2.46 million people died last year from diarrheal diseases.
1.34 million from tuberculosis.
1.21 million from road traffic accidents.
27 people died in the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting.
15 in the West explosion.
3 in the Boston Marathon bombing.
Why did these last three drive so much attention and emotional response? Why didn’t the others?
Here’s a thought:
The recent tragedies all had a certain shock factor. 45 subsequent deaths were undeniably unexpected and traumatizing, eliciting an outpouring of media coverage and political attention. The others, however, were “normal” and therefore, “acceptable” deaths.
The first fatal car accidents made headlines. But today? Maybe local coverage on the 5 o’clock news.
The first roadside bomb in Baghdad was media-worthy. But the 27th?
When cholera broke out in Haiti in 2010, everyone knew. Everyone cared. The first deaths mattered.
This epidemic continues today – the worst of this disease in recent history – but we don’t hear about it. Haiti has seen more than 7,900 deaths from this pathogen since 2010 but they no longer elicit emotional response or media coverage from the international community, even though the death toll amounts to more than 150 times that of the Sandy Hook, West, and Boston tragedies combined. These deaths have joined countless others in being classified as acceptable.
3 people died, completely unexpectedly, in a bombing in Boston. Their deaths mattered.
And they absolutely should!
6 million children under 5 died last year.
How the fuck do theirs not?