On Oct. 3, Kim Kardashian-West, mother of two, was held at gunpoint, tied up, gagged and robbed of $10 million of her assets in her Paris hotel, according to reports.
Two mothers that night feared for their own and their children’s lives.
According to sources close to her, Kardashian-West pleaded with robbers, telling them to not kill her because she has children.
Bana al-Abed, daughter of Fatemah, who along with her mother, tweets out the horrors they face every day in Aleppo and worry every night if the bombs will kill them.
More than a week has past since the Kardashian robbery and we’ve all been tuning in for the latest updates. Was it staged? Will she ever post on Instagram or Snapchat again? Is Keeping Up With The Kardashians over?
The buzz around this A-list celebrity is never ending, and the opinions about her and this already famous robbery are never-ending.
Karl Lagerfeld, Chanel’s creative director, said to the Associated Press, “[She is] too public, too public–we have to see in what time we live. You cannot display your wealth then be surprised that some people want to share it.”
He continued to put the blame on her and not the people who attacked her, “I don’t understand why [Kardashian] was in a hotel with no security and things like this. If you are that famous and you put all your jewelry on the net, you go to hotels where nobody can come near to the room.”
While there are some people who victim-blame Kardashian for consistently “flashing her wealth” on social media, most people are sticking by her side. Nobody deserves to be assaulted, nobody deserves to have their belongings taken from them and nobody deserves to fear for their children or their own lives.
I cannot say I am a big Kardashian fan, but all personal opinions aside, I cannot imagine the trauma she has been through and I do not wish what happened to her on my worst enemy. And while this entire story has brought up not only issues of gun violence, victim-blaming and the way we dehumanize celebrities, the world is more concerned with consuming celebrity news than world issues like the humanitarian crisis in Aleppo.
Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton even made public her condolences to Kardashian, telling Extra TV, “And her husband, he was in the middle of a concert and he just ran offstage, bless his heart.”
And so it goes with Kardashian being a household name and public figure, but so should Aleppo (cough, cough, Gary Johnson).
And although the topic has been discussed, most recently during the presidential debate on Oct. 9, the gravity of the situation is just skimmed. Donald Trump mentioned that “[Aleppo] basically has fallen,” and went on how his focus is knocking out ISIS instead of aiding the hundreds of thousands of people who are still there, even though apparently hundreds of thousands of them are coming here (fact check: they aren’t).
Clinton voiced her opinions about how U.S. troops on Syrian ground would be a mistake and again, turned to ISIS and how she would target the leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and consider arming Kurdish fighters in Iraq in a push to get the terrorists out of the country.
The person who asked the question about Aleppo, related the crisis to the Holocaust, will we wait too long this time?
And yet, the debate discussion did not go deep enough. Should we also blame the politicians for not putting more light on the issue? They are only trying to win the vote right now and Americans’ focus is on things that potentially harm us, ISIS, and things that entertain us, Kim Kardashian.
Aleppo does not fit into that category.
Last week, CNN wrote a story about a 4-year-old who was killed by a bomb in the rebel-held eastern Aleppo. And since the U.S.-Russian ceasefire ended on Sept. 19, more than 320 have been killed in eastern Aleppo since that time, many of them young children, and these facts have been widely reported.
And yet, we don’t care; we’re uninterested in other’s suffering. We’ve seen the photo of the boy after a bombing, and we’ve heard the numbers on TV. Still, we’re more concerned if Kim will ever get that million-dollar ring back.
It really does seem like the Holocaust all over again, hear about it, but thank God it’s not happening to you. We learn and think about the Holocaust and say, what were we thinking not stopping it in time? It’s time to think now, and not regret it before it’s too late–and according to Trump, it already is.
Syrians are trying to communicate to us. Young Bana al-Abed is learning English so she can Tweet every day about her struggles and her prayers for the violence to end and humanity to begin. We need to focus on and listen to her and all the others that are still suffering in Aleppo, all over Syria and all over the world. We are in control of what we care about and what we decide to do about it.
Let’s decide before it’s too late.
Featured Photo Credit: Courtesy of Freedom House’s Flickr account.
Allie Melton is a junior journalism major and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.