Our Western perception

by ZAC PALMER, Staff Writer citynews.ca

Last Thursday morning a horrific act was carried out on Garissa University in Eastern Kenya.

Al Shabab militants stormed the campus while all the students were in their hostels and proceeded to shoot everybody they saw on arrival. As they progressed through the rooms, they started to single out Christian students in particular to murder. At the end of everything, 147 students were left killed with many more injured. It was an absolutely tragic day for this school and everybody associated with it.

To give a little history to this attack, we can look back on a similar tragedy that occurred in a Kenyan mall where Al Shabab killed 63 innocent shoppers and workers. Al Shabab is similar to other terror groups such as ISIS and Boko Haram in their goal to fight Western culture. Thinking about it though, that’s what generally makes the news: attacks against Western culture and civilization.

What’s similar about the news reported about terrorist organizations in our mass media? Our media spends most of their time reporting incidents where people of Western culture are attacked. By doing so, I don’t think that we see the full scope of the problems that exist in the Middle East and other affected areas such as this one.

The easiest reason to think of for why this happens, is it makes for better news. As a society, we have been desensitized to a point where when we read a headline about a suicide bombing in a market, our brains don’t even seem to register what we just read. However, we’re desensitized in a biased way, because if that same headline were to pertain to the United States instead of Nigeria, it would be headline news. This being just one example of how our mass media operates. If it makes for good news then it gets reported as such, and the networks reap the profits.

When was the last time we heard about the hundreds of young Nigerian school girls that were captured by Boko Haram? They make the point again that the news we’re getting isn’t always the news that is keeping us informed of global problems. If Boko Haram had captured nearly 300 school children in France, there would be marches, and the entire world would be clamoring to retrieve these children. Unfortunately, Nigeria is not going to get the same press coverage, and the girls that haven’t been able to escape may never get the chance to come back.

How crazy would our media and politicians be going if there were missing school girls being held by a terrorist organization in the United States? It’s safe to say that it would cause a great deal of mayhem for our country as a whole. That’s the biggest problem right there too. An issue like that is “normal” in a country like that, and this latest attack at Garissa University will go down the same way.

Big change is needed in regions who are affected by groups such as Boko Haram and Al Shabab, and I think the first step is recognition of the problem. The media needs to take responsibility for that, as they are the ones that decide what news is important to our country.

 

  • Arafat

    Recognition of the problem?
    Islam is the problem and its fundamental hatred of all infidels.

  • Helen George

    Zac, I completely agree with you, this was a much needed post. I commend you for being brave enough to step forward and express your opinion. The sad reality is that we as Americans have become desensitized to the killing of people in other places. There might be a bombing or drone attack that kills hundreds of people at once in some third world country in Africa or the Middle East and we won’t care, but if a school shooting happens here with half the casualties, the media will consistently push it in our faces and the nation will go into mourning. Every life has a value. The media needs to realize this.

    Also, ignore Arafat, he’s just a troll that comments irrelevant Islamophobic things on everyone’s posts