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Why Is The Biden Administration Ignoring The Atrocities In Nigeria?

The Biden administration can’t bring itself to see a problem here, refusing to put Nigeria on the list of Countries of Particular Concern.

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While many people around the world were pleasantly enjoying their Christmas Eve, nearly 300 sleeping villagers in Plateau State, Nigeria, were reportedly massacred by Muslim terrorists. As with most terrorist attacks against Christians in the country, this atrocity received only minimal attention from the rest of the world. 

Yet the Biden administration just can’t bring itself to see a problem here, refusing to put Nigeria on the list of Countries of Particular Concern (CPC). Despite experiencing terrorist atrocities for over a decade — Boko Haram launched an almost identical attack on Nigerian villages during Christmas Eve three years ago — this somehow doesn’t merit concern from an American government that has granted close to $1 billion in foreign aid annually for the past five years. 

What’s more, Nigeria’s last two presidents tacitly encouraged this terrorism by taking all this aid while doing nothing to protect their Christian population. But this also does not seem to bother anyone. Maybe this would be different if the presidents were Christian and the terrorized minority were Muslim, as was the case in Bosnia in the ’90s. 

Somehow, the Biden administration’s indifference is even worse than the last Democrat in office, Barack Obama. During Obama’s presidency, the violent attacks on innocent Christians in Nigeria triggered a social media awareness campaign. Who can forget Michelle Obama frowning for the camera as she held a “#BringBackOurGirls” sign, right after Boko Haram kidnapped more than 200 Nigerian girls? True, the awareness campaign achieved nothing — Boko Haram is still active, and the girls were almost certainly sold into slavery — but it did get a small modicum of attention from the world at large and communicated the evil of mass kidnapping.

Today, this obvious point is not so obvious. As Americans witnessed in October with Hamas’ attack in Israel, which specifically targeted the innocent, many on the left took to the streets and cheered on the terrorists. It seems Americans are no longer united in opposing clear evil as they were less than 10 years ago.

It’s no secret what caused this shift. As many writers and journalists have noted, leftist ideologues have indoctrinated a significant portion of the population who are coming of age and supporting utter depravity in the name of social justice. Their morality is based on the tenets of intersectionality, the idea that those who are the least privileged due to their race and sexuality have the highest moral standing in a community. 

Thus, instead of identifying the perpetrator and victim of a crime to determine a just response, many people today are taught to identify who is privileged and who is not. If the victim happens to be part of a recognized privileged class (i.e., white, Christian, Jewish, heterosexual, male, etc.), they are not victims. And if the perpetrator is part of a recognized victim class (i.e. LGBT, not white, not Christian, etc.), they are not guilty of a crime. It’s really that simple.

For some reason (if there is any), in cases where the perpetrator and victim are part of the same class, all culpability is negated. Thus, “Black Lives Matter” only applies when considering less frequent white-on-black crimes, not black-on-black crimes, which tend to occur at a higher rate. Similarly, conflicts abroad that are between Muslim factions or tribal factions of the same ethnic group are wholly ignored. Hence, conflicts involving religious persecution, as in Nigeria, are rendered irrelevant and designated as mere tribal disputes.

For the Biden administration, the event on Christmas Eve was not an instance of Islamic terrorists attacking Christian civilians, but of shepherds of the Fulani tribe fighting against the farmers of the Hausa tribe for land and resources. Put that way, it’s not altogether unreasonable to conclude — along with the Biden administration and leftist media — that it’s really climate change that has aggravated these tensions

However, this is flatly wrong. Armed thugs are attacking and murdering innocent civilians, and a corrupt government is refusing to do anything about it. It’s a violation of morality, human rights, and American strategic interests. Nigeria isn’t another peripheral backwater in Africa. It is a country with a rich culture, brilliant people, and enormous potential. And many consider Nigerian Americans to be among the most successful immigrant communities in the U.S. There’s no reason the country should be as dysfunctional as it is. 

Those on the left might lazily attribute all this to colonization and racism. Indeed, this, as Paul Kengor writes in his recent book The Worst of Indignities, seems to be the same argument that causes those otherwise obsessed with slavery and racism to turn a blind eye to modern-day slavery in the developing world — as though European colonizers entered a morally pristine country, corrupted it beyond all recognition, and cast a spell to make this corruption permanent and rampant long after they left the country. 

The more likely explanation is that liberalizing forces of Christianity and Western culture are left undefended and thus under attack from what writer Jens Heycke calls “ethnic opportunists,” demagogues who scapegoat ethnic or religious minorities to gain power.

Whatever accounts for the violence happening in Nigeria, it’s only reasonable to denounce it and demand reform on the pain of withholding aid. This is not a matter of choosing whether to intervene in a foreign country, but of supporting the side of justice and order over cruelty and chaos. 

At its heart, this is not a partisan issue, but a human one.


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