Today is a sad day for mankind. Not only because 213 people lost their lives in the terrorist attack in Bagdad on Sunday, July 3th, but also because their deaths are ignored by the world.
I gave it a few days hoping that the Facebook filters of friends would change to that of the Iraqi flag, or that maybe my social media newsfeed would start to be inundated by outrage for the horrible event that stole so many lives.
But nothing happened. After three days maybe one or two of my friends have shared the news. There is no outrage, no indignation, no empathy and no solidarity.
There is no Facebook filter for it, there’s no safety check feature for it and the headlines of news outlets around the world have quickly moved the news away from their front page and breaking news section, to a small box somewhere in the international section.
Men, women and children died. These are human beings with whom we share this world. They’re made of the same flesh and bones as we all are. They’re human beings just like the people whom died in the terrorist attack in Paris or the 50 people killed in the club in Florida. All if their deaths matter, all of their lives matter.
Why do we turn blind eyes when people in the third world die. Does living in the third world mean that their lives are worth less? Is it because it’s very likely that those killed were Muslims? Is it because their skin is dark? Is it because they live in a dangerous country were death and suffering is common?
Yes. Unfortunately this is exactly why news outlets around the world don’t pay the same attention to these tragic happenings. I’ve written about this before and I’ll write about it again. Because it’s still shocking, sad and infuriating that as an “informed” society we still choose to neglect and turn away from tragedy when it strikes a third world country. We forget to show our empathy, solidarity and pressure into making a change.
Today there are mothers mourning their children, brothers mourning their sisters, children mourning their parents. Their pain is real, because their lives were real. Human suffering and pain feels the same regardless of religion, citizenship, race, sexual orientation and gender. Then why do we not acknowledge their pain by showing worldwide empathy?
How can we stand up for equality when we don’t value human life with the same measure? During the Holocaust Jewish people’s lives were considered inferior to those of the Arian people. We now look back with embarrassment and sadness that mankind could fall so low as to diminish another human being’s life, regardless of the reason.
We’ll we look back in a few decades and feel embarrassment and sadness for our lack of empathy towards the victims of terrorist attacks in the third world? It’s very likely. Luckily for us we’re still alive to make a change, to demand news outlets to give importance to such atrocities and to individually feel empathy towards all living beings upon this earth.
It is important to always take into account how would we want for others to feel if it was us going through tragedy? Would we want to be forgotten? or would we want to be defended?