This morning my daughter asked me if I had heard about those girls that were kidnapped in Nigeria. I was driving her to High School, where she majors in Dance. The irony was like a punch to the gut.
I remember when the story popped up on my news feed two weeks ago. I thought it was click bait. I fully expected to find a weirdly written piece of satire by a faux news agency. Turns out, it was true.
Boko Haram militants took 230 girls from the school on April 16, using the cover of darkness. Forty escaped. The rest were taken into the forests, then to the borders. Now they could be almost anywhere.
This isn’t the first time they targeted young girls, or education in general. They killed about 29 students of a federal college in February. Last July they gunned down 20 students and a teacher.
Their name translates into “Western Education is Sinful”. These guys are so threatened by the prospect of a population of women whose minds are sharpened by years of school, that they have waged a bloody war on a bunch of children.
I heard that many of the schools in the region had already suspended classes because of Boko Haram. In fact, this school had too. The girls were there because of one last Math exam. They had to have at least suspected that they were risking their lives, but children are brave. Not only that, but they knew the value of school in a way that is hard to convey in the States.
Here, we launch our collective outrage at racists owners of NBA teams, while our schools have their resources cut, one by one, and then close their doors for good. Same with the arts. And the libraries.
In Nigeria, 230 girls thought that education was so important that they were willing to risk their lives to attain it. In America, we shut down schools while finding endless resources for prisons, and a whole lot of parents just kind of don’t notice.
It is said that they were sold to “husbands” for the equivalent of $12. Now their uncles and fathers are pooling their money so that they can ride into the woods looking for them. They travel unarmed on scooters and bikes. It’s all they can do. Their government, meanwhile, has fumbled things from day one, issuing false information and downplaying it as the trail grew colder.
Black people aren’t cowards. I don’t know a single man who wouldn’t do the exact same things that those fathers and uncles are doing. We love our children, and we want the best for them, just like everyone else. But I think we tend to fall for the fake out. A lot.
Oprah is pooling her money to buy the Clippers, which is valued between $575 million and $1.5 billion. To do that, she has to beat Floyd Mayweather, Magic Johnson, Sean “Diddy” Combs, Rick Ross, all of whom have voiced interest in buying the team from racist old Sterling. What if bailing out our schools, which are failing all over the nation, was as big a priority as purchasing a team so that we can watch grown men can throw a ball around?
Those girls risked their lives to take an exam. The least we can do in the States is leave one or two fucks lying around to give to the state of our schools.
Below are links to stories about the Boko Haram.