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Chasing the Cause Célèbre

Posted in Media Bias,War on Terror,World by Ryan on the May 7th, 2014
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Some stories get a lot of coverage, others don’t. The reasons why should give us all pause to consider how we understand the world and how we react to things in it.

There have been stories about Boko Haram killing hundreds in Nigeria for months now. However, I don’t recall them being front page news like the current stories about the abduction of large numbers of girls. The gender specific nature of the victims seems to have elevated the evil of Boko Haram to new levels, even attracting the attention of US Senators and prompting a letter signed by all 20 female United States Senators.

Senator Susan Collins of Maine is even calling for US Special Forces to be used to help recover the girls.

The debate of using US troops aside, it is striking how hundreds of people being massacred, and students being mercilessly killed doesn’t elicit a great deal of attention until something more emotionally tangible happens that aligns well with more contemporary themes.

I’m wondering why these 20 senators did not sign a letter when 29 students were killed by the same group as mentioned in one of the articles linked above.

Suspected Islamic militants killed 29 students in a pre-dawn attack Tuesday on a northeast Nigerian school, survivors said, setting ablaze a locked dormitory and shooting and slitting the throats of those who escaped through windows. Some were burned alive.

Boko Haram is bad, and we should react uniformly to its actions, just as we should react uniformly to any perpetration of evil, bigotry or violence. Leaders, journalists and concerned citizens need to stop chasing the day’s cause célèbre and actually be informed to react in a principled manner to events in our world.

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