A few hours after a Boeing 737 Max 8 jet, owned and operated by Ethiopian Airlines crashed shortly after take-off from Addis Ababa, the Ethiopian capital, on March 10, the story about what happened quickly swung from the many victims who lost their lives in the accident, to questions such as what version of aircraft worried passengers were scheduled to fly in and then to questions about how qualified was the pilot who flee the doomed aircraft.

The Atlantic magazine, in a critical piece, “The Western Erasure of Africa Tradegy” says “Media coverage of the crash of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 framed a horrifying accident in appallingly familiar ways.”

That’s according to staff writer Hannah Giorgis who singled out media in Turkey and others in Europe and the United States for what she says is an “unevenly rationed compassion” in their reporting of the event.

“But in the aftermath of the tragedy, many Western media outlets reported the news with unevenly rationed compassion. Some stoked unfounded suspicions about the caliber of the airline itself. Others stripped their reporting of emphasis on Africa almost entirely, framing the tragedy chiefly in terms of its impact on non-African passengers and organizations.”

Clyda Stafford from Boulder, Colorado sends Condolences to the African Community 

Clyda Stafford from Boulder Colorado sent me this email saying she is concerned after reading about the story in newspapers in America. She writes:

“I have just been reading in the news about the Western coverage of the plane crash in Ethiopia that killed 157 people.  The news in the West has been focusing mostly on the number of Westerners who lost their lives without much attention to the loss of many, many Africans and other people from so many nations across the world.  I want to express my sincerest condolances to all those of African and Asian decent who feel a great loss.  So, so many people on that plane were people who were working to bring about better conditions for Africans, and the loss of their lives is a great tragedy.”

Stafford adds:

“I feel strongly that Americans need to let Africans know that we truly have empathy for their loss. Of course, many people on the plane were from other nations of the world, but most of them were Africans and the tragedy occurred on African soil.  Africans will suffer grief for all who were lost.”

Meanwhile nations and aviation regulators around the world have grounded the Boeing 737 Max 8 model aircraft involved in the crash.