According to the Washington Times, the death toll in the Democratic Republic of Congo has hit 5.4 million since 1999. Total deaths in Darfur since 2003 add up to 300,000.
“By any yardstick, [Congo] has been a humanitarian disaster, and one the world has ignored,” said John Holmes, undersecretary-general of the U.N. Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs.
Why is that? Why is it that some atrocities grip our attention and some seem to slip through the cracks of our national (or international) consciousnesses with little more than a sorrowful head nod? What makes horror worthy of our happily ignorant First World attention? I worry that we are sometimes preoccupied with “pop causes” to the detriment of further reaching devastations. But perhaps it takes a “pop cause” to wake us up at all.