Black Men in America, Terror in Iraq, and the Problem of Places Where Things “Simply Happen.”

 

I had the privilege of finding myself in Seattle this last weekend, visiting a friend who works as an Aerospace Engineer for Boeing. He sits in an office all day, working on wiring diagrams for one specific system on the new 787 Dreamliners. He is a U.S. citizen: white, upper-middle class, as am I.

On the 4th of July, we found ourselves in an Uber, heading to Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood. Our driver, Fritz, spoke with a heavy accent— my best guess puts it at Ghanaian, but my best guess is only so informed.

He was listening to BBC World on the radio, and we got to talking about the media. The day before there had been a massive terror attack in Baghdad, Iraq. Over 200 people had been killed. Some of you probably heard about that one. One of my friends even changed her profile picture. But how many of you changed your profile picture for Bangladesh? How many of you are wondering, right now, “where the hell IS Bangladesh?” (It’s by India).

Twenty people were killed in an attack on a restaurant in the capital, Dhaka, right before the Baghdad attack. That’s more victims than there were at San Bernardino. Both attacks, in Iraq and Bangladesh, occurred during Ramadan, Islam’s holy month. Most victims were Muslims.

That’s like Christian extremists launching an attack on Rome, during Christmas.

AND YET

No one cares.

Why?

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