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Help return Nigerian girls back to their parents

Miami Times Editorial Department | 5/15/2014, 9 a.m.
Activists held demonstrations all over the U.S. and the world to express their outrage over the kidnapping of some 276 ...

Activists held demonstrations all over the U.S. and the world to express their outrage over the kidnapping of some 276 girls in Nigeria who are still being held hostage by the Boko Haram, a radical group of Islamic extremists. The teenage girls were snatched from their boarding school during a violent raid in the small town of Chibok.

Hundreds of activists continue to increase pressure on their governments to assist in a search that has now been going on for over a month.

The U.S. and Britain have search teams on the ground using technologically advanced equipment to find their kidnappers. An American surveillance aircraft joined in the search last Monday. There was also much praise for first lady Michelle Obama, who took over President Barack Obama’s weekly radio address this past Mother’s Day weekend pleading for the safe return of the girls. A mother herself, the first lady’s speech was heartfelt and cast a much-needed spotlight on the growing problem of human slave-trafficking around the world.

All these developments hopefully will provide some comfort to the parents of the missing girls as they struggle through endless days and nights anxiously awaiting the safe return of their children. The kidnappers intend to sell the girls as slaves for merely $12. But the vile business goals of the Boko Haram are also a blatant example of hypocrisy from a group that professes spirituality and morality in the highest regards.

Equally disturbing is the low turnout of last Monday’s rally in downtown Miami, where only 20 people showed up, compared to hundreds in similar demonstrations in New York, Chicago and Philadelphia. With over 1 million Blacks in South Florida, the low number is discouraging, if not shameful. The rally was promoted on local radio stations and websites. Students and faculty at Florida Memorial University should be applauded for stepping up their efforts in organizing the demonstration and rallying the Black community around this cause.

It’s too bad their results pale in comparison to the Latino community. Thousands of protestors from their native countries have a history of turning out in much larger numbers to show their support and disgust during demonstrations in South Florida. The Black community should do the same, if not better.

The protestors at last Monday’s rally should be commended for speaking out despite the discouraging show of support. And it is also refreshing to see America’s first Black president infuse compassion with foreign policy to help his brethren in need overseas. The Black community should be inspired by the worldwide effort and grand gestures of concern for the families of these young girls. In our community, we should be embarrassed for our lack of support for this cause. Get involved and show your brothers and sisters in Africa that you care.