Boko Haram: Hundreds of Blacks Killed and Why WE Continue to Turn Our Backs

It is hard not to develop a negative outlook to the medium term prospects of humankind if we pause to scan world news for just 5 minutes. Whether the rise of ISIL as a consequence of the leadership vacuum created by the Western coalition led by the USA assassinating Saddam Hussein. There is the takeout of Muammar Gaddafi. Two years later Libya has two factions warring for the right to rule. The latest: the United Nations will attempt to broker a deal to delay a Gaddafi stable country from slipping deeper into civil war. Some will say this is part of the growing pains of a democracy taking root. What is democracy anyway? We could easily have highlighted the Israeli Palestinian conflict, the destabilization of Syria, volatility in Afghanistan and many others.

While the Western Press has decided to give 24 hour coverage to the attack on Charlie Hebdo and the ensuing events, the BU household remains numb struck at the report hundreds of Nigerians were murdered in what has been described by Amnesty International as the ‘deadliest massacre’ in the history of Boko Haram. In this part of the world – Barbados included –  intoxicated by newsfeeds from CNN, BBC, FOX and affiliates, little mention and public commentary is generated out of Africa. And when we get information it is of the negative variety. We sit back and debate the USA’s right to invade countries in the Middle East which aligned with geopolitical interest BUT we ignore what is happening in other places. And we know why.

Boko Haram has been around for for a decade and is described as a militant Islamist movement sworn to eradicating and preventing Western education. Interesting is that it is enforcing anti Western education philosophy on Nigeria, a predominant Black country. Boko Haram’s approach rubbishes the argument by White apologists that the problem arising from different dogmas like Islam and Christian can be delineated on race.

What is playing out in Nigeria is reminiscent of the Rwandan tragedy when the Western world turned its back and permitted the Hutu and Tutsi to massacre themselves with an estimated1 million Rwandans killed. If we believe the West, namely the USA and the British, that the reluctance to aggressively move against Boko Haram is because of the fear of hostages being killed or acts of recrimination on villages.  What prevents the Western media – including the Caribbean – giving events in Nigeria adequate coverage on humanitarian, our lineage and other grounds?

We continue to engage in petty perspectives forgetting that we live in a fishbowl where ideologies, religions and philosophies transcend national boundaries. Why do we feel justified constructing the process referred to as globalization with the goal to integrate countries across the world, BUT, we forget to do the same when a member of the international community needs help on humanitarian grounds?


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