Duane Smith | What About Shani Louk?

Letters to the Editor
Letters to the Editor

Her name is Shani Louk. Early Saturday morning, Oct. 7, a headline at the top of The Drudge Report — in bold red letters — read “Naked woman paraded by jeering Hamas fighters.” I would soon learn that, Israel was under attack by Hamas. Shani Louk had been kidnapped, stripped, brutalized and tossed in the back of a truck full of ravenous, armed men. Her seemingly lifeless (I pray not) body resembling an undressed, and severely tweaked Barbie doll that was being violently toyed with! Crowds of other men surrounded the truck, cheering “Allahu akbar” (God is great) and spitting on the woman. 

The article included a now viral video, that cannot be unseen, or forgotten, but apparently it can be ignored. 

As I write this, it’s now Oct. 8, 5 p.m. While the headline above is still at the Drudge Report, Shani Louk’s name, and her story, are scarce to be found in most American news sources. It appears that much of American print and media do not think a naked woman being paraded through the streets and spit on — in time of war — is newsworthy. I find this very confusing. After all, American leaders and our cultural elite care more about women than any other people in the history of the world! The architects of culture here in the U.S. created both the me-too movement, and most recently, what the Observer called on July 22, “the most unabashedly feminist blockbuster of all time,” the “Barbie” movie — as of now grossing over a billion dollars! 

Most American universities and big-businesses define for and dictate both — at home and abroad — what is acceptable behavior, and the rules, practices, and consequences of social justice; while at the same time our media serves as the judge, jury and canceler. 

So I ask, as a married father with six daughters …What about Shani Louk? 

Where is the social justice outrage from those we “trust” to inform us? CNN, why do you — as of the time I am writing this — only describe what happened to Shani as just being “an unconscious woman who was at the festival could be seen being displayed by armed militants in Gaza as onlookers shouted ‘Allahu akbar’? ABC and CBS, why have you yet to speak of Shani Louk? And why, I wonder, when I used the online data search tool, U.S. Newsstream (offering full-text access to nearly 1,000 news outlets) could I only find one news source (the Washington Post) that partially told Shani Louk’s story? 

Duane Smith

Agua Dulce

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