Chapter 13 of The Rise of the Blogosphere is called “9/11 and the Rise of the Blogosphere.” However, the beginning of the chapter deals with the separation of U.S news and international news. After returning from traveling and living in Africa, Barlow comments that he began learning less about Europe’s current events and even less about Africa’s. He mentions how surprised he and other American’s were when suddenly bombs were plaguing the US and countries across Africa.
My biggest issue with all of this is the, for lack of a better term, B.S excuse that there was just too much going on internationally that our journalists just gave up. That is the weakest excuse I have ever heard. Them just “throwing up their hands” left us STUPID. No one should have been surprised. We could have been prepared. We could have educated our people on what was really happening, that is if the government and such would have actually told us – but that is for another post.
Terrorism as we know it today is a myth. Americans think that terrorist and Muslim, or terrorism and Islam, are mutually exclusive when they aren’t. Terrorism has been happening for centuries in this country, long before 9/11. The KKK/white-nationalists/neo-nazis have been torturing American citizens for 400 years. The United States itself has been bombing predominately brown countries and siphoning their resources for decades, yet somehow it is only terrorism when it’s done to us.
I really believe that with a proper education, a reliable stream of communication between citizens, government and news sources could have prevented all these stereotypes and lies surrounding Islam and how we treat Muslims and refugees from predominately Muslim countries. We ignored all of the facts when paying attention to the outside world was crucial. Now, we have racism and discrimination passed off as facts while the actual voice, experiences and facts in our country are being tossed aside by our Nacho in Chief as “fake news.”
This chapter also makes me think of the “The Danger of a Single Story” TEDTalk by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. When we separate ourselves from the news of another country, when we ignore the facts and go off of only the little that we have seen and heard about that country, we are disregarding the identity and integrity of that country. We are making that country less than, making it “the Other.” We’re also making ourselves seem incredible ignorant and unwilling to learn.
I don’t know when educating ourselves about other people and their experiences became a taboo, but I struggle not to lose hope for our country everyday. Reading about the lack of consideration when it comes to international news before 9/11 makes me debate if the hope was ever there to lose in the first place.