In one week alone, there were police brutality and racial incidents at the University of Missouri, mass shootings in Paris, an earthquake in Mexico, bombings in Beirut, and an overall unfair amount of injustices. Many people have taken to social media to process their emotions in the wake of the attacks and believe that these issues are not being recognized equally. But here’s the thing about injustice: it is impossible for one inequality to be ‘more important’ than the other.
The most frustrating aspect of this dilemma is the constant social media posts stating that people are not giving Mizzou enough attention while masses are changing profile pictures to a filter of a French flag. Outpouring support for the French should not bother anyone. I can understand the frustration of Americans ignoring the problems in our own backyard, but it’s impossible to tackle every issue at the same time.
As someone who has taken the megaphone at Black Lives Matter rallies, it was difficult to disagree with some of the most incredible organizers I know. My Twitter feed was full of organizers who I have the utmost respect for, demanding that we prioritize lives in our community as much as or more than those internationally.
The reality is this: all victims need support. Whether they are victims of natural disasters or political violence, solidarity is solidarity and it shouldn’t matter how we prioritize issues, as long as we are aware and informed.
Your news station of choice might be broadcasting more about news about France than it is about Mexico, but that’s a news channel. It’s not always an accurate depiction of how everyone is feeling. What an individual’s opinions are should be represented by that individual. If you want to know where people stand, talk to them; that’s the most efficient way to understand where people’s true beliefs lie.
Just because someone changed their profile to a French flag, it doesn’t mean they support Paris more than they support the victims of Beirut or Mexico; it literally means there was just a button to change their profile picture to make their support public.
I support the victims in Beirut, the students and faculty at Mizzou, Mexico, Paris, and I certainly believe that black lives matter. It shouldn’t matter what order those are in.