Braving Brussels

A Belgian, an Italian, a German, a Liberian, a Brit, a Peruvian, an American couple and two Dutch siblings — these are just a few of those who died from last week’s attacks in Belgium.

Although these people all had the same fate, we, as a media-inspired community, have taken to separating these individuals on a global level.

At the end of the day, we forget that an eager student, a loving husband and wife, an executive secretary, a coach, a mourning relative, a computer programmer, a chef, a brother and a sister could have come from anywhere around the world.

It is time to recognize these acts of terror as a humanitarian calamity that transcends borders of race, religion and nationality.

As these terrorist attacks continue to enter our daily lives, it is inherent that the Western world take a step back from selfish 
bereavement.

Both Paris and Brussels represent an unfortunate realization that we only set our flags at half-mast when we feel the loss suits our own ideologies.

While it is a harsh acknowledgment, it is altogether necessary in order to pop the bubble that our Twitter feeds, Facebook statuses and Instagram posts have trapped us in.

What we see in the media is only a small snippet of the real world.

There are so many unheard voices that go right past the ears of 
English-speaking 
individuals.

This overwhelming ignorance has caused many to weigh events of terror against each other.

It is imperative to realize that the importance of one death cannot outweigh another, and those who are comparing these attacks are acting arbitrarily and 
selfishly.

In March alone, countless individuals of all philosophies have witnessed the horrors displayed in Turkey, Nigeria, Iraq, Syria, the Ivory Coast, Yemen and Pakistan.

These overlooked citizens, extremely horrified by the ghastly bloodshed, are overcome with fright.

However, many Americans do not grasp the graveness of these calamities.

By not accepting the legitimacy of foreign pleas, we discredit their fear as being a lesser-valued 
emotion.

We have become desensitized to the point where these far-off tragedies seem commonplace in comparison to more standard, westernized terrorist attacks.

As benefactors of freedom and impartiality, we need to put an end to this us-versus-them mentality.

We fail to recognize that we are all afraid because deep down, we know there is no tried and true method of handling this.

Now, the blame game is easier than ever to play in times of vulnerability.

This fear clouds everybody’s ability to think, which causes 
false perceptions.

By not acknowledging the horrors occurring in these African and Middle Eastern countries, we are actively mistaking our own teammates for opponents.

Conclusively, we must garner support against these terrors not nationally, but globally in order to promote equality and solidarity in a time of utmost importance.

The root of terrorism has nothing to do with the countries it occurs in.

Sooner rather than later we must realize terrorism is used as a tool to inspire fear in people of all 
nationalities.

This destruction is a matter that concerns us all as humans. It’s our job to unite and stand against it.

This article was originally published as an editorial for the Indiana Daily Student on 29 March 2016.

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