BLACK VOICES
01/16/2015 04:43 pm ET Updated Jan 16, 2015

Lessons Learned From The Deafening Silence Regarding Boko Haram's Attack On Baga

While the world was mourning the deaths of journalists at Charlie Hebdo and rallying in support of press freedom, Nigeria was deep in the throes of another tragedy.

On Jan. 3, Boko Haram raided the town of Baga and its neighboring villages, using explosive devices and automatic weapons to raze the area in what was described as the deadliest massacre in the history of the Islamic group.

Of the estimated 2,000 victims, most were children, women and elderly people who could not outrun the insurgents and their weaponry, the Guardian reported.

But the international media seems to have stayed mum on the bloody attack. In a HuffPost Live conversation on Thursday, actress and comedian Maysoon Zayid spoke out on the lack of coverage immediately following the crisis.

“Massacres only matter if the people being massacred are those of privilege,” Zayid said. “It doesn’t matter what the numbers are. It doesn’t even matter what your location is. It’s who you are and the amount of privilege you have equals the amount of coverage you get.”

Although the U.S. government deployed troops to Nigeria in response to mounting public pressure regarding the kidnapping of more than 200 Nigerian girls, Zayid lamented the inaction since then. Jezebel staff writer Hillary Crosley Coker agreed and explained why the international community has been so slow to act.

“With Nigeria specifically … the politics there are so complicated, and the fact that you can’t necessarily lean on the government themselves to align with U.S. forces to go and suss out exactly what's happening, is, I think, what’s stifling that movement,” she said.

Watch the full HuffPost Live conversation about this week's biggest women's issues here.

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BEFORE YOU GO

PHOTO GALLERY
Boko Haram: Nigeria's Homegrown Terror
CONVERSATIONS