Today is Holocaust Memorial Day, and a reminder that truth still matters. It is hard to engage with vast statistics of people killed because of their background, colour, religion, sexuality, political views, or disability. It is easier to ignore or pretend uncomfortable facts don't exist, or are exaggerated. But every statistic is made up of real individual people.
Those that lie do not necessarily expect people to believe their lies. But by creating a culture in which lying is expected, it becomes easier to ignore the truth, and dismiss anything that doesn't fit our pre-conceived beliefs.
Every person is unique. We don't choose where we are born, or what we look like. By all means judge people on their actions, but not by the group they come from. This is easier said than done of course. We have millions of years of evolution training us to fear and hate 'them', and those who advance themselves by feeding that fear. At a neurobiological level, we categorise people into 'us' and 'them', and shut down our empathy for 'them'. It takes a conscious effort to fight that instinct, to break down the barriers between us and them.
It is far too easy to let the thin veneer of civilization slip away, but it is worth fighting for. For all those who died, for those still dying, and for those whose fate has yet to be decided. Holocaust Memorial Day. Never forget.