Hundreds of people were killed in raids by Boko Haram Islamic militants in northeast Nigeria’s Borno state, on the border with Cameroon, with some sources putting the death toll at 400 to 500. On Tuesday, heavily armed men dressed as soldiers in all-terrain vehicles and on motorcycles attacked neighboring Goshe, Attagara, Agapalwa and Aganjara villages in Gwoza district, shooting residents to death and burning homes.
The attacks forced surviving villagers to flee to Cameroon and into the Mandara Mountains on the border. ‘The killings are massive. Nobody can say how many people were killed, but the figure runs into some hundreds,’ said Peter Biye, a lawmaker in Nigeria’s lower parliament representing the Gwoza region.
Don’t be fooled by gender-neutral words like “people.” As the article continues to say (which is not said in the CNN television broadcast, which you can view above):
The attackers, who posed as soldiers, told residents they had come to protect them from Boko Haram and asked them to assemble. They singled out men and boys and opened fire on them, Biye said.
A local leader in Attagara village, who fled to nearby Madagali town in neighboring Adamawa state, said the death toll was staggering. ‘The death is unimaginable. We have lost between 400 and 500 people in the attacks in which men and male children were not spared,’ said the local leader, who asked not to be named for security reasons.
The gunmen pursued on motorcycle people who fled into the bush in a bid to escape and shot them dead. Even nursing mothers had their male infants snatched from their backs and shot dead before their eyes,’ the local leader said.
This isn’t anything new with Boko Haram, either; back in March of this year I wrote an article that was largely ignored about their singling out and killing of boys in attacks on Nigerian schools. I drew this from reports from news sources that were similarly ignored by the public at large.
In early May the news that Boko Haram had kidnapped 200+ girls, however, catapulted “social justice” warriors into cataclysmic outrage, as I documented here. Politicians like Biden and Obama grandstanded (grandstood?) on the issue and pledged military intervention. Twitter and Facebook “activism” went ablaze, and the mainstream media reported on the girls day in and day out.
The killing of the boys was not just ignored during the outrage, but dismissed. Why?
Many rationalized that no matter how many boys had been killed in the past, the fact is that we can’t do anything for them because they were dead, whereas we can still “bring back our girls.” My counterargument was that by remembering they are boys and making them a part of the conversation we can potentially save boys who might be killed in the future.
Well, now it’s the future. Now more men and boys – hundreds, in fact – have been killed. Far more than the girls who have been abducted. To those “principled dissenters” I have only this to say – what’s your excuse now?
The deeper problem, of course, is that when it comes to men and boys there’s always an excuse. Just like the 30+ years of men’s and boys’ academic underachievement that has been ignored by education “experts” – with every excuse given in the book – we don’t have reasons.
We have rationalizations.
Feature image by Carla Gomez Monroy