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CuriousLurker  Sep 4, 2015 • 9:32:31am

Thanks. It’s not so easy to ignore them when they’re humanized with personal stories.

I was thinking about that recently. Whenever there’s a terrorist attack in the West or in Israel—or anywhere overseas involving Westerners—the media is very good about telling the individual stories of the people killed. When it happens in the Middle East, the human aspect is almost always ignored with the exception of powerful images shot by photojournalists. Like the 3-year-old little boy who washed up on the beach—we saw that and suddenly every parent got the wind knocked out of them because saw their child, so we were able to connect with his father and the loss of the other child (and their mother). Ditto for the couple on the train tracks with their infant—we saw that and understood the refugees’ desperation in a way we hadn’t before.

Malala became a celebrity of sorts for her bravery. The 18-month-old Palestinian boy who was burned to death and his family became “real” for us. Last year when a suicide bomber attacked that school in Pakistan, we heard some personal stories about the boy who died stopping the bomber. We also learned about many of the kids from the 2014 Peshawar school massacre that killed 132 schoolchildren.

But those example are the exception rather than the rule—we don’t hear about the thousands of others who are wounded or killed, sometimes at the rate of hundreds per day. Can you imagine the outcry if those numbers were Westerners?

2
Great White Snark  Sep 4, 2015 • 10:03:47am

Agreed, it’s baffling to the even somewhat empathetic. There is no credible sensible explanation for who and what gets attention. Just glad we got this place to kick things in the right direction from time to time!

Examples abound even domestically. So we can’t just blame distance. Not anymore. The inner city shootings that can exceed “mass shootings” (think schools and theaters) in casualties, deaths and frequency. The impression one gets is oh it’s just those people. Those people being Arab or Muslim or poor or black or in a gang neighborhood…

Human beings every single one. To the extent the public at large forgets that, they become less human too.


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