A little perspective on the world’s reaction to Paris in comparison to (certain) other world tragedies.
On Tuesday (Nov. 18), the Nigerian city of Yola experienced the latest in a series of heinous attacks by the Western country’s terrorist group Boko Haram. After a bombing at a local fruit and vegetable stand, 32 people were killed, and 80 people were injured. While this is the second attack in Nigeria in less than a month; on Oct. 23, explosions at two mosques left 42 people dead, and 100 more injured, USA Today reports.
The most recent Boko Haram attack comes days after an attack by ISIS in Paris, where 129 were left dead from a series of random shootings. The world took to social media to mourn the victims of the vicious onslaught of violence through the use of the hashtag #PrayForParis and a Facebook filter which allowed users to overlay the French flag onto their profile photos. A slew of users called into question why the same response was not put forth in response to a terrorist attack in Kenya back in April, when 147 killed were killed at Garissa University College. This is ironically not the first time the response to a tragedy in France has been compared to one in Africa, however.
In January 2015, nearly four million people – including world leaders – took to the streets of France in protest after 12 people were gunned down at the headquarters of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo and after a police officer was killed by a gunman who reportedly pledged allegiance to ISIS. The colossal response to tragedy in France came just days after Nigeria experienced its deadliest massacre when 2,000 people (mostly women and children) were killed by a barrage of grenades and assault rifles at the hands of Boko Haram.
Following the march in France and the lack of response to Nigeria, New Day host Michaela Pereira highlighted the disparities in the reactions to CNN Military Analyst Major General James “Spider” Marks and Senior National Correspondent Nic Robertson. Marks noted that while the Boko Haram attacks were “barbarous,” “black West Africa” was “not a priority” and more a of “regional issue” that could be “contained.”
“Look, what’s happening in Nigeria is barbarous. It’s horrible. I mean it’s complete madness, yet it’s not a priority. The United States, unilaterally, could do almost anything it needs to do to root out Boko Haram. It would be a long-term effort, but it could be done. The Unites States has the capability, [and] all the elements of power,” he said. “It’s not a priority, that’s the problem. We are committed elsewhere in the world. Black, West Africa is not a priority. Very stark, very hard to say, but that’s the case right now,” he said. “It’s a regional issue. If we were to see Boko Haram appear in some other region of the world, White Africa, which is North Africa, or in the Middle East in some way, we would be alarmed. But it’s a regional issue.”
Makes you wonder if last Friday’s attacks would have happened in Africa, whether or not it would have gotten the same attention. Watch Maj. Gen. Marks break it down for us all below: