Saturday, April 16, 2016

"The role of white privilege in the 60 Minutes kidnapping saga"

"It is this perception that leads Westerners to assume they are doing a noble thing in "rescuing" children from a country like Lebanon; you'd never catch Australian journalists lending support to a violent kidnapping on the streets of Paris in a bid to smuggle children across the border.
And a violent kidnapping is exactly what it is, despite the Australian media's reluctance to call it that. CCTV footage shows the "recovery agents," who appear to have Rambo delusions, forcibly snatching the children and knocking a woman to the ground.
While it is not uncommon for journalists to break questionable laws in service of their jobs, exploiting a mother's pain and participating in a violent abduction in which someone could have easily been hurt is surely crossing the line.
Nonetheless, the Australian media has danced around the issue, using terms like "recovery operation", "bring back", "retrieve," and "snatch." The closest anyone seems willing to get to reality is to call it as an "abduction." This is not surprising. After all, "kidnap" is a damning word, one that makes it obvious that what occurred was in fact, a dubious and criminal act. But because white privilege dictates that the West is good, we have to call it something else. We don't kidnap, we rescue and "recover".
If Australians can't even call the incident what it was, imagine how shocked the journalists must be to find themselves in a Lebanese jail. It can be surprising to discover that white privilege does not apply in other countries. That you can't just waltz into a country, wreak minor havoc, and then waltz back out again.
That the 60 Minutes crew felt so comfortable as to actually go along and film two children being abducted in public indicates they were not fully comprehending the gravity of their own actions. And why should they, when for so long the West has gotten away with its endless meddling in the Middle East? The hubris of white privilege mixed with Channel Nine's lust for sensationalism is a toxic brew indeed."