[Marxism] 12,000 dead... and it’s not news!

Eli Stephens elishastephens at hotmail.com
Mon Jul 3 10:10:59 MDT 2006

This editorial from Granma Internacional deserves to be read widely

IF four buildings - four twin towers for example - full of boys and girls, 
killing 12,000 were destroyed, surely it would not occur to anyone to argue 
against that terrible news being the lead story on all news broadcasts, all 
front pages.

No one, on any editorial board, or in any radio or television studio, would 
object if the news of those 12,000 dead children dominated all the headlines 
and columns, opinions and reports, photos and testimonies.

No public figure would miss the opportunity to refer to such a dramatic 
event and to proclaim that a similar disaster must never happen again.

If an earthquake hit a country or a tsunami unexpectedly slammed into a 
coastline killing 12,000 children, no one in the media would dare suggest 
that such a terrible disaster should yield the spotlight to a soccer game, 
for example, or the illness of a popular singer. No police chief or 
religious leader in the world would fail to display his or her dismay over 
the incident, and every government or humanitarian aid agency would mobilize 
their resources.

If a terrorist gang kidnapped 12,000 children and threatened to execute the 
hostages if their demands were not met within 24 hours, every plaza in the 
world would be full of people clamoring for the release of the victims, not 
one person would be indifferent to the possible fate of these children.

Nevertheless, every day, each time we wake up, 12,000 more children have 
died. Not from the tsunami that didn't happen yesterday, or from the tower 
that didn't collapse, or from the terrorist gang that doesn't exist; these 
12,000 children have died of starvation, of simple and wretched starvation. 
And starvation and its miserable consequences are not news.

Audiences would get tired --says the media director-- of a fixed eight 
columns, every day, in which the only variable would be the increasing 

There is no way that these 12,000 dead would merit a brief headline, a 
lamenting feature, or even a summary in the section "Strange World."

Neither does the opportunity exist to commemorate anniversaries because 
every day the deaths and their causes reoccur, so every day is both a 
tragedy and an anniversary of the same misfortune.

Twelve thousand boys and girls who have died between breakfast and dinner, 
between the morning paper and the evening news.

And we are only talking about starvation. There are many other buildings 
that fall every day for related reasons: tsunamis of illnesses for which 
vaccines can not be acquired, earthquakes that demolish schools and 
playgrounds, terrorist bands that enrich themselves by exploiting child 
labor and prostitution.

And we are only talking about children.

But not one plaza has filled with people to condemn a crime that does not 
cease being a crime because of its repetition, neither has any one of the 
media outlets that have covered similar attacks, interrupted its regular 
programming to give "live and direct", up to the minute on the spot coverage 
with a correspondent adjusting the totals of dead and disappeared and 
interviewing neighbors, before the broadcast turns back to the studios and 
yields to another barrage of commercials.

According to a United Nations report, "every seven seconds a child dies from 
starvation." About 12,000 per day.

The press would need several special editions or have to add 60 more pages 
to each edition in order to superficially report the names, which they have; 
their faces, which are real; and the agonized and despairing families of 
those 12,000 cadavers who have no mourners nor headlines, no history, for 
whom no one organizes anniversary masses or tributes. These 12,000 little 
ones dead each day at the hands of a rotten economic order sold to us as 
progress, whose laws protect the solidity of its immune building, and which 
terrorizes via its monetary gangs the deposed government of life.

Eli Stephens
  Left I on the News

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