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You know the image. A girl, naked, scream, arms spread, a look of horror on her face. It has been indelibly burned into the minds of billions of people throughout the world. That girl survived and now lives in Canada. She's written an Op-Ed expressing her thoughts on showing photographs of the victims of mass killings in the US and wars, suggesting that they are very similar.
It's not that often that NYTimes op-eds give me chills or touch my heart, but Kim Phuc Phan Thi, that littler girl, 50 years later, pushed those buttons for me several times in her guest essay, It's Been 50 Years. I Am Not 'Napalm Girl' Anymore.
Introducing her article in an NYTImes email, Peter Catapano, NYTimes, Senior Staff Opinion Editor, writes,
"I have a confession to make.
Lately, I've been ignoring my news alerts. I've turned off push notifications. When breaking news emails arrive in my inbox, I leave them there to languish, unopened. Or I at least pause before clicking, and think, Do I really want to see this now? Do I really want to know?
Almost everyone I know is grappling with questions like these. We must bear witness, but how much? The carnage of Ukraine. Months of it. Then the Buffalo-Uvalde-Tulsa onslaught, a whiplash sequence of incomprehensible violence. And so I proceed with caution. There are some things, once seen, that we cannot forget.
This week 50 years ago, readers of newspapers all over the world were faced with an image they may have wished to never see " a photograph taken on June 8, 1972, by an Associated Press photographer in the South Vietnamese village of Trangbang.
You know this image. A group of soldiers and children are fleeing the scene of an errant napalm attack that had seconds before engulfed them in flame. A 9-year-old girl is at the center. She is naked, having torn off her burning clothes, screaming in pain, her arms spread wide as she runs.
In time, this photograph would become inscribed into the memories of generations, an enduring emblem of the horror and depravity of war and the suffering of its youngest victims. In her book "On Photography," the critic Susan Sontag wrote that this photograph "probably did more to increase the public revulsion against the war than a hundred hours of televised barbarities."
If there's anyone who would know whether showing the horrific images of victims of violence is the right thing, she is.
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Rob Kall is an award winning journalist, inventor, software architect,
connector and visionary. His work and his writing have been featured in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, CNN, ABC, the HuffingtonPost, Success, Discover and other media.
Check out his platform at RobKall.com
He is the author of The Bottom-up Revolution; Mastering the Emerging World of Connectivity
He's given talks and workshops to Fortune
500 execs and national medical and psychological organizations, and pioneered
first-of-their-kind conferences in Positive Psychology, Brain Science and
Story. He hosts some of the world's smartest, most interesting and powerful
people on his Bottom Up Radio Show,
and founded and publishes one of the top Google- ranked progressive news and
opinion sites, OpEdNews.com
more detailed bio:
Rob Kall has spent his adult life as an awakener and empowerer-- first in the field of biofeedback, inventing products, developing software and a music recording label, MuPsych, within the company he founded in 1978-- Futurehealth, and founding, organizing and running 3 conferences: Winter Brain, on Neurofeedback and consciousness, Optimal Functioning and Positive Psychology (a pioneer in the field of Positive Psychology, first presenting workshops on it in 1985) and Storycon Summit Meeting on the Art Science and Application of Story-- each the first of their kind. Then, when he found the process of raising people's consciousness and empowering them to take more control of their lives one person at a time was too slow, he founded Opednews.com-- which has been the top search result on Google for the terms liberal news and progressive opinion for several years. Rob began his Bottom-up Radio show, broadcast on WNJC 1360 AM to Metro Philly, also available on iTunes, covering the transition of our culture, business and world from predominantly Top-down (hierarchical, centralized, authoritarian, patriarchal, big) to bottom-up (egalitarian, local, interdependent, grassroots, archetypal feminine and small.) Recent long-term projects include a book, Bottom-up-- The Connection Revolution, (more...)