that he also had a residence permission and had been working legally.
But whoever he was and wherever he had come from, that does not change the fact that he was a human being. The question is: If it was a white person, European or American citizen drowning and losing his or her life in the canal, would it have been the same? Wouldn’t the people have helped him or her? Wouldn’t the people have jumped into the water and not just say that it was too cold? Would they have let him or her die? We are pretty sure that the answer is no. This event has driven us to ask if we are all like this? Are we all such big racists? Where has all this hate against people of another colour come from, if in the beginning and in the end we are all equal? This case of a poor young man who lost his life, in part due to of the selfishness and ignorance of others, has to serve us as an example. An example about how we are and how we cannot be anymore, and as a warning: that humanity has to learn how to be more human.
- Juan Alejandro Garcia de la Vega Lapique
- Mateo Caraballo Pérez Galdós
- Romana Donovalová