Do #AllLivesMatter… really?
When there is a terrorist attack in a European city, rx the worldwide media rushes to the scene and focuses its attention on reporting the story. The victims are humanized and even identified as someone’s father, adiposity son, daughter, husband, sister, mother or friend. The coordinated terrorist attacks in Brussels recently became the focus of media attention and once again invited our interrogation into the nature of terrorism and reignited both our fears and our sympathies. Coming only weeks after the coordinated attacks in Paris, the most recent on-the-scene reports of the March 22nd bombings at the airport and on a metro train in Brussels provided 24-hour news coverage for an entire week. Just 3 days prior to the terror unleashed in Brussels where 34 people were killed and 198 injured, there was an attack in Turkey where 5 innocent people were killed and 39 injured. That attack came only 6 days after a suicide car bomb exploded in the heart of the capital city Ankara, claiming 37 lives. In February, a car bomb killed 29 people in the same city. Where was the international outcry, the nonstop on-the-scene coverage from the international press? Where were MSNBC, CNN or any other USA media coverage to ignite the sympathy and passions of the world, prompting them to mark the place of death and destruction and memorialize the victims? Exactly one year ago on April 2nd, a terrorist attack left 148 people dead in Kenya. The brutal massacre was carried out at Garissa University College in the eastern part of Kenya close to the Somali border. Again, only a muted response from the media and no worldwide coverage or outcry. Do #AllLivesMatter, really?
In February, this year, Boko Haram attacked a village in Nigeria and set the homes on fire killing 65 people and leaving over 136 injured. Reports say more than 20 people were burned alive in their homes. This atrocity targeted and victimized many defenseless women, children and elderly people. Where was the press? Imagine the level of coverage had the attack taken place in England or France, Belgium or Germany. Boko Haram has overtaken Isis as the world’s deadliest terror group. In 2014 alone, the terrorist group killed 6,644 men, women and children who were merely attempting to live their lives.
What difference is there in the terrorism perpetrated upon the people of Turkey, Africa, and Palestine from those who live in Europe? It is painfully clear that worldwide attention focuses on the tragedies differently and that the lives lost, people maimed, displaced and traumatized in countries where the bodies are predominantly black and brown do not get monuments made of flowers, global vigils or Facebook pages dedicated to their eternal memory. Our hearts do not bleed for their cities or countrymen, and we do not hold them up with the same collective prayers for peace, or stand with them in solidarity for the terror they face in their daily lives.
No #AllLives Do Not Matter for as the saying goes, “actions speak louder than words”, and by our actions we have demonstrated a resounding silence, lack of knowledge, care or concern for some lives over others. To say ALL Lives Matter and to actually believe that it’s true are two entirely different things. The outcome is easily measured by the distinction that is made when what we say is NOT demonstrated by what we DO.
Up Next Week: The Difference between Appropriation and Appreciation