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media bias excludes all victims except westerners

December 1, 2008

I borrowed this article from Wil Robinson at International Political Will because it illustrates the elitism, political and cultural spin the guilty media is famous for.  The media, again, is guilty of tailoring its news to appease its corporate and political puppet masters and impose the spin …

Unbreakable

The suburban train to CST in south Mumbai was rather empty – even for a Sunday. The station itself was unusually quiet, and the platforms lacked the typical crowds that throng forward trying to secure a seat on the incoming train before you can even step off. Outside of the Victorian-era train station, passers-by stop to gawk at a fist-sized bullet hole in the stone exterior.

The typical invasion of tourists that meanders through the streets of Colaba were far and few between, but there were some scattered Western faces. Like everyone else, they were trying to catch a glimpse of the places that had beheld so much torment in the past few days.

Candles and flowers were left at the shuttered entrance to Leopold’s Cafe, where two gunmen had tossed a grenade inside the popular restaurant before opening fire. On the sidewalk, rows of hawker stands were largely locked up and empty, through a few were reemerging to sell their sparkling bangles and vibrantly-colored shawls.

At the Taj Hotel, workers busily boarded up the outside of the hotel for the long repairs that await the landmark hotel. People stood at police barricades, gazing up at the blackened rooms on the top floors. There were Mumbaikars from all sections of society gathered: Hindu and Muslim, rich and poor, Brahmin and sweeper. They chattered, pointed, snapped photos with their cell phones, and walked on, still in a subdued state of shock.

The hotel – more than other places – still showed signs of the attack. The military lingered, marked most noticeably by the Indian Navy battleship docked off-shore. Debris was scattered on the pavement. Knotted bedsheets used for escape by those caught in the nightmare still cascaded down from upper-story windows.

But now that the moment has passed, the world already appears ready to place blame and utilize the tragedy for their own benefit. Across the oceans, non-Indians are drawing their own lines of fault, ethnic preference, and anger. If Mumbaikars won’t divide themselves, the Western media and bloggers will do it for them.

The media has focused inordinately on the 15 foreigners killed – reminding everyone that British and Americans were “targeted.” Why are these foreigners’ stories or tragic endings deserving of any more sorrow or airtime than the other 157 victims?

Only minutes into the attacks, blogger “Holly in Cincinnati” at The Moderate Voice quipped “Let me make a guess that al-Qaeda or an affiliated Islamist group is involved…” – and then went on to put up eight (8) posts over the next few days specifically dealing with the six Jewish hostages/victims. Meanwhile, she posted only three other times about the 166 other victims, who were, in her posts, primarily nameless, faceless “victims” that further proved the horror of the Muslim terrorists. For Holly, it was all about Muslim vs. Jew.

“Holly in Cincinnati” even claims in one post:

“This is a declaration of war against Jews worldwide, it has nothing to do with Israeli policies but rather signifies an evil lust for dead Jews. It’s open season on us. I will be having brunch in a restaurant today with other Jews and will be looking over my shoulder.”

Holly would be smarter to avoid Christmas shoppers at Wal-Mart than worry about terrorists singling out her and her friends at a restaurant (in Cincinnati)…

For people like Holly, even times of tragedy are seen as a chance to divide people into races, ethnicities, and religions. Unity is not in their vocabulary, under any circumstances.

Even the political cartoonists are in on the act.

This cartoonist apparently forgot to include buildings for Mumbai (train bombings that killed 187 on July 11, 2006), Jaipur (80 killed on May 13, 2008), Ahmedabad (55 killed on June 26, 2008), and New Delhi (22+ killed in September 2008). Not to mention the hundreds of attacks in Iraq since 2003, Afghanistan since 2001, or even the recent bombing of the Marriott Hotel in Islamabad.

The western world has a short memory when it comes to non-Europeans and non-Christians. The next time there is a terrorist attack, the cartoonist will likely leave out Mumbai once again.

These two cartoonists seem to be insinuating that the terror is coming from within in India – subtly placing fault on India (evidence is pointing to Pakistanis as perpetrators of the recent attacks).

I can only imagine the public outcry had a newspaper cartoon appeared days after 9/11 suggesting anything but Islam was responsible for the attacks on New York and the Pentagon. It’s been 7 years, and America still refuses to acknowledge there was more than religion behind September 11, 2001.

The west is always quick to divide and segregate people along ethnic, racial, or religious lines. When the western world analyzes social and military policy, we tend to do so through a hypocritical lens, quick to point to faults of the “other” and the innocence of the West. Terrorism comes from “them,” and so when “they” are attacked by terror, there must be some internal fault, complicity, or karmic blowback. When we mourn victims of tragedy in other parts of the world, we focus only on the white, the Christian, or the American who are evidently caught in the middle of someone else’s problem.

Mumbai is mourning as one – not as Jew, Christian, Hindu, or Muslim. There are no distinctions between victims.

Surely that is something Americans can still remember in the first few days after 9/11: the unity, the brotherhood, the connection with other people who were not exactly like us, but shared our sorrow.

It is something we too quickly forgot, instead choosing to draw strength from war, revenge, division, and hate. We have another chance – we can choose to connect as people, and mourn equally all who have lost their lives to terror.

People in Mumbai, New York, Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine, Israel, Nigeria, DR Congo…

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