The most horrific terror attacks in recent memory marked the beginning of the New Year. If you think I'm referencing the Charlie Hebdo incident, you're wrong. I'm talking about the slaughter of up to 2,000 Nigerians by radical Islamist group Boko Haram. The differential media coverage of the Nigerian massacre and events in Paris is, to say the least, confounding. According to numerous reports, hundreds upon hundreds of bodies still litter the fields in Baga, Nigeria--mostly the aged, the frail, children, and others too slow to outrun the hate-filled Boko Haram fighters who besieged the town. The Baga massacre is likely the bloodiest in Boko Haram's disgusting history. And the violence continued soon after as Boko Haram fighters persuaded or forced a 10-year-old girl to blow herself up, murdering herself in order to murder others.
Why, when I turn on CNN, do I see hours and hours of coverage of the Charlie Hebdo attack, and barely anything about the aforementioned events in Nigeria? Is it because Nigeria is not a Western country? Is it because the Nigerians killed were black? (#Blacklivesmatter.) Is it because one expects a terror attack to take place in Nigeria, but not in Paris? Whatever the answer, the differential coverage is a real problem, if only because it is distorting Americans' perceptions.
When Islamic terrorism inflicts the West--whether it take place in Canada, Australia, or France--it seizes national headlines. But terrorism has far more malicious affects on developing countries like Nigeria than on the West. Terrorism is claiming far more lives in the Middle East and Africa than it is in Europe and America. (One remembers the recent murders of hundreds of Pakistani schoolchildren.)
American media should not pretend as if nothing is happening as Nigeria continues to battle the ignorant cancer calling itself Boko Haram. Nigeria's struggle with radicalism is at least as newsworthy as our own.
Je suis Nigeria.