On January 3, 2015, Boko Haram men went to the city of Baga and killed up to an estimated 2,000 people, mostly civilians. They ravaged the town, burning down buildings and leaving the largest body count they have yet. This is their deadliest act in their reign of terror in Northern Nigeria, and 30,000 people have been displaced because of this attack, trying to find safety. Some swam to nearby Chad, and many died on the way there.
It took at least 5 days after it happened for us to find out about it. And 8 days later, it is still not headline news in the United States.
You may remember hearing about the kidnapping of over 200 female students in Nigeria some months ago. I wrote about it here. But what you may not know is that it was weeks after the event that the news actually began to pay attention to what was happening, and it really only became a national headline after a very grassroots attempt on Twitter to bring it into the spotlight. The #bringbackourgirls hashtag began to trend on Twitter, and suddenly, the story was making headlines. And as it made headlines, we saw global leaders begin to address it as well. In the case of oppression, unfortunately, it is often the stories that make headlines that to get the most political attention.
It is my belief that making what is happening in Nigeria a priority for news outlets will also make what is happening in Nigeria a priority for world leaders to solve. I would like to put pressure on news outlets to make this story a priority, and to cover the tragedy that is happening there. Because black lives matter, even in Africa. Because this story needs to be told, and the world needs to be paying attention.
If you would like to join me, it’s pretty simple. Use your social media outlets to put pressure on major news outlets to cover the story. If we all raise our voices collectively, I think we can create a groundswell. Here are some sample tweets. You can retweet or copy and paste them. We are using the already established hashtag # because it is beginning to trend and we want to continue the momentum.
We are using the already established hashtag #NaijaNiMi because it is beginning to trend and we want to continue the momentum. Thank you for sharing!