What if more than 200 middle school girls were kidnapped from a school in the United States, Canada or even South Korea? What would the reaction be? Massive, I would assume. The coverage would dominate most national news networks much like the missing Malaysian airplane.
We would know each girl’s name, her likes and hobbies. We would see a different grieving parent on CNN non-stop begging for the kidnappers to release their child. Each new fact or possible lead would be breaking news with analysts and experts weighing in on the new developments. We would be addicted to the stories of the girls who managed to escape from the attackers. A big shot, jet-setting TV personality from one of those big networks would be covering the protests of the mothers of the missing children. Just like the exclusive interview CNN had with Malaysia’s Prime Minister, there would be intense interviews with elected leaders asking what are they doing to find them.
Now, what if these girls were from Africa? How would we react? So far, it’s been lackluster. More than two weeks ago, about 230 girls in Nigeria were kidnapped at their school and possibly sold as brides with very little international outcry or outrage. While our news cycle is dominated by Donald Sterling and a plane that has been missing for more than two months, little girls who’ve gone missing in Africa are not a top priority.
Why does no one care?
I started emPower magazine with my own money five years ago because I wanted to be a source that reported on news affecting people of African descent that other large media organizations may not care to talk about. As a magazine publisher, one of the things that bothers me is how as a community we always talk about “supporting our own”–meaning black-owned media companies–yet, many of us still put national news networks on a pedestal. While smaller organizations like mine, get second-class treatment from my own folks. We don’t get the financial support or even eyeballs like the larger networks. Sometimes I feel as if we need certain news networks or large newspapers to validate our cause or our stories. But many of these organizations pick and choose what stories they deem are worthy enough to get coverage. That’s why it is so important that we support our smaller, minority-owned media companies, so little girls in parts of the world where people tend to not think about have a voice.
What YOU Can Do
- –Currently, there is a petition on Change.org demanding that President Barack Obama intervene in helping to bring the girls home. You can sign here. Let’s #BringBackOurGirls
- –Support our smaller minority news organizations. History has taught us from the Trayvon Martin case, when the black media demands attention, the rest of the world listens.
I originally published this article in my online magazine, emPowermagazine.com.