Popular radio personality Rush Limbaugh recently spoke out against a social media movement he sees as futile.
Limbaugh opposes #bringbackourgirls, a hashtag that has raised global awareness of a mass kidnapping of nearly 300 girls by terrorist group Boko Haram in Nigeria.
Limbaugh thinks that hashtag activism is useless and a “pathetic” attempt of the participants to convince themselves that they are helping the situation.
“The sad thing here is that the low-information crowd that’s puddling around out there on Twitter is gonna think we’re actually doing something about it,” Limbaugh said in his radio show.
Here in the real world, the U.S. government has actually offered military and hostage negotiation aid to the Nigerian government.
Other conservative media personalities have joined their voices in opposing the expression of those opposing a horrible act of terror.
Washington Post columnist George Will said in an interview on Fox News, “Are these barbarians in the wilds of Nigeria supposed to check their Twitter accounts and say, ‘Ah oh, Michelle Obama is very cross with us, we better change our behavior.’”
There are hundreds of young girls currently living in fear. There are families who don’t know if they will ever see their daughters again.
This is a cause for which citizens and governments all around the world should raise awareness.
That is to say nothing of the broader issue of terrorism and murder, kidnapping and human-trafficking that plagues not only Nigeria, but countries across the globe.
According to CNN, Nigerians are daily protesting their government’s response, which has been irresponsible at best and indifferent at worst.
According to a report by the human rights group Amnesty International, “Nigerian security forces had more than four hours of advance warning about the attack but did not do enough to stop it.”
We need, at the very least, to know about this situation. We need to do all we can to let others know.
In today’s world, many people get their news from Facebook and Twitter.
The goal of #bringbackourgirls is not to digitally convince terrorists to release abducted children.
Citizens of countries can and have urged their governments to get involved in helping the Nigerian government resolve this situation. While the value of “hashtag activism” can be debated, those involved are literally doing everything they can to make a difference in this horrifying situation. These people should not be mocked on national radio programs and cable “news” stations.
In the critical words of Limbaugh while talking about these efforts, “Is that not pathetic? What the h— message does that send?”