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#BringBackOurGirls...it's a Numbers Game

Written By: Segun Oduolowu

 

In an age where every impulse the heart desires can be indulged at the push of a button, it boggles my mind that on a global scale more is not being done to end the unrelenting kidnapping of Nigerian girls.  Perhaps I am naive, and imagine a world where the forced incarceration, sale, and degradation of human beings is not sexy enough to lead the evening news.  To be fair it's not as mind numbingly captivating as the pending nuptials of #Kimye.  It definitely, no pun intended packs the same punch as the private Jay-Z vs. Solange Knowles assault tape.  And in retrospect, it is happening in a continent that the rest of the world tends to ignore, provided that there are not natural resources involved.  I can promise you that if this were about the price of oil, our interest would be piqued.

Here in lies the issue I have with the media's coverage towards news of consequence, which I might add I'm a part of.  If we continue to focus on the TRIVIAL, our PURSUITS will be just that!  I would like to think that as American's we are more racially and ethnically evolved than recent #DonaldSterling comments would indicate.  Over 300 black girls in Nigeria should rate more media coverage than say, one missing white girl in Aruba.  But I don't, I repeat don't want to focus on race.  I am here to preach the philosophy of numbers.

Big bad Joseph Stalin, once said that "one death is a tragedy; one million is a statistic."  This sentiment is echoed in the writings of Jean Rostand, "Kill one man and you are a murderer. Kill millions of men, and you are a conqueror. Kill them all, and you are a god."  Furthermore this type of thinking is even apparent in our own American justice system, which operates under the maxim of British legal scholar William Blackstone; "It is better that ten guilty men go free, than that one innocent man be convicted."  It's all about the numbers, and unfortunately we are so mesmerized by them, that we are lulled into a state of apathy.

I appear regularly as a Social Commentator for Dr. Drew on Call.  A show on HLN that does its best to bring some sense of sanity to headlines, which beggar all sense of reason.  Recently, we have seen a rise in the stories of mother's taking the lives of their children due in large part to mental illness.  The tragic irony is that we receive more tweets, more emails, and more handwritten letters on stories pertaining to celebrity fights, divorces, and custody battles, than we ever do for infanticide.  We did a story on an 18 year old serial rapist, alleged to have sexually assaulted at least 27 girls.  There was more social outcry in the Jodi Arias case, a woman who killed her lover, than for a monster who potentially destroyed the lives of almost 30 other children.

The equation it seems can be charted like this.  Celebrity nonsense is > (greater than) 1 innocents death. However, One innocent death is > (greater than) Countless (faceless) lives.

So who's to blame??? Is it we in the media who cover the stories, or is it you the viewing public whom by your interest, and our ratings, determine what it is you really want to watch.  Again, as with race, and ethnicity, I don't want to place blame, or point fingers.  As my big sister always says to me, "if you point one finger, you've got four pointing back at you."  What I will do, is leave you dear readers with this thought.  If it is all about the numbers.  If we cannot as a society gin up enough interest on the kidnapping of 300 Nigerian girls, guilty only of the crime for wanting to learn and be educated.  If we the media; the story pushers, and you the public; the story consumers, are complicit in this demise.  If the salacious, and lurid celebrity tales are the only thing that moves the needle.  If this is the case in a world so ruled by numbers, I would ask only this from all of us as individuals.  "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing." (Edmund Burke)

Are YOU good, and if you are...What are you doing?

#BringBackOurGirls

"Remember, if you ever need a helping hand, you'll find one at the end of your arm...As you grow older you will discover that you have two hands.  One for helping yourself, the other for helping others."

Audrey Hepburn