Selective grieving is essentially the notion that some countries or certain types of people are favoured over others, so if an attack of a similar magnitude were to occur in two countries, the preferred country would receive more media attention and support while the other would be neglected and receive little to no media recognition at all. An example of this would be: the recent Las Vegas shooting received an exponential amount of media attention and financial support, yet the recent Somalia attack has received barely any mainstream media notice or support.
Moreover, it’s almost scary to think that over 300 people could die yet people and the media could be so ignorant and irreverent and choose not show their solidarity and support simply because the majority of the victims are of a certain race, ethnicity or religious background and live in a continent that isn’t Europe or North America. But what’s even scarier is the fact the act of selectively grieving is becoming normalised in our society. Think of it this way, if the society we resided in truly cared for all victims of these horrifying attacks equally then our profile pictures would never stop being slightly faded flags to show our solidarity. If the society we lived in truly cared for all victims then we would have a minute of silence every few hours. If the society we lived in truly cared for all victims then maybe the brothers, sisters, mothers, and fathers of the victims wouldn’t feel as alone as they do. Perhaps if we weren’t all innately selfish beings, then we would help everyone rather than the few victims we decide are worthy of our grieving.
I’m not saying that grief is a competition measured by how much attention the media gives something, but we can do better. We should do better. We live in a society where people can die and it can go unnoticed. And with the 24-hour news cycle becoming more and more prominent, it seems likely that mainstream media would be able to cover all of these brutal attacks yet brothers, sisters, mothers, and fathers are being brutally murdered and don’t even manage to make a blip on our radars, innocent people are being terrorised every day and the media doesn’t even have the decency to give them the attention they need so they can receive proper aid and care.
In conclusion, we’re all complicit to selective grieving in some form and it’s each our individual duties to go against the narratives the media has developed and to attempt to help everyone in any way we can. Let us work towards stopping that complicity today.