The recent Texas Massacre caught the attention of people all over the world, as do most national tragedies. Yet on the other side of the world, a genocide is occurring, and most of us are oblivious.
In 2008, the Myanmar military installed a genocidal campaign against the Muslim minority, or Rohingyas. The country, which is majority buddhist, justifies the heinous crime as an “ethnic cleansing,” according to The Chicago Tribune.
So what exactly is happening in Myanmar? The short answer is: Mass genocide, mass rape, village burning, and more. CNN says over 800,000 refugees have fled to Bangladesh to escape the horrors being imposed on them by their own country. They face a new and terrifying level of discrimination, yet receive little aid or attention. A Rohingya woman detailed her haunting experience to the New York Times, saying, “they threw my baby into a fire.”
This isn’t the extent of the atrocities, however, not even close. Other survivors depict the decapitation and sexual assault of children, throwing grenades into houses and burning entire families alive.
Most haven’t heard of the Myanmar genocide, and the good hearted majority of us are inclined to feel empathetic and sorry. But there’s one simple truth we fail to acknowledge. We’re doing extremely little to combat these acts of oppression. A very small portion of those who live in the west are even aware that Myanmar is a country. The media fails to pay any amount of notable attention towards the topic. Everyone all over the globe who pays any attention to the news heard of the Las Vegas Massacre or the recent act of terrorism in New York City.
Not only are the people oblivious, but other countries aren’t doing much to help. The United States not only recently pulled out military forces in the country, but is “dragging its heels” to do something as simply moral as send sexual assault investigators to the nation to help its victims. Another US official even went as far as to say that Rohingya should be returned to Myanmar, according to the The Guardian.
The entire Myanmar affair is a prime example of how we can fail as a society. When we refuse to accept cold truths and help others, even those with conflicting beliefs or in situations which may be difficult, we open a curtain revealing what kind of society we really are.
So what do we do? We spread awareness for Myanmar, and encourage our representatives to step in and help those who are helpless. By doing this, we can prove that we’re not selfish, and kind souled members of the world.