Just Nod If You Can Hear Me

It’s a funny thing – if you look back over human history, the great and the terrible things all start with one incident.

Sure, there’s usually a witch’s brew of underlying issues, but it’s one argument, one decision, one shot fired, one tank rolling over a border-post that sets off the big thing: the world-changing thing.

The problem with living in 2014 is that we have no immunity, no skin – no isolation to keep us focused on our own day-to-day grind – when an outrage happens we’re unable to be, well, outraged.

Instead, we live in a crowded place where the lights are on 24/7 and the noise never dies down.

In another age this would be called torture, but in our era, this is the information age. Don’t get me wrong: this will be posted on WordPress, a link put up on FaceBook and Twitter – I’m one of the friendly 3 billion people waterboarding both you and myself as we speak.

While I was chatting, an outrage happened

The point is: we’re stunned, we’re numb – we only have the capacity to react to things that hurt us very personally. And, if we’re not the parents or family of the 234 girls abducted from their boarding school in Nigeria, then we don’t really know what to say.

It emerges that the students, aged 16-18, had been recalled to school to re-write a physics exam: if I were a clean cop in Nigeria, I’d be having a long, long talk with whoever called them back. Why? Because it’s so handy that BHaram were in the neighbourhood, all ready for this surprise exam rewrite. (links to the stories below)

Most importantly, we don’t know who to say it to

Who in the world has any jurisdiction over an out-of-control armed gang that passes over borders by bribe, bombs embassies, shoots up shopping centres and has (more than twice) abducted groups of schoolgirls to use and impregnate in the forest?

If Nigeria didn’t have oil, the West could intervene; if the East gave a damn, it could intervene, and if the AU valued the law and human rights, it would intervene.

But Nigeria has oil, the East doesn’t give a damn and the AU – well, who knows what the AU does? We know that they are, apparently, into PanAfricanism, but not in any way that benefits individuals on the ground.

So, back to human history

This abduction should be the starting point for an incredible groundswell of public cohesion across Africa. Not useless rage-venting , but a pulling-together of all Africans in every nation who simply want the most basic rights to stay alive, learn, work, have children who stay alive and get to have choices.

But I’m sending this message out into a room full of strident voices – the chances of it being heard over the din are almost zero. Thing is, should this turn out to be a defining moment in the history of this part of the world, I want to have recognised it.

I wasn’t asleep in my time.



6 thoughts on “Just Nod If You Can Hear Me

  1. Our constant need for news (read distraction / entertainment) does exactly as you say, it overloads our senses and sensibilities. We become so accustomed to the neverending misery that we recognize not the personal pain and misery such incidents holds but only the relative intensity of difference from this noise that deafens us.

    Thank you for being a quite voice reminding us of our humanity and that of the victims of this never ending noise.

    What is to be done, I dont know, but I do know this without those quite voices the way back will soon forever be lost.

    We need to feel, to access those emotions hidden deep, to be outraged in the real meaningn of the word,

    Outraged! Once demanded action of those it affected, not recognition, But Action

    As I once said,

    I wish thay just once I can face my enemies in open battle,

    Too often as the cowards they are they hunt in darkness,

    I fear it may be time to take a page out of their book.

  2. I’m sorry to say that for years already, the CIA has been cultivating and weaponizing Boko Haram. Why? Because that is the playbook “we” use over and over ad nauseum, to further our world hegemony – we fund a terrorist group till they’re actually powerful enough to do some harm, then get MSM and NGO’s to say how evil these groups are, to sway public opinion toward justifying our invasion of the country. There are numerous objectives; usually grabbing resources (often, as in this case, oil); also, see info about the so-called Petro Dollar, it has to do with our having forced other nations to trade their oil ONLY for US dollars, though they’re worthless, so anyone going against that, as Saddam did, is taken out –

    I’m not saying Boko Haram or Al Qaeda (which was not only funded and trained by CIA and MI6, but CREATED by them) or Saddam or Gadaffi or the Taliban or the Chechen or Bangladeshi terrorists were good people. But NONE of them, NONE, would be nearly as powerfully evil had we not provided many billions of dollars worth of weaponry, training, etc. And the objective is always the same, to destabilize a people, to grind them into poverty and despair by our subsequent horrific invasions, because traumatized, destabilized people are easier to control.

    • Sure. Bottomline? Someone could come and offer me millions+guns and I wouldn’t take either. Truly. If CIA is behind every crime in the world, then men have never fought/enslaved/raped or gone to war until 300 years ago. History tells us different. BH is doing what they want to do, and we are doing nothing.

  3. if they are being institutionally groomed for destabilisation by world super powers then it is our own civic society and investigative journalists that have let the continent down by not gathering and tabling the facts to our public; and by not calling same public to cry out loud and protest against this evil. But its never too late. I hear the writer so loud and clear I just cant stop nodding.

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