WASHINGTON, June 14, 2016 — Following the Paris terror attacks last November, Baraka Blue wrote a piece (Beyond Selective Mourning: We Will Never Be Safe Until the Global Village is “US”) lamenting what he sees as Western media’s lack of concern with terrorist attacks in the Middle East. He compares the lack of media concern over deaths in the Middle East with media hysteria over Western deaths.
Blue then blames white people for this callous approach.
Blue’s article is an emotional presentation of his views, but much of it is based on speculation and information gleaned from the main stream media.
One reason Western media place greater importance on attacks in the West over those in war-torn countries is because of frequency. Middle Eastern cities face attacks far more often than places in the West. Attacks happen in places like Iraq, Turkey and Egypt several times a week.
When events like suicide bombings in Afghanistan happen on a regular basis, the media and public are numbed. Business-as-usual is less of a story than the unusual. There were months between the Paris and Brussels attacks, not days.
The media is not society. Blaming Western society or white people for media stories is wrong-headed.
The mainstream media are mostly to blame for this “selective mourning” Blue speaks of. Media are always looking for a story, and their disregard for common yet tragic events is the fault of news cycles, not of Western society.
A critical difference between terrorist attacks in the West and terrorist attacks in the Middle East is the motivations for them. Bombings in the Middle East are part of an ongoing war in the region. Attacks on Western targets are aimed at disrupting a culture and a way of life. While both instances are tragic, an attack on a society grabs greater headlines.
In any case, attacks closer to home garner greater attention than attacks farther away. It is only natural that Western media would cover attacks on Western targets more thoroughly than attacks elsewhere: not because of racism or cultural snobbery, but because of proximity.
The majority of Blue’s article can be summed up with this:
White people are evil, to blame for everything and the bane of human existence.
Blue claims ISIS was cooked up in a US-led prison in Iraq. Whether that is true—he offers no proof—Blue misses the fact that ISIS is an Islamic terror group formed in the name of Islamic extremism. That is something that has been going on for hundreds of years.
Islamic fundamentalism wasn’t born of the U.S. invasion of Iraq.
Blue cites no sources for his tall claims. He writes:
“How bout (sic) this though. I’m a white man. I’ve never once been expected to apologize for George Bush leading my country into an occupation which killed half a million civilians. I never once had to apologize for the police officer that killed Tamir Rice or countless other black boys and men. For Hiroshima or Nagasaki. For the extermination of the indigenous people. For slavery. For colonizing almost every country on earth. For anything. It’s probably never even crossed the mind of most white people that these acts were done in their name. In the name of keeping them safe. In the name of their religion. The religion of white supremacy. The religion of ‘us’ vs. ‘them.'”
Blue fails to admit that in the name of survival, leaders sometimes have to make difficult, unpleasant decisions. He pretends that western leaders feel no regret for the cost, sacrifices and the carnage of war.
Tough jobs call for tough decisions, and the ability or willingness to make those decisions has nothing to do with skin color. But Blue makes the history of humankind about race and blames the white man for the suffering of the world.
Blue asks, “what if Norway had attacked Iraq on 9/11?”
“Just imagine for a moment if instead of us attacking Iraq in the wake of 9/11 the tables were turned and it was another country. Say, 9/11 never happened to us, but happened to Iraq. Say, on September 11 Norway attacked a country in the Middle East, like Iraq, and knocked down the towers of their financial center. And in response Iraq launched an all out war on America (which had no relationship to the actions of Norway) — removing our president George W Bush and dismantling the entire government and armed forces and installing puppets loyal to the Iraqis in all those positions. What would happen? Well, I’m 100% sure all those crazy ass right wing white patriot groups that are armed to the teeth would be fighting to the death.”
Blue imagines whites thinking about Muslims:
“‘Why do they hate us?’ ‘We don’t understand their evil.’ ‘What is it about Islam?’ Is it possibly because they were born out of horrific acts done to them in the names of freedom, justice, democracy and world peace? You don’t see Muslims in Indonesia, the most populous Muslim country on earth, blowing people up.”
There have been attacks taking place in Indonesia for quite some time now. Blue should check his facts.
“Only the veil of white supremacy, a willful ignorance, could cause one to lump 1.5 billion people into the same camp. When ISIS represents 00000000001% (sic) of that population.”
It is quite ironic that the sentence immediately following his comment on Indonesia speaks of willful ignorance.
If Blue or anyone else wishes to know actual percentages of terrorists in the world Muslim population, visiting this link is a good start.
It is clear Blue thinks that by knowing a blinder focused pinch of world history means he knows it all. Humankind didn’t get to the place they are now in the last 20 years, 30 years, 50 years or 100 years.
It took more than a couple centuries for “we the people” to be where we are today.