Take a look at some of these recent headline news stories. Anything look off?
"Is volleyball player too attractive?" - CNN
"Sarah Palin Launches Her Own Online Channel" - Huffington Post
"Samsung's Tizen Smartphone: Dead On Arrival?" - Information Week
"Shipwrecked Costa Concordia completes last voyage" - Fox News
"Fast Food Strikers Take a Victory Lap" - MSNBC
During a routine lunch break, I normally browse the google news app on my android and read the top headlines. They are sectioned out by "Top Stories," "Nation," "Sports," and "Entertainment." In a matter of 10 minutes I can update myself with political events going on in the world, the latest sports trades, and another Bieber feud article. I may also see a few articles about tech gadgets and latest fashion trends.
Sound normal to you?
It looks normal to me... wait, really think about it.
Now ask yourself this -- did you know there is a modern day genocide going on in Iraq?
The indigenous people and now minorities of Iraq -- Christians, Assyrians, Yezidis and other minorities -- are being brutally executed in Iraq by the Islamic extremists, ISIS, for their religious affiliation.
Here is the punchline: western media failed me and it is probably failing you too.
It amazes me that there is absolutely no coverage about the atrocities against the indigenous Christians of Iraq and Syria. Nothing about the hundreds of thousands of displaced Assyrians, Yezidis and other Iraqi minorities. Nothing about the young, the middle aged, and the elderly being lined up and shot execution style. Nothing about the beheading of innocent people after being forced to denounce their own God out of fear. Nothing about the destruction of thousand year old relics.
Tear jerkers, YES. Headline worthy, YES. Actionable, YES. Yet nobody in major media is covering these stories.
OK, I got it, no one wants to read Debbie Downer news stories. Plus, it may get too complicated to talk about ISIS committing crimes against humanity when stories about the conflicts in Gaza and the downed Malaysian plane are the main global headlines. Heaven forbid the media talk about the genocide going on in the 'cradle of civilization' amidst the latest celebrity bikini photos ... Western media and news aggregators think it's too complicated for the average Joe to understand.
For the average Joes out there, let me break it down for us. Wars suck. Conflicts mean innocent peoples' lives are lost. Imagine your mother, father, brothers, sisters, friends and even your enemies being killed senselessly for their religious beliefs. Now imagine yourself getting beheaded for your ethnicity structure. Whether you are a Jew, Christian, Muslim or any other religion, you should all know that killing your fellow man is not your natural God approved right.
"It's not our problem, the Iraqi government should handle the situation."
Did you know that minority groups in Iraq actually helped the USA soldiers in the Iraqi wars? I know first hand. My dad flew back to Iraq to support the troops by translating, interrogating and gathering intel so that our brave American soldiers could be safe. Assyrians stood hand in hand with our troops on the battlefields. Ask any of our soldiers, they will be happy to tell you. Can we just turn our backs on them?
Assyrians are the original people of modern day Iraq and now they are being killed off. Native Americans should know how it feels to get kicked off of their own land, the Jews should be able to relate with the mass murders that occurred with the Holocaust and their forced removal from Iraq, and Muslims should be outraged by the anti-Islamic stance these extremists are exhibiting.
They say ignorance is bliss. I say forced ignorance is a cop-out.
We in the west need bring awareness to topics that affect humanity in more ways than just mindless entertainment. Advocating a voice for the voiceless, social issue commentary and for God's sake modern day genocide awareness are topics that should not be swept under the rug.
To all the journalists out there, my call to action for you is to step up your game. Cover topics that affect humanity and advocate for those without a voice. Stand up and say that it is not OK to behead someone for not having the same beliefs as you. It is not OK to destroy thousand year old historical and biblical sites. It is not ok to harm your fellow human!
For the sake of humanity, TALK ABOUT IT!