Have you seen any photos or videos from the recent massacre in Texas that left 19 elementary school children – if you can even imagine that! – and two teachers dead?
Have you ever seen any photos or videos of any other massacre or even of the blood-soaked halls?
They do not exist.
What is published are photos of beautiful, smiling children, photos from funerals with closed coffins, memorials in cemeteries, and parents mourning.
The question that arises is why do they not publish them – no matter how difficult it is to look at them – when we know that this can contribute to the formation of public opinion against the possession of such weapons?
This is a very interesting and difficult question, as it is known that photos and film from the Holocaust to the Vietnam War, but also to Ukraine, have played an important role in shaping public opinion.
The same thing happened with a video of the policeman with his knee on the neck of George Floyd in Minneapolis, which unleashed some of the largest demonstrations in the history of America.
So why aren’t they published?
The main reason is that no one wants to appear to be taking advantage of such tragedies for commercial reasons. Those responsible for selecting photos in the media must weigh, firstly, if the photo provides dignity to the deceased and, secondly, if it is acceptable to the members of the family who at that time are under great stress due to their deep mourning.
It is therefore a difficult issue, and so far the consensus leans towards respecting the deceased and his or her family, rather than towards possibly contributing to a shift in society’s position on such a disturbing matter, even in a society like America’s, which is addicted to violence.
This is the reason why The National Herald, as a rule, does not publish photos of the dead in these sorts of cases – which are clearly different.
In order for the media to change its treatment of the victims of massacres, there must be encouragement from parents.
I have the impression that only when parents start giving permission or request the publication of a photo of their dead child, in order to shake up public opinion, will this taboo be broken.
Is it easy for a parent to do this? Of course not.
A parallel interesting issue is the prevalence of the practice that the names of the shooters should not be published, with the reasoning that the ‘fame’ he will acquire will ‘inspire’ other ambitious, so called ‘copycat’ murderers.
This is also a respectable view, as the minds of the killers do not work logically.
And yet, as parents who lost their children in the massacre told President Joe Biden, who visited them, we must “do something.”