Lately, I’ve chatted with several people who have told me they are deeply grieved by things happening in the news. Grieved, to the point that they feel depression, sadness and even a lack of motivation to continue on with their lives as usual.
“Did you hear about X!?”
”Can you believe Y?!”
”BABIES ARE BEING KILLED!”
I think all of these things are deeply troubling. However, there’s something that I think needs to be mentioned, or at least factored in when determining what level of outrage we choose to experience based on the perceived injustices in the world around us.
Let’s talk about Genocide.
I don’t think there are many people on this plane[t] that applaud genocide, aside from those committing the act. However, I’m curious if any of my readers have heard (or give a shit about) any of the below:
Rohingya Genocide, Myanmar (2016-Present) – Up to 43,000 people slaughtered.
Genocide of Yazidis, Iraq/Syria (2014-2019) – Up to 5,000 people slaughtered.
Darfur Genocide, Sudan (2003 – Present) – Up to 500,000 people slaughtered.
Effacer Genocide, Congo (2002-2003 – Up to 70,000 people slaughtered.
Hutu Massacre, Zaire (1996-1997) – Up to 232,000 people slaughtered.
Rwanda Genocide (1994) – Up to 800,000 people slaughtered.
Bosnian Genocide, Bosnia(1992-1995) – up to 156,500 people slaughtered.
Issac Genocide, Somalia (1987-1989) – Up to 200,000 people slaughtered.
Cambodian Genocide (1975-1979) – Up to 3,000,000 people slaughtered.
I’m going to stop here, not because there are no more genocides, but because there’s no sense in filling in more details about genocides that 99% of people who turn on their televisions these days either don’t know about, care about, or give any thought to.
That’s the number of people that have been slaughtered in genocides in roughly the time that I have been alive. I would imagine that there were babies, children, women, minorities, handicapped and elderly people killed in this number.
Do you care?
I mean really, do you care? Do you give a shit about this number?
There are things happening right now where tens of thousands of people are being slaughtered like animals (Sudan, China, Myanmar) and I truly think it’s worth examining what level of care, concern, or outrage you feel when you see these numbers.
For the people that are feeling deeply troubled by recent events in the news, I might ask you – what are you doing about it?
These days, I think that most outrage is simply confined to little more than social gossip, where people get together to mourn, complain, or gripe about events in the news, while diligently sharing media articles, news clips and disturbing images to reinforce their belief system.
However, what are you doing to make a change?
I’ll tell you what you’re doing – exactly what the media monster wants you to do; watch more news.
They don’t give a shit about the news that you’re watching – they only care about the ratings, as well as money they gain from advertisements, and nothing brings in more advertising revenue than another national/international crisis.
Let me ask you this – do you think it’s appropriate to see a news segment that details the loss of life, only to have the news channel switch over to a Ford commercial moments after you see images of dead men, women, children and babies?
I don’t know many funerals that are paused in order for a reel of commercials to play. And yet, this is the new standard for our world.
“I’m your news anchor. I’m going to read from a script to you, which contains facts that are undoubtedly questionable, while you see the same video snippet that every other channel has been playing nonstop for the last 24 hours. There’s nothing new. There are no new developments to report. I simply want you to sit in your living room sofa for as long as possible, or keep your eyes glued to your mobile phone, so that my network company can profit from the commercials that are being played.“
Said no news anchor…ever.
Our culture has grown to a point where we drink from the cup of selective outrage.
I’ve lost several friends in recent weeks who claim they ‘see my true character’ because I haven’t joined their campaign to decry an atrocity, support a political party, or somehow denounce a group of human beings that act no different than the opposing party.
I believe that all atrocities are equally wrong. And I don’t believe that any life is more important than another, or somehow more deserving to be on this rock than the other. Yet, I cannot stand to one side or the other of any topic I see in the ‘news’ and waste any energy on it, when I see a cultural trend that has glorified violence, profits from tragedy and knowingly turns a blind eye to any of the genocides in the world that aren’t worth televising because people don’t care, and thus – cannot be monetized from advertisements.
If you’re read this far into the blog, which I doubt many have who have already made their mind that I’m a heartless human being, I’d ask you one question:
What are you doing to proactively end human tragedy in the world?
And no, sharing articles on social media doesn’t count – because it does absolutely nothing.
If you’re angry – do something to make a positive difference in the thing that you are upset about.
Should we be outraged when we turn on the news?
We should be outraged that media companies profit off of sharing human tragedy, rather than using their international platforms to end it, help those in need or bring people together instead of dividing them.
We should be outraged that every year, families are torn apart because they fight over political parties and figures, rather than sharing conversations about what they are thankful for.
We should be outraged that human bloodshed has been reduced to media fodder.
We should be outraged that our world is becoming more divisive, rather than coming together.
Times have not become more violent. They have just become more televised. – Marilyn Manson