On March 22, three explosions rocked the city of Brussels, Belgium. By the time the tragedy had ended, 32 innocent people, as well as three suicide bombers, lay dead. Videos and images of the chaos and suffering dominated the news cycle for the next week. On March 27, Easter Sunday, a blast rocked the city of Lahore, Pakistan. By the time the tragedy had ended, at least 75 people lay dead, mostly women and children. It took a little more than a day for the mainstream news to forget.
The attacks in Belgium were horrific. No one can question that fact. But so were the attacks in Pakistan. So are the countless other attacks that aren’t reported on because they happen in a little known corner of the world. Why does the location of a tragedy matter so much? If the blast in Lahore had happened in Europe or North America, it would have been (and would still be) in every newspaper in the world, not as a small article on the third page of the international section, but headline news. Maybe the reason is that Pakistan is farther away than Belgium, but that doesn’t really seem too likely in today’s interconnected world, does it? Tragedies like this occur with terrible frequency in some parts of the world, but they rarely make the front page. It seems that the frequency of these events leads people to accept them as a part of life. But isn’t that the greatest tragedy of all? Doesn’t the fact that there is a place in our world where people live with the constant fear of these attacks deserve more attention that the size of Donald Trump’s hands, or whatever other story finds its way to the front page? A quote by Joseph Stalin comes to mind: “A single death is a tragedy; a million deaths is a statistic.” Does the same hold true for tragedies themselves?