Since the Netflix original movie "Bird Box" was released, it seems it has dominated our timelines and feeds. Everyone is talking about it. Either they have seen it, they haven't, or the memes are being shared left and right. I saw it myself, and I enjoyed it. The memes are hilarious and I enjoy discussing the various theories regarding the film's many unanswered questions.
However, every time I observe our generation's extremely persuasive word of mouth, I am reminded of how we find pop culture, celebrities, and other aspects of the entertainment industry more important than other issues in the world.
I'm not calling myself a saint. I am far from it. This is just something I have noticed throughout my years on social media. I did not see any posts on social media or calls to attention about the two children who have died in ICE custody in the past month. Their names were Jakelin Caal Moquin and Felipe Alonzo Gomez. Jakelin was seven-years-old, Felipe was eight.
Jacklin's father told Border Patrol officials that his daughter was ill before they boarded a bus to immigrant custody, after a seven-hour wait. He was told the best thing to do would be for her to take the 90-minute trip. Upon arrival, Jakelin was not breathing. A helicopter arrived to transport Jakelin to the hospital an hour after being called. She died in an El Paso hospital shortly after.
Felipe had arrived into Alamogordo Border patrol station with his father after being detained in El Paso, Texas. A processing agent noticed Felipe looked unwell. Felipe was transferred to Gerald Champion Regional Medical Center in Alamogordo, where was given Tylenol and antibiotics, as hospital staff suspected he had the flu. He was diagnosed with a common cold, officially.
Felipe and his father returned to holding, where he seemed to worsen, vomiting as well. En route back to the hospital, he began to lose consciousness. He died a few hours later.
Jakelin and Felipe's deaths are still being investigated, as they are not the only children to suddenly die after being detained by Border Patrol. It blows my mind that these little ones aren't being talked about. They were human beings, who were excited at the prospect of a better childhood in the United States. While we mourned fictional characters in "Bird Box," actual children were dying in government care.
While the mentally ill were used as slaves by the invisible entities in "Bird Box," people are actually being sold as slaves in Libya.
The North African country of Libya is used as a median for thousands of migrants trying to reach Europe by sea. They are then captured and held in detention centers. Once these centers become too filled, tensions run high, and many are raped and killed. Some are even auctioned as laborers. One video showed a man being auctioned off as a "digger," for $400.
I have not seen hardly any posts on this, as I pass multiple posts about current movies, rich celebrities, and memes about sex. Not one post about the people in Yemen who are starving, who boil leaves off of trees and crush them to make a paste. That is all of the food that they have.
I am in no way condemning everyone else and not myself. I am definitely writing to myself as well. We all, as a generation, need to start paying attention to the lives of people other than our family and friends. We need to be as outraged about our neighbors suffering in other parts of the world, as we were about the short-lived Instagram update.
I'm positive that for most of us, we aren't trying to be ignorant or uncaring. It's an accidental oversight. But as we notice the trends that captivate ourselves and our peers with such a vicious obsession, let's ask ourselves if we are being distracted.
I, myself, have a New Year's resolution to practice what I preach. I want to be more physical in my concern for other issues, and not just tweet it or write an article about it. I encourage my peers to do the same.
We know how powerful word of mouth can be. We saw it with Malorie and Boy and Girl. Let's put it to good use. We can do something, we can help. I'm not saying we can't share memes or get involved in celebrity drama. I do for sure. But let's try to balance our attention, and use social media and our own good hearts to do some good in this world.
And for the sake of the subject at hand...
Yeah, everything was totally Olympia's fault.