“The rape of innocence”
By Pastor Rasheed Z. Baaith
“Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD, and the fruit of the womb is His reward.” (Psalm 127:3)
There is little denial that the world is full of madness and incomprehensive behavior. There are events happening here and all over the globe that are staggering in their insanity, cruelty and barbarity. More and more the victims of these acts are children.
Such is the case of the more than 200 girls kidnapped in Chibok, Nigeria on April 14th of this year. The girls stolen by an Islamist militant group by the name of Boko Haram (which roughly translated means “Western education is forbidden”); have said they will sell the girls. Abubakar Shekau, the leader of Boko Haram said the girls will begin their new lives “as servants.” The girls kidnapped are between the ages of 16 – 18 although Boko Haram is reputed to have kidnapped girls as young as 12 years of age.
Boko Haram believes girls and women don’t need education especially Western education because their duties should be pleasing their husbands and raising children. That belief is both ignorant and tragic. An uninformed woman will raise uninformed children, the mother of every child is that child’s first teacher and mothers cannot teach what they do not know. Why any father would want a woman that is illiterate to raise his children is way past any understanding I have. Particularly in this day and time.
The buyers of the girls being kidnapped are said to be men from Chad and the Cameroons paying as little as twelve dollars for these children. Although the term “men” seems inaccurate and expansive. What “man” would force such brutality on a child? And as long as these girls have been gone chances are great most if not all of them have been sexually abused.
Why hasn’t the American media given the missing girls the same kind of coverage they’ve given a missing plane or the remarks of some old school racist? For the same reason the lives of young Black boys don’t have the value of young white boys. None can deny with a straight face or an honest conscience that if these girls had been blond and blue eyed, the news coverage would be immediate and unceasing. The media would have led the charge to find the missing 100.
Whether we want to admit it or not, the media is a force that once unleashed can bring change and transformation to policies of behavior even to terrorists groups.
Yet the greater question is why haven’t more African Americans, especially an African American President with two daughters, been more outraged and more determined to lend all the assistance needed to bring these girls home? Is our disconnect from the Continent so great that we can’t feel what the parents of those girls are feeling?
Think about it: what if you sent your daughter to school and she never comes home because she has been taken by a group of men who intend to sell to the highest bidder and as a result she will live out her life where her only value is as a womb and a cook. Add to that scenario the fact you will never hear from her or see her again. What would your state of mind be?
How those facts didn’t make April 14 the worst day of this President since his taking office is sad. I’m thinking these girls don’t have the complexion for the connection with him.
Still as influential as President Obama can be, it is the responsibility of the Nigerian government to rescue these girls. Their inability to do so and the lies they have told about what has happened display an incompetence that borders on willful uselessness. If Nigeria cannot or will not protect its children, it will have the future it does not want. An empty one.