Michelle Obama Calls Nigerian Kidnappings An ‘Unconscionable Act’


Iyana Robertson / May 10, 2014

After posting her support on Instagram, First Lady Michelle Obama addressed the nation regarding the treacherous kidnapping of nearly 300 girls from a Nigerian schoolhouse that has sparked widespread outrage.

“My husband and I are outraged over the kidnapping of more than 200 Nigerian girls from their school dormitory in the middle of the night,” she said. “This unconscionable act was committed by a terrorist group determined to keep these girls from getting an education — grown men attempting to snuff out the aspirations of young girls.”

The act, identified as the doing of an organization called Boko Haram (meaning “Western education is sinful”), has resulted into a month-long disappearance of the girls. The First Lady assured in the video that President Obama has directed the U.S. government to do everything possible to bring them back safely. She also referred to her own daughters in the address.

“In these girls, Barack and I see our own daughters. We see their hopes and their dreams. And we can only imagine the anguish their parents are feeling right now,” she said. “Many of them may have been hesitant to send their daughters off to school, fearing that harm might come their way. But they took that risk because they believe in their daughters’ promise and wanted to give them every opportunity to succeed.”

The First Lady also made a point to identify the issue as an international injustice, and commended the girls’ steadfastness in the pursuit of their schooling. She shared her hope that the story would appeal to young Americans.

“I hope that any young people in America who take school for granted, any young people who are slacking off or thinking about dropping out, I hope they will learn the story of these girls and re-commit themselves to their education.”

Watch Michelle Obama’s address in its entirety above.