The Empathy Gap


In the month of November, the world has been brought back to the reality of our generation- Global Terrorism. Terrorist had once again attacked a modern, civilized and densely populated city.  While Paris was a horrific tragedy,  I am writing about the city of Beirut and its citizens. As well as another attack, a short five days later, in the city of Yola Nigeria.

Hours before the carnage and loss that hit the city of Paris, the city of Beirut Lebanon was hit by a double suicide bombing in which 44 innocent people lost their live and 240 more were injured. This unfortunate attack was over looked and out covered by by what happened in Paris by the American media. The events in Paris were traumatic and has brought back the fear that had dwindle in recent years.  However, the lives in Beirut have been over look and have gone unmentioned by the media of many western countries. In a way, their deaths have been made less than those lost in Paris. Making it seem to the rest of the world that Americans only care about our western allies and us. We, as Americans, have unintentionally blocked out the lives lost in Beirut, and other countries, to focus on the lives possibly in danger here and in Western Europe. There are reasons why it was over looked, because it was on the same day or there were more lives lost in Paris.  But, what about the lives lost in an attack five days latter in the City of Yola, Nigeria, where a bombing took 34 more innocent lives and hurt 80 others. Those people were ignored, and instead, the media continued to focus on Paris- oblivious to the suffering that Nigerians were experiencing. Not to make the lives lost in Paris seem less important, but it seems like the lives lost in Nigeria and Lebanon deserve our respect too.

As humans, we hold our lives above almost every other being on the planet, so why do we seem to ignore the human lives lost in countries that aren’t as “modern” as we are. As a global super power, we should pay attention to all attacks, not just those in Western cities. It is our responsibility, as the largest consumer of mass media, to hold the companies responsible for ignoring and overlooking the lives lost in these terrible attacks.  It is our duty as students, and the future leaders of this country, to make the lives lost in the attacks on Beirut and Yola matter just as much as those lost in Paris.  The people killed are not soldiers, they are civilians- innocent people living on the front lines of our new reality.   Let us morn for all the innocent people of Paris, and those in Yola and Beirut.