Kony Repeat

Everyone remember Kony 2012? It was the social media campaign designed to enlist the support of millions of affluent Westerners to join in the fight against Ugandan warlord Joseph Kony simply by altering their cover photos and tweeting out #Kony2012.

It ended up gaining an incredible amount of support and was one of the major cultural phenomenons of 2012. But it ultimately resulted in zero actual results--except making millions of SWPLs feel good about themselves for taking 30 minutes out of their day to care about the child soldiers of the Lord’s Resistance Army.

In 2014, we are once again seeing a similar story take over the media and tingle the white paternalistic instincts of SWPLs everywhere. The abduction of over 250 girls (which are always referred to as “schoolgirls” by Western media outlets) by the radical Islamist group Boko Haram shocked many in the West and prompted many self-righteous outcries.

Of course this is a tragic situation and shows how merciless life is in sub-Saharan Africa. But despite the brazenness and the quantity of the victims, how is this worse than any of the other ravages typical of Third World conflicts?

Similar to the Kony campaign, it began with social media—in particular, a hashtag. That hashtag is #BringBackOurGirls. Being somewhat of an expert on hashtag diplomacy, I was not surprised that this was the method to enlist SWPL support in the cause of finding the missing girls (schoolgirls, I mean). But after three weeks, the vast majority of girls are still unaccounted for and Boko Haram is threatening to sell them off as soon as possible (which prompted another hashtag: #RealMenDontBuyGirls).

And this brings up why this case has grabbed the attention of white liberals: it has all the trappings of a perfect narrative for them. It involves black, African girls going to school against the wishes of the traditionalist Islamic sects that dominate Northern Nigeria, then being abducted by reactionary elements who want to force them into slavery, and the media insinuating that the only way to solve the situation is with the courageous help of Westerners rushing to the aid of the abductees…with tweets.

So, a perfect situation with minimal risk and investment makes this a story that’s ripe for Western attention. Except it looks like not much will come of it. The Nigerian government is already upset that this story has been become an international topic and has arrested protesters demanding the Nigerian army do more to save the girls. They have also done little to “bring them back” in the past three weeks.

What has also been little discussed in this black-and-white morality play is that the government has committed similar actions against the Nigerian Islamists. Several women and children of the militants have been arrested by the government and interned in camps, thus prompting Boko Haram to pay the government back in kind with abductions of their own.

But don’t expect that side to come out in too much—they already have an established villain and they want to bring “our” girls back no matter what the facts. This played out in the Kony case as well when millions of young Westerners took to Facebook and Twitter to shriek at the war criminal for employing child soldiers without bothering to research that the people he fought against and who would be responsible for bringing him to “justice” also employed child soldiers.

The point of these stories is not to motivate Whites to actually solve these issues, but to give them something to briefly care about, tweet about, and feel morally superior about. It also reinforces the impression that only people who live in Western countries can rescue Africa from itself. But that is the whole root of the problem.

We’re trying to transform Africa into the West when it can never become the West. Instead, this attempted transformation only results in war, overpopulation, misery, genocide, famine, unbridled corruption, slavery, and disease for the Africans who have to live with the consequences of White paternalism.

White liberals don’t. They go off to Whole Foods, buy some organic kale, tell the bearded cashier how awful it is that people would abduct little schoolgirls, score some morality points, and go on with their day like they never knew that some people might have to deal with seeing all of their children butchered before their eyes.

And the instigator of this situation is that these girls are attending schools against the cultural traditions of the area. While Hillary Clinton can pontificate about how education is apparently a basic human right, how are these girls benefitting from this education? Seriously, how are they benefitting? It is destroying their communities, causing them to become prime targets for the slave market, and fuelling a bloody civil war. What is the gain except it makes a few Whites and Oprah Winfrey feel good about themselves? White countries have been investing in education initiatives like this ever since we decolonized the continent and the continent has only become worse. Is it all worth it if the girls can now use their newly learned math skills to count how many of their family members have been slaughtered because of their educational pursuit?

Here’s how to solve this situation for good: stop imposing our idiotic liberal values on other peoples and let Africans solve their own problems. We can only delay and make their problems worse. We hope that the girls are found safe, but they are not “our” girls. They are Nigeria’s girls and it is best if we stay out of the country for good. Let them live their lives the way they always have and stop forcing them to live like our degenerated selves. Then maybe the dark continent can find a semblance of peace.

Until that time, we can only watch this scenario play out like the Kony situation: a whole lot of sound and fury that ultimately leads to nothing except SWPL masturbation.