At the end of the day, does it really matter which attacks get more coverage?

People like to compare global tragedies and wonder why some get more attention than others.

Take last week for example. The world collectively mourned for Brussels after 32 people were killed in two separate terrorist attacks. Major news networks featured breaking coverage of the incident immediately and didn’t relent throughout the day.

The New York Times gave it a full page spread on their website.

On Sunday, a terrorist attack in Lahore, Pakistan resulted in 70 deaths — 29 of them children. As soon as I heard this happened, I turned to every major news hub. They were all talking about the U.S. presidential election. No story broke.

It wasn’t even breaking news on the New York Times.

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So what gives? One simple conclusion to make is that the media is biased towards the West, possibly even towards white people.

In a country where distrust of Muslims increases by the day, thanks in large part to scathing rhetoric by some presidential candidates (I won’t say which one), it’s no shocker that people didn’t exactly drop what they’re doing to suddenly shed tears for Pakistan, the world’s second most populous Muslim-majority country.

Ditto for Turkey, too, a nation of which more than 90 percent of its citizens are Muslim. A March 13 bombing in Ankara killed 37 people. But nobody seemed to really care.

Is it unfair to pick and choose which tragedies we should mourn? Of course. Race and religion shouldn’t be a factor when we’re talking about the murder of innocents.

But the bottom line is people harbor greater fear and sympathy for something that more closely relates to them. A lot of people have visited Brussels. Many Americans probably have Belgian ancestors.

Additionally, the attack was committed by ISIS — that radical Islamic group we hear about every single day. Whose sympathizers have committed an attack in the U.S. in the last six months.

It goes without saying that the Brussels attack feels more like a direct threat to the United

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States than the ones in Pakistan and Turkey, which, while committed by terrorists, had more to do with a regional conflict in both areas that has little do with the West.

The last thing we need to remember is that while NBC, FOX and CNN are big news networks, they’re not the predominant news channels of the world. The Pakistan bombing surely got significant coverage in Asia and the Middle East. Just because something is not covered in America doesn’t mean it’s not covered.

Wondering why our American media is too biased to cover all parts of the world is a form of bias in of itself.

Again, I’m not trying to say what’s right and what’s wrong. All worldwide acts of terror suck and should be mourned accordingly. But I do think it is important to try and think about why certain tragedies get more coverage than others. Or why people on Facebook don’t react to all world events the same.

When news happens, for good or for bad, you can learn as much about is as you want by conducting your own research. And maybe we should stop caring so much about the amount of coverage something gets.

Not only is it an unproductive waste of your time, but it dehumanizes the entire significance of the ordeal and its victims.

The only coverage that should matter to any of us is the amount of time we devote to caring about it.

Or more importantly, the amount of coverage the Weinblog™ gives it.

Pakistan and Turkey, I see you.

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Mourn and be angry after Brussels, but don’t forget who the real enemy is

In the Caribbean Sea some 200 miles off the coast of Miami, on an island that’s roughly the size of the state of Kentucky, two world leaders met to begin the process of normalizing a global relationship that has been nothing short of toxic for more than six decades.

On Monday, President Barack Obama and President Raul Castro joined hands — albeit very awkwardly — and expressed optimism that one day the long-isolated nation of Cuba can be reintegrated back into the international community.

It’s something that many presidents before Obama tried to accomplish, dating back to John F. Kennedy — just months after the Cuban Missile Crisis, the closest America has ever come to nuclear war — to no avail.

Yes, Cuba still has a lot to overcome, namely the restriction of free speech through persistent jailing of government dissidents, but to see two world leaders make the effort to establish peace in an increasingly hostile world is nonetheless encouraging.

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And then, less than 24 hours later, bombs exploded in Belgium.

It’s the nightmare authorities have for months been dreading ever since they learned of an extensive terrorist network that resides within the northwestern European country following last November’s Paris attacks.

Already this week, we’ve seen hope and terror at its finest. And it’s only Tuesday.

There’s no question we’re starting to become a bit desensitized to these tragedies. It’s also easy to compare today’s death toll — at least 30 — to the 130 who died in Paris four months ago and internalize that it’s not that bad.

But let’s not forget these are 30 innocent lives, and 30 families that are gravely affected. It usually takes names and faces, and personal life stories, to make the victims resonate with most people. Maybe this time, though, until those identities do come out, let’s just grieve and take a moment to acknowledge these 30 nameless people.

Typical cliches run rampant after such incidences. Phrases urging you to not give into fear,Brussels.jpg to not let anxiety over terrorism dictate your life, and to support love over hate. You know, the usual.

Here’s another one for you: don’t be stupid.

Fear-mongers relish these situations to pedal intolerance and manipulate others in their most vulnerable states. Don’t let them.

Instead of listening to an emphatic sound byte, maybe do a little bit of research on your own to better understand who the real enemy is. And that enemy is a small fraction of disillusioned people called ISIS who long ago traded away their humanity. Nothing more, nothing less.

Don’t condemn Islam. Don’t blame all Muslims. Don’t hate someone because they’re not like you.

It’s so easy to do — I know. I understand that. But it’s also incredibly ignorant, and doesn’t do you justice as a human being. You’re better than that.

I certainly can’t tell you what to think. But if you feel like you need to point blame at some one, then I hope you’ll block out the outside noise and form your own opinion.

Because we can’t move forward unless we all understand who we’re against. And even more important, who our allies are.

I know where I stand.

Do you?

Finally somebody has found the best possible use for cat memes

Am I really going to talk about cat memes for the second time in my last three blog posts?

Too late. I’ve already started.

The entertainment value of posting cat pictures is widely documented. It works in practically any situation.

Including, as the fine people of Brussels, Belgium have shown us in recent days, when a nation is on high alert of the threat of terrorism.

Last week’s Paris attacks have had far-reaching implications, including in neighboring Belgium, the location where not only the suspected (and recently deceased) mastermind of the attacks grew up, but where other suspects implicated in the carnage are believed to be hiding.

Belgian catsConsequently, the typically thriving and tourist infested city has been paralyzed in recent days as Belgian military and police scour the area. Residents have been told to stay inside, and schools, museums, markets and public transportation have all been closed. During the hunt, 21 people have been detained, and police on Tuesday tweeted a photo of a man whose capture has clearly has become a top priority.

In cooperation with their search, police urged residents to not post any information of their whereabouts on social media out of concern that it may tip off terrorists.

But in today’s technological age, it seems like an unrealistic request, doesn’t it? People are obsessed with social media and receiving up-to-the-second news. Asking them to resist posting information on it is like asking Nicki Minaj to stop making bad music. It’s just what they do.

However, not only have the Belgians obeyed the request, but they’ve done so with a great sense of lightheartedness and levity — by posting humorous cat photos alongside the hash tag #BrusselsLockdown.

It’s provided a way for people to connect with their countrymen during a Belgian cats2fearful time, and I can’t think of any better way to utilize cat photos than this.

Even the police subtly got in on the fun by thanking its residents on Twitter alongside a photo of cat food.

I feel like if an American city was on lockdown, and police requested secrecy, some despicable blogger would post an update of their coordinates every two minutes.

Hey, don’t look at me! I’m not that big of a douche.

But I just want to take this moment to say that Belgians have won some serious respect from me. Even in the midst of terror, they’re able to show some personality and spirit. Before this, the only Belgian commodity I held in high regard was waffles. Not any more.

And it just goes to show — we may all look differently and speak different languages, but we’re all united in the name of silly cat memes.

ISIS, you can never take that away from us.