05/12/2014 10:22 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

#TalkAboutOurBoys: Why the Murder of 59 Schoolboys Should Matter To You

Boko Haram's kidnapping of 276 Nigerian girls should wake us up, but why didn't their massacre of 59 young boys back in February?


In February of this year Boko Haram, the group responsible for kidnapping 276 Nigerian girls and threatening to sell them into slavery, walked into a boarding school in northeast Nigeria, separated the girls from the boys, and then murdered all 59 of the boys. Some of the boys were shot and killed right on the spot. Some died hours later from the bullet wounds. Others suffered the unimaginable horror of being burned alive.

Did you know? I didn't. Not until the horrific news of the abduction of 276 Nigerian girls broke. I heard about the boys today on Al Jazeera America. The talking head said it almost as if a footnote:

"...right, yeah, and they killed 59 boys a few months ago..."

WHAT!? Too often this is how it goes. The brutal treatment of boys all around the world, no matter how savage, is rarely enough to wake people up. I tried to capture an ounce of "why" in The Disposability of Boys, an article that was published just a week before these 59 boys were murdered. The question worth asking, and this in no way pulling attention away from the desperately important #BringBackOurGirls movement, is as Noah Rothman at Mediaite asked:

Why Did Kidnapping Girls, But Not Burning Boys Alive, Wake Media Up to Boko Haram?

I'll leave it there and hope readers will try to offer answers in the comment section.

Please also read Alex Yarde's terrific piece titled #BringBackOurGirls - Why 300 Nigerian Girls Should Matter To You