The news is truly appalling lately

I feel a bit like I’ve come out from under a rock. The world seems to have gone nuts while I was writing exams over the past 3 weeks or so.

It’s not that I have been oblivious to what’s been happening, I’ve just not had time to process the happenings with my exams taking top priority. I’ve allowed myself very little leeway in terms of spending time on the Internet, keeping up with current events or checking websites I enjoy reading. (Because I have very little to no willpower.)

Today was a public holiday in South Africa (Youth Day) and I wrote my last exam for this semester on Tuesday, so I had a bit of time to catch up and to try and understand (or at the very least to process) what’s been happening in the news. I say today, though technically it’s already yesterday seeing as I’m awake and it’s past 12am. Anyway, I spent some time online tonight (as I often do before I go to bed) and I was taken aback by how sad, confused, frightened and just plain pissed off people are in various comment sections, on social media, blogs, etc. And rightfully so. The latest international headlines are quite horrifying to say the least. Not that there aren’t horrific things happening in South Africa every day, but these are the most widely discussed at the moment, at least in what I’ve come across.

The news headlines to which I am referring are:
People vs Brock Turner  – words can’t accurately explain how I feel about this particular story and the focus it’s brought to rape culture. Rape culture. I can’t tell you how dumbstruck and horrified-to-the-core-of-my-very-being I am that things have gotten to a point where this term is actually used universally as part of our language. That it is an actual thing.

The horrific mass shooting at a popular nightclub in Orlando – one of the worst attacks in American history following 911. Merely because someone did not like/agree with/respect the right that other people have to life and the right they have to live it as they choose. I don’t understand. It gives me the same awful feeling in my soul that I had in response to the aweful massacre of school children in Peshawar in 2014. What the actual f…

Are we so blinded by our own sense of self-worth, self-importance and self-entitlement that we have no respect for another person’s body or value their life to be less than our own? How sad, shameful and downright ludicrous. Come on human race. This can’t be where we are headed. Not in this day and age, surely? Hopefully we all get the chance to try and be better tomorrow.

Nicky

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