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April 19th, 2007

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09:15 am - Iconoclast
I'm tired of hearing about Virginia Tech. Unless someone has a personal connection to the school or someone there, what makes this shooting particularly news worthy? Yesterday 233 people died in Iraq. Two-hundred and thirty-three! The day before that, over a hundred. Like I said, unless you have a personal connection to one of the people in these tragedies, why is Virginia Tech played more than Iraq? Why is one tragedy seen as more tragic than the others? Without a doubt this is exactly what's happening now. At NO other time does tragedy get this amount of media coverage and public attention. At NO other time do such a large number of people care.
The people that are so deeply affected by Virginia Tech, with no personal connection to it, but hardly moved by something overseas are myopic. At worst, they are bigots. At best, nationalist. Neither label is flattering and is not meant to be, but what else can it be called when the scale of tragedy is determined by the color of people's skin, by where they live.
To return to my original question--Unless someone has a personal connection to the school or someone there, what makes this shooting particularly news worthy?--the answer is of course that it happened in America.
The idea of "value of life" is a lie. Unless one tragedy is met with the same outrage and mourning that another is, the idea of value of life is a lie. The reality that confronts us is that one life is more valuable than another. A life's value is based entirely on where you are born. That's why we get American body counts and Iraqi body counts. There is US and THEM. And as you can tell what society values by looking at what it is interested in, by what it spends its time focusing upon, we are only interested in US.
US is an artificial creation. The idea of nation-state is man-made and like religion, like race, it is a prolific producer of prejudice. Of course, this is nothing new as history as shown. And this is not to say that nation-states aren't necessary (I believe they are). But that does not mean they should be used as justifications to value one life more highly than the next. To put the story of 33 innocent people's slaughter on the front page, but to bury Iraqi deaths behind "Who is Anna Nicole Smith's baby's daddy?" is disgusting. It's outragous. It jingoism.

(2 comments | Leave a comment)


[User Picture]
Date:April 20th, 2007 02:10 am (UTC)
well put
[User Picture]
Date:April 20th, 2007 02:25 am (UTC)
thanks (^^)v

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