300 Mothers

People are all up in arms over the “alleged” words of Donald Sterling.  Here in New York City a mini race-riot nearly broke on a Brooklyn bus by a 60 something year old white man who single-handedly attempted to turn back the hands of time when he told a black woman she needed to move to the back of the bus and let him have her seat.  A man who, in the midst of the argument that ensued, out right says Sterling should run for president. When it comes to black and white relations, even now there are times when it all feels as though we are just one lit match from the racial powder keg. These are the things that occupy our news and social media cycles.

But what has garnered my attention the most these past three weeks are nearly three hundred mothers.  The nearly three hundred Nigerian mothers of the girls kidnapped from their school last month and the eleven more stolen from their own homes in the middle of the night in recent days.

Did you know there were more kidnappings?  Here we are three weeks after the initial kidnapping and the U.S., is only now stepping forth with “doing the best we can”. It feels all Okay, fine I’ll do it, as though our involvement now is akin to the petulant child forced to apologize to a sibling for some wrong.  It’s better than doing nothing. It is certainly better than the incompetence that has been the Nigerian Police; the same police who initially did not even want to acknowledge that more kidnappings occurred.

Is it the sense of helplessness, the “what can we do about it?” Is because it’s over there, on another continent and not in our backyards?  Is it because it is happening to Africans by Africans,  a black-on-black crime if you will?  What is at the root of this overall sense of apathetic whatever regarding it? Let’s be honest, if this were nearly 300 little white girls in South Africa, or in any other country been kidnapped as such, the immediate public outcry would be swift and deafening. Why is the world so relatively quiet for Nigeria’s little girls?  It has taken nearly three weeks of a slow building public international pressure for any course of assistance to be offered, action to be put into play. Are nearly 300  little black girls not worthy?

  • Tell that to the mothers who do not know if their girls are already dead.
  • Tell that to the mothers who do not know if their girls are alive, but already parsed out to the human trafficking / sex trade markets as threatened by the leader of the group who masterminded the school kidnapping.
  • And as more time that passes without any of the girls being rescued, tell that to the mothers who do not know if perhaps death is the better option.

This Sunday for those of you who will celebrate Mother’s Day, unless a miracle happens between now and Saturday, take a moment to remember  the nearly 300 mothers across the ocean missing their daughters and acknowledge them. Let’s continue to put pressure on our governments until each and every girl is accounted for.

300

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