A hierarchy of humanity

We talk a good game about the sanctity of life, says Calgary writer, but clearly we value some lives more highly than others

Appalled by the world’s inaction following stunning events in Africa, foreign affairs commentator Tom Giannuzzi offers up a top-10 list of human populations, based on the values we attach to the lives within them. At the top, as you might imagine, are First World countries. At the bottom are inhabitants of “conflict-prone places where many of the natives are none too friendly” – like Somalia and Yemen. Giannuzzi’s outrage stems from two events: the assassination of the president of Guinea-Bissau, who was shot to death by soldiers, the day after he had his nemesis, the head of the armed forces, killed; and the overthrow of a democratically elected regime in Madagascar. “The outside world’s failure to react strongly enough to these events (and plenty of others),” says Giannuzzi, “only reinforces the notion that, despite oodles of high-flown rhetoric and rising social concern, human lives still have differing values.”

Calgary Herald

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