Tuesday, April 16, 2019

What We See and What We Don't See


We see the obvious and visible consequences of crises in our world, not the invisible and less obvious ones. The media makes sure of that in their "news" reporting. Yet it is the unseen consequences that can be, and generally are, more meaningful.

Take a look at Hurricane Katrina in 2005. It received a tremendous amount of media attention and politicization on television. Moved by the images of the devastation and pictures of angry victims made homeless, politicians made promises to rebuild the community, a noble gesture on their part to do something humanitarian, to rise above the abject selfishness of the day-to-day.

But did they promise to do so with their own money? Of course not; it was to be funded by public money. Any funds used would have to be re-allocated (taken away) from somewhere else - from something that would be less mediatized - say, like cancer research, or efforts to curb diabetes. No attention would be paid to victims of cancer lying lonely in a condition of un-televised despair. Most of these cancer patients would likely be dead before the next ballot was cast anyhow, so they were not deemed consequential enough to have their plight broadcast over the televised airwaves.

More cancer patients die each day than died during the entire Katrina tragedy. Perhaps they are the ones who need us more - not just our financial support, but our attention and kindness. Yet they may very well have been the ones from whom the money was redirected away from - directly or indirectly. If they died as a result of inadequate financial support, it will be a crime for which there shall be no air time, no regret, no apology... no after-thought ever again of the tragedy within the tragedy.

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