Monday, January 12, 2015

Boko Haram Who?

The wall to wall news coverage of terrorist attacks in Paris has been touching, especially the sight of 50 world leaders walking boldly, arm in arm, at the Unity Rally. (Did the USA think it unimportant to have our President or Vice-President there because France is outside our ethnocentric sphere, despite being our oldest ally?)

I learned from a French friend living in the provinces that in addition to the 1,500,000 strong in Paris, another 2,500,000 people marched in other areas of France, only to be ignored by the international media. She had hoped that the massive outpouring nationwide would be the hot topic, and not just enchanting Paris.

But then again, the pecking order lives on, firmly in place. At the bottom of newsworthy topics was the massacre of 2,000 villagers by the Boko Haram in Nigeria during a 6 day spell of hell. Is this not by sheer magnitude more horrific? 

It first came to my attention as my gaze was fixated on a gargantuan puppet of Lady Liberty floating through the Parisian throngs like an angelic vision. In small ticker tape going across the bottom of the TV screen, the Boko Haram massacre was being reported. While 24 hour visuals were being aired around Paris, there was nary a photo of what was taking place on "the dark continent."

There can only be one explanation. There still exists the notion of the superior "civilized" white man, while the tribal peoples in the heart off Africa seem less worthy. What else can explain this radical disparity in the reporting of human atrocities?

The Boko Haram represent the same insanity as ISIS, Al Queda, and the US army obliterating foreign lands to secure oil.

Once again, hard as it may be, the truth must one day peek through the clouds and shine the light upon us. Kindness, compassion, other values can save us from the alternative.

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