52 Views

Paris attacks: why some and not others?

The attacks that took place earlier this month in Paris were a tragedy; innocent lives were taken by unjustifiable murderous measures.

I was at work when I first heard the breaking news on the radio. I cannot entirely describe how I felt when hearing about the event, other then I was shocked, disturbed and greatly saddened. When the headlines ran, the marches commenced, and the hash tag JeSuisCharlie circulated it seemed that much of the globe shared similar feelings and  were now voicing their solidarity in the masses for the mourning families, friends and nation.

No one can deny nor contest the world- wide compassion demonstrated, neither for the 17 Parisians who were killed that day nor for the four others who died whilst being held hostage in a super market a few days later. However my concern and comment is not interested in assessing the tragedies that were such attacks, for to do that would to be state the entirely obvious.

Instead I wish to shed light on something else. At the same time the world was grieving for the victims of Paris, reportedly 2,000 Nigerians were massacred in Baga by Islamist militant and terrorist group Boko Haram.

It was labelled as the ‘deadliest massacre’ by Amnesty International and yet if it was not for an online article by The Guardian that was shared on my Facebook news feed, I would have never known about this other, very genuine tragedy. 

The article was titled ‘Why did the world ignore Boko Haram’s Baga attacks?’ Most of its content accounted that the hostile environment in Nigeria was one reason, as it made it nearly impossible for journalists to gain sufficient admissions and information. The corruption of Nigerian politicians and lack of access to online technology were among other components for the story not making head way in mainstream media. However, perhaps there are other influential factors or at least one other. The dismissal of this African tragedy derives, I believe, from a mainly non malicious yet unconscious selfishness of the west prioritising news that solely concerns us.

Undoubtedly the vast majority were affected by the Parisian attacks because we as a species recognise tragedy, feel sadness and show compassion. But we as humans, although not always intentionally, are also blissfully self-absorbed.

When people heard about the attacks on Charlie Hebdo, they were in sorrow, but they were also in fear.  In fear, because such tragic attacks occurred in the west, on European soil; such attacks hit home.  This meant it could have happened to us.

We could have been any of the victims or the victim’s family and imagining such a reality transforms the Parisian attacks into something personal, possible and very real.

Fear and a concern for our own are intrinsic human traits, we give importance to what affects us. When discussing such a subject, another story comes to mind; that of three year old Madelaine McCann who disappeared in 2007 when on holiday with her in Portugal. In the time of its passing the news became of monumental interest for Britain’s media and public alike. The story entered popular discourse because it was tragic, but like the Parisian attacks, it perhaps was covered extensively, because, again, it could have happened to us, it could have been our child.

I accentuate the ‘us’, because this essentially suggests that there is also a them. Them are the others; the 1 million Asian children that are traded each day, the 2,000 innocent African murdered this January and the lives in other communities around the globe that are deemed unworthy of substantial mention in the news. Although far away, they and their struggles are too very real. They too deserve to be covered in the news, to be remembered and to be too be mourned.

In the case of the citizens in Baga, they are isolated and suffer a shortage of access to communication, thus it seems like the unsaid but presumed responsibility of the privileged and advanced societies, such as that of the UK to be the voice of those muted.

I comprehend the impossibility of covering every tragedy that occurs, so let these comments help. Let these comments serve as a reminder and to pose the question: why some and not others?

Jemada Cicely

Get the best viral stories straight into your inbox!

Don't worry, we don't spam

Leave a Reply

Join the Badger Team

Apply today!

Latest Posts

Union obliterates the debate – unwritten requirement used to shut down free speech debate
Campus News
252 views1
Campus News
252 views1

Union obliterates the debate – unwritten requirement used to shut down free speech debate

Jordan Wright - April 27, 2018

Student society Liberate the Debate’s most recent event was cancelled over a lack of compliance with the Students' Union's (USSU) requirement for a neutral chair - a…

Exhibition: Io-sono Fedilouu
Artist Focus
57 views
Artist Focus
57 views

Exhibition: Io-sono Fedilouu

Ricardo Reverón Blanco - May 16, 2018

Last week artist Fedilou made her debut exhibition in the downstairs space of Morelli Zorelli, a quaint vegan Italian restaurant in Hove, featuring a collection of intimate…

Interview with Philosophy faculty and COGS director Ron Chrisley
Interview
38 views
Interview
38 views

Interview with Philosophy faculty and COGS director Ron Chrisley

Nikolaos Manesis - May 15, 2018

Ron Chrisley is a Reader in Philosophy, on the faculty of the Sackler Centre for Consciousness Science, and is the director of COGS (Centre for Cognitive Science).…

Adam review
Arts
83 views
Arts
83 views

Adam review

Ketan Jha - May 13, 2018

If you have been a stranger to the stage this spring and decide to see one contemporary show, let it be Adam. This reviewer went in entirely…

Brighton Fringe Preview: Nick Cave Double Bill at The Old Market (TOM’s Film Club)
Arts
75 views
Arts
75 views

Brighton Fringe Preview: Nick Cave Double Bill at The Old Market (TOM’s Film Club)

