I know this post may seem out of place on my normally upbeat and happy blog, but I care passionately about political and social issues and this is something that has been on my mind for a bit now.
Last week, a man in North Carolina shot and killed three young students execution style. You may or may not have heard much about it, because the news seems to not be super interested in airing information on this event. If you have heard anything regarding this event, it’s because the three young students were Muslim, and many are asking if their religion was a factor in their death.
Doubtless, you will have also heard about shootings in Denmark, where some extremists chose to perpetrate attacks on a free speech event and a synagogue. At the moment, it is the lead story (or one of the leading stories) on almost all of the Nation’s top news sources:
We also all know that there was the brutal assault on the French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo on January 7. (If you didn’t know that, then you REALLY should watch the news a bit more). The fact that 9 writers and cartoonists were gunned down based on the fact that they believed in the freedom of the press and freedom of speech is incredibly saddening. (Not to mention the additional deaths of 2 others who sadly got in the way of the terrorists during their killing spree)
But at the same time, did you also know that Islamic militants in Africa brutally killed over 2000 people? Some of you who are more in tune with what goes on in the world may have heard of this. But even myself, who watches the news every morning (Good Morning America) and every evening (NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams/Lester Holt) maybe heard this story mentioned a total of 3 times since it happened.
Why is it that when Islamic terrorists attack middle class (mostly) white Western Europeans, the world collectively shits itself over it, but when 2000 men, women and children are brutally gunned down by terrorists espousing these same beliefs, few people even notice?
The same thing goes for the students killed in North Carolina – why are people so concerned with whether the killer was “open-minded” or what the views of the victims were? If the situation was reversed, and a Muslim individual shot three white students execution style, wouldn’t the media be freaking the eff out? And why so much attention paid to the terror in Denmark over these students horrible demise?
I am not in any way saying that some deaths are “worth more” than others or that the Charlie Hebdo and Copenhagen killings weren’t tragic. But why is it that they get the dominant news cycle and the Boko Haram mass killing and the shooting of three students didn’t?
I don’t really have an answer for all of this and I could bore you for hours with the reasoning I believe stands behind why we view issues this way. But I don’t know if that would convince many.
However, from this post, all I ask is that you look deeper into stories than just what goes on in the news. That maybe you do as I do and make your homepage a news source outside of the US, with a much broader reach. That you do a little digging sometimes to know what else is going on in the world than what is happening in Western Europe or on our own shores.
Maybe by becoming more well-informed as a society, we could work on our own issues as a Nation. Who knows? But it can’t start unless we all choose to get out there and find out more.