What's Going On? | Teen Ink

What's Going On?

March 19, 2019
By alxmnz BRONZE, Jackson, New Jersey
alxmnz BRONZE, Jackson, New Jersey
1 article 0 photos 1 comment

To the citizens of America, and members of the UN, we are surrounded by conflict and grief on a daily basis. Every day and every hour there are millions of children forced into marriage, men and women being sold into sex slavery and prostitution, and countless other inhumane and immoral actions taking place around the world. We see on the news, issues of finance, issues within our government and our president, issues only regarding the wellness of our country, but what we do not see are the millions upon millions of lives at stake and the systematic torture of innocent people all around us. We do not hear issues regarding countries who have undergone economic war. We do not hear issues regarding countries who condone human trafficking. We live in a society where we can turn on the television and hear a broadcast about our president’s newest conference call, our president’s latest tweet, or even absurd cases about our president’s latest weight loss. We are missing the important news of our neighboring countries rioting and dying around us. We are not receiving the proper and urgent news of issues in places such as Africa and South America. Our networks should be flooded with news of food shortages in third world countries, of riot outbreaks within countries in the midst of anarchy, or of any nation, alliance or not, undergoing trauma and deprivation of human rights. To ignore the unfair treatment of others is equivalent to conducting the unfair treatment of others.

To begin with, let’s establish some issues you may have not caught on local news. In Venezuela today, there is an outbreak of starvation, riots, and crime upon its citizens. Hyperinflation has struck the country immensely; prices for basic foods and resources differ everyday, so the majority of the population is without them, resulting in severe food shortages. The country is also undergoing an economic war. It’s currency has weakened distinctly in the black market, causing many families to be completely out of money. This causes the crime rate in Venezuela to sky rocket. In 2016, the Venezuelan Violence Observatory calculated a whopping 27,479 people killed in mass shootings, break ins, and armed robberies. Other citizens of Venezuela are perishing from the lack of health assistance and medicine, as resources normally available in public hospitals are almost completely non-existant. There are people begging on the streets for food. There are children tending to their sick parents because there is no source of medical assistance anywhere. These are people, just like you and me, who are literally pleading for any source of help. If you were a citizen in a starving country, desperate for basic resources for survival, wouldn’t you want your story to be heard?

Another issue that should be blowing up on your television is the current multi-billion dollar industry of human trafficking. An estimated 20.9 million people are involved in forced labour today. Not only that, but 55% of those victims are women or girls, and 5.5 million of all victims are children. If you are not already shocked, how would you react if you knew that a large percentage of those victims live right in front of you? There are approximately 100,000 children forced into prostitution in the U.S every year. Victims of human trafficking are lured into America with false claims of work opportunities. Once victims from other countries travel here, they are immediately sold into slavery, having their passports and visas taken from them until their expiration. These victims are often threatened that if they try to escape, they will be reported to the police where they will be jailed, raped, or even killed, and in other cases faced with deportation. These are innocent people. People travelling from third world countries in hopes of starting a new life to better themselves and their families. These are people being stripped of all hope and respect. There is a manipulating system of oppression happening just before your eyes, but how would we know? How can we see the victims of slavery if they are invisible to the public eye?

The outbreak of suppression, abuse, and rejection is far too great in this world. Each day people are dying over issues regarding racism, police brutality, and other unfair treatments of citizens. What we see in the media does not nearly represent what is going on around the world. Why are we deprived of this crucial and desperate information? Is it because a starving child on the street does not resemble a Kardashian? Is it because mass killings, riots, and crime do not look good on TV and could be considered “unsettling” to its viewers? Or perhaps it is because there are more notable issues to be broadcasted, right? Like the president’s weekend golfing trip? Or maybe, Kylie Jenner’s rumoured pregnancy?

Like homeless people in the streets, we overlook these issues because they are not portrayed as important or necessary. The media is pumping out any news source that is mildly interesting just to avoid even a mention of these people in crisis. Until we address these issues, we will never resolve these issues. Until the day we decide to take a stand and help those who suffer around us, we will only be contributing to those who suffer around us. We are fortunate enough to live in a first world country with enough resources and basic necessities to be available to the majority of the population. Wouldn’t it be a good idea to use this privilege to possibly help others who are deprived of this privilege? It may be a cliche, and you may be thinking how many average person could possibly stop world wide issues such as slavery, racism, and child marriages, but addressing the problem is always the first step to potential resolution of the problem. Broadcasting these issues, taking the littlest effort just to share these issues can alert the people of our nation, and possibly the people of all first world nations, to contribute to the world wide issue of deprivation of human rights, and begin the path to world peace. If it is a thought, it could turn into an action, and if it is an action, it could turn into an outcome.

The author's comments:

 I wanted to submit this piece because it frusterates me more than anything when I have to see news articles about corruption, poverty and famine on Instagram and Facebook because it isn't broadcasted on television where more people will see it. I find these articles on small accounts with barely any recognition, when they should be on the news instead of what is really being shown on television; uneccessary news about celebrity drama or tweets from the president. I think it's important to educate the whole world about the wrongdoings occuring in other parts of the earth. 

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