Travel Log 7: “Global Responsibility” Part 1: Ben Raymond. Brisbane, Australia

The Rwandan genocide cartoon that stood out to me the most is shown to the left. In the cartoon, the illustrator shows the media’s interest in different controversial topics such as Waco, Texas, Tonya Harding, the Bobbitt trial, Michael Jackson, the O.J. Simpson trial, and lastly, Rwanda. For every single topic, the media seems to be completely infatuated and involved. Unfortunately, this was not the case with the Rwandan genocide – the cartoon depicts a single reporter taking one picture of the event. I believe this is due to the fact that the United States wanted very little to do with this traumatic part of history. We simply observed it with minimal media coverage or interaction. This also depicts America’s lack of knowledge during the period. During a time of mass slaughter in Rwanda, the media in America was too focused on celebrities and scandals. I also find it interesting how the single reporter is taking pictures of bones, rather than of people who are suffering. I think this is because the media thought the opportune time to document the killings in Rwanda was after the occurrence, not during it. Because of a lack of coverage, Americans were left unaware during the majority of the genocide. Thousands upon thousands of innocent lives were taken, completely unnoticed by the surrounding world. In the Declaration of Human Rights, article three states, “everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person,” meaning that the oppressive power of the Rwandan genocide goes against one of the most fundamental human rights – the right to life.

Since there is still an existence of sex slaves, child laborers, and human trafficking, I do not feel that the global treatment of these violations have changed, specifically regarding Americans. Most Americans do not want to hear of these violations because they will feel accountable to helping. When Slimbach writes about global learning, he states, “We can choose to carry our questions into new social worlds, exploring how other people, living under other life circumstances, offer alternative answers to the ‘big questions’ of human nature, the good life, the nature of power, the pertinence of evil, and bettering the human condition” (Slimbach 79-80). I believe that this is an empowering quote because it is the public’s duty to see with their own eyes and form their own opinions, rather than trusting the media. We need to carry our own questions and take action according to the events happening around us, rather than just letting them pass by.

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