More to the point, the Paris attack struck close to home. The victims were journalists and journalists write the news. The terrorists hit a major Western city like the ones where the political leaders and opinion-makers live. The victims were aggressively secular. In marching for the victims, the famous and powerful were marching for themselves and their own.
Which does not apply to the victims in Nairobi and northern Nigeria. They were black Africans, not white Europeans; students, not journalists; living in the developing world, not Europe; and Christian, not modern and secular. No high official is going to fly to east Africa and march for them. The Kenyan and Nigerian victims are not their people.
They are ours. If someone could measure the amount of time American Christians spent reading about the three attacks, and the depth of of our emotional reaction, he would almost certainly find our time and emotional investment nearly as tilted to Paris as the secular Americans’. The more successful in the world, say in academia and publishing, the more this will be true. As a test, ask yourself what details of the Nigerian massacre you remember, compared with how much you remember of the Charlie Hebdo attacks. I remember a lot about the Nigerian massacre, but only because I read about it while writing this. Western journalists, even anti-Christian ones, are “our” people, Africa’s Christians a little less so.
[blockquote] “They quote a Kenyan activist, Kennedy Odede, who said, â€˜If there is any group of people who understand what has happened to Kenyans in the Garissa attack, I would say it is the Jewish community.â€
No, it is the Christian community. Or it should be.” [/blockquote]
RE: “If someone could measure the amount of time American Christians spent reading about the three attacks, and the depth of of our emotional reaction, he would almost certainly find our time and emotional investment nearly as tilted to Paris as the secular Americansâ€™. The more successful in the world, say in academia and publishing, the more this will be true. As a test, ask yourself what details of the Nigerian massacre you remember, compared with how much you remember of the Charlie Hebdo attacks.”
The reason why people remember and are seared by the Paris attacks is because it was *unexpected* and *surprising* — kind of like the 9-11 attacks in NYC.
RE: “Western journalists, even anti-Christian ones, are â€œourâ€ people, Africaâ€™s Christians a little less so.”
Talk about straining to see something not there, while refusing to see the clearly obvious — we are resigned to dramatically awful things happening in Africa, less so in Paris, France!
To put it another way, if there is another famine in Somalia will we be surprised? No.
But if there is a massive famine in Paris, France, with thousands of children dying in the street, yes, there will be much surprise and emotion — because it is unexpected and shocking to the viewer.
I’m not certain how somebody manages to avoid shock and surprise when catastrophe occurs in Paris France — maybe be totally blind and deaf to all trends and “news stories” in Africa for the past 50 years?
Here’s what will be interesting.
As Islamic jihadists continue their assault on Western Europe, will an attack as took place in Paris ever become *unsurprising* and *expected*?
I’m afraid so. And that *will be* just as sad in Paris, France as it is now in various countries in Africa.
Ack! I hit the ‘remove notifications’ from this thread by mistake. So hear is a post to put them back!