As the search continues, the media has become fascinated with the story, lumping all of the girls together into one pile. The 180 girls have no faces, no names. As Ebony's senior editor Jamilah Lemieux wrote:
These are real girls, they are not changing numbers in underreported news stories. They are as important and as loved as the Blue Ivys, the Keishas, the Naimas, the Beths and the Beckys of the world, and they deserve to come home. NOW.
A new project called #bringbackourgirls hopes to add humananity to the story. These girls are more than a number.
With every day that passes, the likelihood that the girls will be successfully rescued grows lower and lower.
"Some of them have been taken across Lake Chad and some have been ferried across the border into parts of Cameroon," said Pogo Bitrus, a Chibok community leader. Locals in the area claimed that many of the girls had been married off to members of the insurgency in mass ceremonies, while others were sold off as sex slaves or cooks. "It's a medieval kind of slavery," Bitrus added.
While Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan's wife, Patience Jonathan, was busy criticizing the protesters by proclaiming, "You are playing games. Don't use school children and women for demonstrations again," not a single hostage has been recovered. On Sunday the president, who had pledged to find the abductees, admitted that he had no idea where any of the girls where.
Image Credit: BBC
"It's alarming that more than a week after these girls were abducted, there are not any concrete steps to get them back," said Human Rights Watch Nigeria researcher Mausi Segun.
And as usual, privileged Nigerians like my roomie will say 'oh it only happens in the northern parts'. As if the north isn't part of Nigeria— Ka-Bi-We (@Koo_The_Boy) May 1, 2014
The number of kidnapped school girls in Nigeria is almost equal to the number of passengers on the missing plane.Yet it's business as usual— African (@ali_naka) April 22, 2014
Something like this is never business as usual, no matter where it occurs. Those 180 with real names and loved ones deserve better than a casual dismissal.