148 students dead in Kenya world’s response – silence

Image by L’Amico del Popolo via Flickr

Lauren Shade | Staff writer


For those of you who don’t know of the tragic event that happened just weeks ago in Kenya then put down your smartphone and perk up your ears; this is a discussion you might want to join.

Thursday, April 2, 2015 147 students from Garissa University were brutally murdered. A terrorists group by the name of Al-Shabaab claimed the attack. You’d think that the media, especially the American media, would have jumped at the opportunity to report on a mass murder. Mass murder or murder in general is click bait heaven for the American media. For instance, can you think of one mass shooting that took place in The United States over the past few years that got international media coverage. Sandy Hook? The Colorado “Batman” shooting?

Despite America’s palpable love for showing horrific events on their media channels to boost views or get more clicks, the media response to this particular disaster has been static, and I’m not the only one who’s noticed.

Social media sites like Twitter and Facebook have been bombarded with angry protests asking that all seem to demand an answer to one very important question – where’s the media?

“Where is the outpouring of grief for the student massacre in ‪#‎KenyaAttack‬. where is the ‪#‎JeSuisKenyan‬. I stand in solidarity with Africa,” Facebook user, Mahek Chahal posted March 6.

Another Facebook user, Lalah Hathaway, posted this on the same day, “Four days ago 148 students were killed in Garissa, Kenya and neither the media attention nor international response begin to scratch the surface of what is required. These acts are barbaric and deplorable irrespective of where they are carried out. I guess the flight to Africa is much too long for the world leaders to go there, but if it were for gold, diamonds, or oil it would be necessary.”

If you keep scrolling down Facebook’s “#JeSuisKenyan” tag search the comments seem to repeat themselves. Westerners are displaying their outrage in the best way they can – through the Internet.

World leaders’ responses to this attack were also not enough to subdue the flames that’d been ignited by inquisitive and outraged citizens online.

In a Time article by journalist Aryn Baker, the President of Kenya Uhuru Kenyatta released a statement urging Kenyans to “stay calm as we resolve this matter” opposed to visiting the university himself.

There were 17 people were killed at the Charlie Hebdo incident and world leaders, including 11 African leaders, marched in Paris yet this massacre isn’t enough to gather such unified support.

So, why isn’t the world responding? I’ve been asking myself this question repeatedly over the past few days. Garissa University, a predominantly black school, was attacked and if this had happened in America the #blacklivesmatter protesters would be marching day and night until their voices were heard. Where are they now?

On Twitter one user, Abrar Qureshi, said, “I don’t want to say it but it seems for the media pundits and Western population in general black/colored lives don’t matter.”

But, maybe this isn’t about #blacklivesmatter maybe it is deeper than that.

Let me ask you a question – if this were a Western crime would the world have responded differently?

I have an opinion –  a sort of belief – that I wasn’t really able to substantiate until now and that is that we westerners are forgetting.

One part of society (the first world) progresses rapidly – technology, advances in medicine and education – the other (the third world) stays in a constant state of chaos – extremist beliefs, primitive ruling, lack of education, clean water, clean clothes and technology.

We are essentially being tossed into groups and one group is growing so fast as a society that we are leaving the other behind. But we’re not groups; we are humans. We are leaving fellow humans behind.

Isn’t this what social justice warriors are fighting for – the right to stand on equal ground with all genders? Isn’t this what black-rights activities are fighting for – that black lives are important? Where are you guys? It’s time to get angry.

The first world media cares about first world problems. But do you? Do you feel anything? Anger, sympathy, sadness…anything at all? If so, do you feel it strongly enough to act? If you answer “no” then my point has been proven. If you answer “yes” maybe there is hope for us after all.

1 Comment on "148 students dead in Kenya world’s response – silence"

  1. Muslims killing helpless children.

    World response: That’s nothing new.

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