When news of the terror attacks in Paris rocked the world last week, news of a previous terror attack resurfaced on social media-— the April terror attacks at Garissa University in Kenya where 147 were killed at the hands of the Somali terror group Al-Shabaab. Islamist gunmen burst into the university, shooting students and taking hostages during early morning prayer services.
Atlanta rapper Trinidad James, who headlined a “Pray for Kenya” benefit concert earlier this fall andlaunched a GoFundMe campaign to support the families of victims in Kenya, told CNN that when it comes to Africa, some issues are “swept under the rug.”
“I honestly can tell you that no one was really talking about it at all … that’s sadder to me. Like I said, I’m not taking away from the point that I do, that is a very terrible thing that happened in Paris and I do care,” he said. “[But] If we as a whole joined together like we’re doing now for Paris on all the subjects that … in my personal opinion should matter, we’ll be in a better place.”
Amid the shock and grief that struck the world following the Paris attacks, some voiced concerns on social media that other attacks like the one in Kenya or Beirut did not garner the as much attention as the attack in France.
Facebook, for instance, came under fire for enabling “Safety Check”— a feature that allows users to inform their Facebook friends that they are safe— for Paris but not other recent tragedies. The social network quickly changed that policy.
Since then, Facebook activated “Safety Check” after a terror attack killed 32 people in the northeastern Nigerian city of Yola.
The Trinidadian-American rapper said that some people tend to be more desensitized to terror or violence when it occurs in places that seem less shocking, drawing parallels between terror attacks that occur in third world countries and shootings that happen in cities like Chicago, compared to those that happen in the American suburbs. If the shock value isn’t there, less people pay attention, James said.
“I know that I’m desensitized to certain things and it’s not on purpose. It’s just because I’m imperfect as a human just like anyone else. But I feel like when you have that light bulb going off in your head,” he said. “Use your voice, use your platform for something that matters.”