Opinion, World, Editor's Choice

The Terror of Ignorance: How White Do You Have to Be?

It’s never wrong to be white. Don’t misunderstand me, it can never be wrong to be anything, but if you want to succeed in life being white is the way to go. Want money and fame without having to become a crime lord? Go white! Want anything at all without working too hard? White’s the way to go! The color of innocence? White of course. Want any one to care about your untimely death? You guessed it.

We are entering the Age of Terror and, especially in the west, this translated to an omnipresence of Fear and self-preservation. We closed our borders and mourned the losses of our fallen brothers and sisters in this never ending war on Terror. As long as they’re white enough for us to care.

I can already see your appalled faces.

Acts of Terror Know No Race

WHAT? ME? SELECTIVE EMPATHY? Yes you and no, not empathy. You are not empathetic you are scared. There is a profound difference in that. But let’s do the math, shall we? How many people do you think have been killed due to terrorist attacks in the first eight months of this year? And, more importantly, how many of those have you heard about and mourned or showed your “empathy” for?

Let’s start at the bottom with the most feared of them all, Daesh. The have killed around 2,200 people this year (at the moment this article was written) and counting. However how many of those have you heard about or actively mourned? Probably just the ones in the western world. Let’s see how many were that? Exactly 47 in the Western World, 45 of which in Europe.

2200 people died, and we rallied together and mourned 2% of them. They mattered to us because we feel connected based on race and shared values. We mourn people that aren’t white as well of course, as long as they make the trip over to us and die in our vicinity. I mean that’s what’s important after all. Location, location, location. But then again that is only half of the story.

If we include all terror attacks and fatalities committed all over the globe by various organizations and individuals, including every motive and religion, we are currently sitting at a number well above 5,200, with about 90 of those being in either Europe, U.S.A, Canada, and Australia. This number would rise to roughly 130 if we were to include Turkey.

Congratulations, we’ve had thousands of terror attack victims this year and actively managed to ignore at least 97% of them.

The Terror of Ignorance

This begs the question how white you have to be to be mourned by the rich western collective? Are you actually mourned is the question that arises first and foremost? Are we able to distinguish true empathy from wild and uncontrolled fear? What impact does the Mainstream Media have in spending days and weeks reporting about 15 victims in Barcelona, when the Boko Haram killed 27 people just two days prior, or when the Taliban killed 18 just a day before? Don’t those victims deserve the same empathy and outcry? Is it the distance, is it the different culture, is it their race?

We have to think closely about the causes for our behavior, because mourning, however hard it sounds, will not undo the death of the victims. Fear will not help anyone; fear is the end goal for everyone but you. And while it can be scary and our values may be under attack by radical ideologies, we don’t know the half of it.

In fact, we don’t even know 3% of it, and yet ignore that the other 97% is a reality which will not be stopped by fear and protectionism, but inclusion and bravery.

About Andreas Salmen

Born and raised in Germany, learned a job in IT and Business and ultimately decided that this wasn't exactly where my life was going to end. Left everything behind to become a writing backpacker instead. The world's crumbling away anyway so why not write about it and get a few good Instagram pics on the way, am I right?

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