Sophie Coppenhall - May 13, 2018

In celebration of iconic Brighton local, legendary alt-rock musician (and episodic actor) Nick Cave, TOM’s Film Club are hosting a double-bill screening of his films at The…

Whimsical fairy-tale meets class war – Standard: Elite review
Arts
91 views
Arts
91 views

Whimsical fairy-tale meets class war – Standard: Elite review

Georgia Grace - May 11, 2018

Meta-theatricality and interactivity are becoming all the more vogue in contemporary theatre, and in a world where the arts are becoming increasingly open and democratised, I find…

A Year of Art Society: The Best Picks
Artist Focus
82 views
Artist Focus
82 views

A Year of Art Society: The Best Picks

Alex Leissle - May 9, 2018

  [gallery type="slideshow" ids="35385,35386,35387,35388,35389,35390,35391,35392,35393,35394,35395,35396,35397,35398,35399,35400,35401,35402,35403,35404,35405,35406,35407,35408,35409,35410,35411"]

More Brit(ish) than ever: A review of Afua Hirsch at Brighton Festival
Books
70 views
Books
70 views

More Brit(ish) than ever: A review of Afua Hirsch at Brighton Festival

William Singh - May 9, 2018

Afua Hirsch’s 2018 book - part memoir, part polemic - provokes mixed feelings. So too did her discussion of the topic at this year’s Brighton Festival. Don’t…

Ethnic-bioweapons: between conspiracy and reality
Science
104 views
Science
104 views

Ethnic-bioweapons: between conspiracy and reality

Luke Richards - May 8, 2018

Bioweapons exist, while ethnic-bioweapons are whispered conspiracies. Pandemics can fairly hazardous to human life, the 1918 Flu Pandemic killed 20-50 million people. A man made pandemic could…

Breaking: Spring referenda results announced
News
145 views
News
145 views

Breaking: Spring referenda results announced

Jessica Hubbard - May 4, 2018

Students have voted to support the BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) movement, reject Prevent and adopt new Gender Equality policies. Results for the Students' Union referenda were…

Why I’m Jewish AND I support BDS
Comment
144 views
Comment
144 views

Why I’m Jewish AND I support BDS

Sarah McIntosh - May 2, 2018

The idea of a land where my religious identity is welcomed and where I feel safe to be myself and live in peace is a beautiful idea…

Student research happening at Sussex
Features
128 views
Features
128 views

Student research happening at Sussex

Nikolaos Manesis - May 1, 2018

(Image source: Flickr, Pixabay, Wikipedia) Another academic year is coming to a close and with it, the last edition of The Badger. To celebrate our last science…

Sussex Festival cancelled
Campus News
178 views
Campus News
178 views

Sussex Festival cancelled

Jordan Wright - April 30, 2018

The Students’ Union have cancelled their highly anticipated end-of-term event Sussex Festival: Desert Island Disco, which was due to begin on Saturday May 12th. The Students’ Union…

Students’ Union President Gustafsson and Liberate the Debate respond to the cancelled event
Comment
197 views
Comment
197 views

Students’ Union President Gustafsson and Liberate the Debate respond to the cancelled event

Jordan Wright - April 27, 2018

These comment pieces represent the opinions of both the Students' Union and Liberate the Debate with regards to the  recent cancellation of the Society's freedom of speech…

Artist Focus: Rory Hinshelwood
Artist Focus
132 views
Artist Focus
132 views

Artist Focus: Rory Hinshelwood

Louisa Hunt - April 25, 2018

Rory Hinshelwood studies Zoology with Spanish at Sussex. His brand is called Poplar St., at the moment the brand sell embroidered high-quality t-shirts. Rory works mostly in graphics…

Artist Focus: Maayan Cohen
Artist Focus
97 views
Artist Focus
97 views

Artist Focus: Maayan Cohen

Emma Phillips - April 24, 2018

The Badger spoke with Sussex University’s Maayan Cohen about her creative workshop, ‘Bits and Pieces.’ Can you tell us a bit about Bits and Pieces- what’s the…

Voodoo enthralls at The Old Market – review
Arts
106 views
Arts
106 views

Voodoo enthralls at The Old Market – review

Ricardo Reverón Blanco - April 24, 2018

As part of South East Dance’s micro-festival, Undisciplined, Voodoo comes to being as a collaboration between South East Dance and Project O. Project O brings artists Alexandrina…

Arts
110 views

Trial & error: Sex, sass and foolishness through dance

Ricardo Reverón Blanco - April 24, 2018

For the concluding show of South East Dance’s micro-festival, Double Bill brings two short performances to The Old Market’s stage: Comebacks I thought of later by Eleanor…

An evening with Candoco Dance Company – review
Arts
168 views
Arts
168 views

An evening with Candoco Dance Company – review

Georgia Grace - April 24, 2018

Last week at the Attenborough Centre, the phenomenally unique and refreshing dance company Candoco brought to the stage a double bill of performances exploring identity, community and…

Jake Bugg at Brighton Dome
Arts
162 views
Arts
162 views

Jake Bugg at Brighton Dome

Matthew Nicholls - April 19, 2018

Following the release of his Fourth Studio album ‘Hearts that Strain’ in September 2017, Jake Bugg decided he wanted an intimate tour, and that is exactly what…