"Good morning class!" the teacher said.
"Good morning teacher" the class of high schoolers moaned.
"So today, before we start class, our school recently decided to give donations to help support the Notre Dame in Paris, France. Now, some of the staff have already donated money today, and if you would like to donate some money as well to the Notre Dame, you can drop your dollars in the bucket by my desk. But don't feel pressure to give. Anyway, so today we are going to be starting our "Sub-Saharan Africa" history unit. It's going to be one of our shorter units, but we do have a lot to cover-"
"Teacher, didn't you hear about the car bombing in Somalia? It happened like 2-3 days ago, and killed over 75 people" Scott, the aspiring journalist said.
"No, I didn't hear about that, but I'm not surprised. It seems like that happens a lot over there-" the teacher replied.
"And so? Does that mean that we shouldn't care about it? Or even discuss current events such as this that happen over there?" Scott asked.
"I mean, again, events such as thing tend to happen a lot more over there-"
"But they don't though" Scott replied. "And what do you mean 'over there'?"
"I just mean that on the African country, I mean the continent, there happens to be a lot of conflicts like this" the teacher explained.
"That's fair, especially with the way the media portrays it. All I've seen on the general US media news sites are what natural disasters happened there, stories of violence, and pictures of starving children. Yes, those happen there, but there are good stories too! I literally have to look much harder to find stories about the continent that do not involve violence; that's how biased the US news media can be when they report the global news" Scott said.
The rest of the class listened intently as the teacher and Scott debated. This lasted for another 15 minutes, until the last words were said.
"If these explosions were so important to the rest of the world, why isn't there a #prayformogadishu, like there is for a #prayfornotredame?" the teacher asked; she was exhausted from the intense conversation.
"Because as you mentioned earlier, you think this violence is normal. You view Africa the continent as a place of poverty and violence, when in fact, there hasn't been a large scale conflict or civil war for some years. When people think the way that you do, they don't pay attention to this stuff. Yes, there has been progress. Yes, this year was the first year that all major pageant winners were black, but this still shows how there is still much that needs to be done, to change. And we need to-" Scott explained, but was interrupted.
"Thank you Scott for that wonderful discussion, but now we actually have to start class; and get back to our lives, here in this classroom. That's what matters right now. Anyway, as I said at the beginning of class, we are going to start the history of Africa with its European colonization-"
For Further Reading