As a teacher, I cannot imagine armed people setting fire to my school and surrounding buildings, stealing all of my students, forcing them into trucks before driving far away. Later finding out that the students were sold for $12 each to be sex slaves for strangers and that my government would not act, not even to make a statement to condemn the actions of the terrorists. I cannot imagine the anguish and pain I would feel, as an aunt, if this happened to my niece. There is no way to fathom the anger and pain mothers, fathers and families are feeling in Borno, Nigeria as this is exactly what happened to
234 326 of their daughters on April 14, 2014 (276 are still missing).
The terrorist group, Boko Haram has has claimed responsibility for abducting the (Christian and Muslim) girls. Boko Haram, reflected in their name, is against western education and has attacked girls seeking a future through education before. Oddly these hypocrites, so against western education, use tools created and developed as a result of western education: bombs, automobiles, guns. They use their tools primarily against what frightens and threatens them the most: girls seeking an education.
To think that this is an isolated incident is incorrect. To think it doesn’t matter because it’s ‘not my child’ negates the connections and responsibilities we all have to each other, especially our children. To think this is an event so far away ‘it could never happen near my home’ is naïve. Many Americans believed terrorism was a ‘foreign problem’ until 2001. We already have weekly school shootings and there seems to be little concern about that violence until it comes to our own neighborhood. I have no wish to be alarmist but I have a great desire, when children are taken from their school and sold into slavery, for people to be infuriated, shocked, saddened and ready to act. I know I am.
Americans should contact Congress and urge them to support the Nigerian girls and their families during this international crisis. Ask senators and representatives what their position is regarding the abduction and sale of girls. At the very least, request their support for Senate Resolution 433 (bills-sres433.pdf) so the girls and their families can begin to have more support from the international community.
Mostly young people gathering in support of the abducted girls and their families on the National Mall in Washington, DC.
Children supporting children.
A ten year-old addresses the crowd on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.