Tag Archives: Nigeria

The media doesn’t care about black people

The media’s the most powerful entity on earth. They have the power to make the innocent guilty and to make the guilty innocent, and that’s power. Because they control the minds of the masses.

el-Hajj Malik el-Shabazz (Malcom X)

January 7, 2015.  Two gunmen forced their way into the French satirical weekly newspaper Charlie Hebdo in Paris, France, and killed 12 people. Charlie Hebdo has attracted worldwide attention for its regular depictions of Muhammad, the founder of Islam.

January 9, 2015. In anticipation of presidential elections Boko Haram massacred up to 2,000 (reports now are estimated at ~200) innocent women, children and men in the northeastern Nigerian city of Boga.

Two tragedies in the span of two days and yet only one was reported around the clock by the media. Only one was actually called a terrorist attack. I wondered the same thing last week when an explosive device was detonated outside the NAACP headquarters in Colorado Springs, CO. Why did it take CNN more than 16 hours to even mention anything about it on its website? And even longer to mention it on air? That bombing wasn’t labeled a terrorist attack. Is it because no one was harmed in the bombing?

The bombing of churches, meeting places and homes of prominent Black people and/or organizations as a means of intimidation and retaliation is a decades old practice in this country. It’s rooted in hate, bigotry and terrorism. Yet what happened in Colorado Springs wasn’t labeled a terrorist attack. It wasn’t even reported.

I’m tired of the media having carte blanche to label what they want terrorism. Twelve people were killed at a newspaper and it’s a terrorist attack because the perpetrators of this crime were Brown, Muslim people. I don’t remember James Holmes being labeled a terrorist in 2012; he also murdered twelve people and injured 58 people. Also, in 2012 when 26 people (including 20 children) were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School questions were asked about the mental well-being of the killer instead of calling it a terrorist attack of great cowardice.

I can’t help but notice that the criminals in those two mass murders were White males. When mass murderers are Anglo-Saxon they are always described as lone wolves who are disturbed and needed the help that we failed to provide them. Even when the authorities do label a crime as “domestic terrorism” it’s often under reported and placed on the “back page”. When a Black man loses his job and cuts the head off of someone at his job no one questioned his mental-well being but instead it was reported that he recently converted to Islam.

What does this have to do with genocide that happened last week in Boga, Nigeria? The media narrates a story to a demographic to get ratings in order to generate advertising revenue. The general public is enamored with what happened at Charlie Hebdo because it looked like something out of a movie and people tuned in. Not too many people in this country care about what happens in “third world” countries until it actually effects what happens here (read: ebola). Its willful ignorance that allows media to tell us what is important and what is not.

This is why I’m more prone to seek out independent or international media to find out what’s going on in the world. More than likely mainstream media is slow on reporting stories that the Black community actually cares about. I found about Michael Brown’s murder through twitter and Eric Garner’s murder through tumblr. Once these mainstream media outlets check their social media accounts they’ll be late to the party in reporting what they should have been on top of in the first place. This same thing happened when Boko Haram kidnapped 276 girls in Chibok. The media was slow to report and once the celebrities stopped speaking about it, the media followed suit.

I’m weary of main stream media and its bias. I usually expect such shenanigans from Fox News but CNN is just as biased as well as incompetent. Even MSNBC is problematic in its own right. I don’t see this trend changing anytime soon so I will continue to get my news from independent media.

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Happy Independence Day

52 years ago Nigeria won its independence from Great Britain. Compared to archaic nations such as Germany and younger nations like the United States of America, Nigeria is but an infant. Through and through I am proud of my heritage. I am a first generation Nigerian who was born in Washington, DC not long after my parents emigrated here.

Nigeria is a country that is rich in cultural history. I’m glad that even though I was born and raised in America my parents instilled a sense of cultural identity in me. I grew up learning Yoruba (although I can’t speak the language), eating the food (by far one of the best cuisines), attending a Cherubim and Seraphim (C&S) Christian church and learning nuances unique to our culture.

One might ask if Nigeria is so great then why did my parents (as well as other cultures) break their necks coming here. That answer is simple. As I explained earlier Nigeria is still a fledgling nation by comparison and like most developing countries that were once under imperial rule our government is corrupt and/or incompetent. Nigeria has the largest population in Africa accounting for a quarter of west Africa’s population alone. If you look at a map you’ll notice that Nigeria is far from the largest country in terms of land mass. It doesn’t take a genius to know that this equals massive overcrowding especially in major cities. Due to huge oil reserves our country is rich in natural resources that could be used to bolster our economy. Instead greedy politicians ready to line their pockets with greenbacks become puppet leaders. These are the conditions that my parents decided to leave to make a better life for themselves and my older sister. I admire their ambition and ability to venture into the unknown.

52 years young and we’ve been through what most countries have in our position. Political strategies that usually amount to little gains, civil war and visions of becoming of global power and influence. Until my country can get past puppet regimes who want to mimic our old imperialism rulers and their allies we will be stuck where we are.

Nigeria has been through a lot and still has very far to go. It will be done because we are strong people who know the value of hard work and sacrifice. Happy Independence Day Nigeria.