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How Genocides Are Treated Differently Across The World

By: Haanya Quadri

Genocides are not an easy topic to discuss. It’s an extremely difficult task, but talking about them can ultimately lead to better awareness and understanding of the world around us. However, over the past few months, it has become increasingly clear to me that genocides are not treated the same by the avergae citizen, and it all comes down to media.

The genocide in Ukraine is one of the first in years that has had extensive media coverage. It’s been covered on nearly every major news outlet and social media platform. At Wheaton North, the Red Cross Club held a fundraiser and hung up a huge Ukrainian flag in the commons to garner support. In fact, even the English royal family called attention to the crisis, emphasizing the fact that Ukrainians are their fellow Europeans.

But that’s the thing.

There have been countless other humanitarian crises across the world, and none of them have even come close to being covered as much as the Ukrainian crisis has. Why did we, as a people, choose to ignore the Palestinian genocide last year? Or the Uighurs the year before that? And the year before that, the Rohingyan refugees? What about the ongoing genocides in Yemen, India, and Syria?

The answer is quite simple: the media coverage for these other crises just wasn’t enough. Media outlets choose to promote the Ukrainian genocide, which is amazing, but they have chosen to ignore the genocides that have happened in the past. Why they do so isn’t as easy a question to answer.

However, as Wheaton North students, I believe that we have an obligation to be as educated as we can about these topics, as difficult as they may be to talk about. Next time you go on social media and see a post about a humanitarian crisis you’ve never heard of, don’t just scroll past it. Learn form it. Do research on your own. Follow humanitarian organizations like UNHCR, OCHA, and Doctors Without Borders. Pretty soon, you’ll be able to spread awareness and concern for people who need your help across the world.

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