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Tales of Two Shipwrecks
For over a week in late June 2023 the news cycle had a feeding frenzy over disappearance of the Titan submersible in the North Atlantic off the coast of Newfoundland, with five passengers aboard. At the same time, an overloaded fishing boat, with up to seven hundred African refugees, capsized in the Mediterranean, drowning most of them. These were all human beings who came into the world in the same way and deserve the same reverence for life.
The passengers lost in the Titan implosion were all wealthy; very wealthy. They each paid more cash for this risky vacation than most of us have in our 401K accounts and went off to view the remains of the Titanic purely for the thrill and bragging rights. Still, the US and Canada sent every available resource (and you can bet for millions of taxpayer dollars) to search for and hopefully rescue these high end/high risk tourists. Minute by minute coverage was aired on every network from Fox to MSNBC and calls for oversight came from the op-ed pundits.
Meanwhile, tragedy was unfolding off the coast of Greece. This was no vacation for these people and it probably cost them their entire meager savings. No thrills were sought here, just despair and panic over trying to survive in a very uncertain future. What these now nameless casualties had in common with those on the Titan was humanity. They all had similar limbs and organs, friends, families and basic emotions (the very essence of human beings) but the rescue response and news coverage was as different as day from night. The same file footage of an over loaded fishing boat flashed across the 5:30 news for a moment’s sound bite just before the Wall Street update and almost nothing was said about rescue efforts for the few survivors.
Obviously the totally unequal distribution and access to wealth supersedes the professed platitude that all people are created equal.