When beautiful Natalee Holloway went missing on a school trip to Aruba, the media covered her story 24/7. Lifetime movies were made and Nancy Grace did programs devoted entirely to finding Natalee.
When little Madeleine Mc Cann was taken from her vacation condo in Portugal back in 2007, her story received international media attention for years. Just last week, CNN did another story on new leads now seven years later. Her disappearance has yet to be solved, and the spotlight still shines brightly on this tragedy.
In 2011, a crazy shooter killed 69 and wounded 110 teens attending summer camp on a small island off Norway. The horrific story immediately dominated the airwaves. The international community was outraged at the violence. The United Nations, the European Union and NATO all sent their condolences, expressed their support, and condemned the attack.
Six weeks ago, 239 passengers and crew from Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 disappeared off the face of the earth. Countries almost tripped over each other lining up to help with the investigation. The largest multi-national search and rescue mission in history continues and around-the-clock coverage dominates the leading stories.
Just two weeks ago.....
234 boarding school students, ages 16-18, from the Chikbok Girls Secondary School in Nigeria, who had just completed their Physics final exam, were kidnapped at gunpoint by Boko Haram, an Islamist extremist terrorist group.
Have you seen that story on the 5:30 news?
Has that story dominated the 24/7 news loop?
No, no, and no.
400 Nigerian parents are missing their daughters. 234 girls are being held by one of the most murderous terror organizations in the world. Their captors are selling them, one by one, for only 12 bucks.
The media: silent.
The offers from the international community to help: none.
The public responses from world leaders: zero.
Wolf Blitzer, Bret Baier, or Brian Williams primetime coverage: 0 minutes.
Yesterday the media talked non-stop about the L.A. Clippers owner who was banned for his racist remarks, yet those same media outlets chose not to say a word about 230 kidnapped teens. What's wrong with this picture?
If it weren't for social media, no one would know this horrendous event occurred.
The girls were kidnapped April 16. The Washington Post finally ran a story Monday, April 28!
What's worse? This wasn't a freak occurrence. Boko Haram is already responsible for over 1500 deaths in 2014 in Nigeria, and their victims are mostly school-aged children pursuing Western education. Boko Haram (literally translated means "Western education is sinful") has a strong anti-education ideology and adamantly opposes any educational programs for youth. They believe children should study the Qur'an exclusively. Just last month, Boko Haram executed 59 boarding school boys. Did we hear about that? Nope.
So why aren't we hearing about such atrocities? Why don't we know about Boko Haram? Why hasn't it been widely reported that, as you read this, 234 girls are being sold into slavery and shuffled across borders to Cameroon and Chad? Although victims of terrible crimes, why did Natalee Holloway and Madeline McGann's stories garner so much more initial international sympathy and attention?
Many may think, Oh, this terrible, but what can I do about it from my kitchen or office? Read online about the kidnapping and Boko Haram. Educate yourself. Share articles (like this one) on Facebook and Twitter. Use the hashtag #BringBackOurGirls. The media will cover stories which interest viewers. As citizens of the world, let us demand this rank near the top of the list.