The NBA community is quite disturbed, and rightfully so, over comments that were made recently by the owner of the Los Angeles Clippers, Donald Sterling. Though Sterling has asked “for forgiveness” for his “mistake,” little mercy seems to be forthcoming. The owner admitted to the authenticity of a recording where he tells his mistress that he didn’t want her to bring black people to basketball games.
NBA commissioner Adam Silver responded with appropriate vengeance. He banned Sterling from the NBA for life, fined the owner $2.5 million, and urged league owners to force Donald to sell his team. Most players thought the severe action of the commissioner was justified, and the league narrowly avoided a player walkout.
NBA owners are trying to decide how to proceed with their plan to force Sterling out as owner of the Clippers. Little tolerance is given to those who have bigotry against African-Americans, especially when those African Americans are successful athletes who make millions of dollars annually.
On the other side of the globe, however, the mistreatment of African schoolgirls is not that big a deal. These teenage girls vanished in the early morning hours of April 15, when members from the Islamic terror group Boko Haram raided the Christian town of Chibok in Nigeria abducting more than 300 girls into waiting pickup trucks. Some fifty girls were able to escape, but more than 270, ages 15 to 18, remain missing.
The Obama administration was too busy looking for the sunken Malaysian airliner to do anything in response to this atrocity for weeks. Finally, on May 6, the president announced that the United States government would send a team to Nigeria to help the Nigerian military coordinate search and rescue efforts.
Boko Haram, however, has been waging a vicious effort to force Islamic law into northern Nigeria for more than a decade. This year is the deadliest of the insurgency with as many as 1500 killed since January. According to World Magazine, these Muslims have “burned churches, razed villages, kidnapped women, and massacred civilians for years.”
The leader of Boko Haram boasts that he will sell these missing girls as slaves. Some of the girls have already been sold into marriage for as little as $12. He further stated that he is fully intent to conduct Jihad war against Christians and Christianity. “Allah says we should finish them when we get them.”
Yet the Obama administration barely admits that there is widespread Christian persecution in northern Nigeria. It took the U.S. government years to designate Boko Haram a terrorist organization, but even after doing so last November, the State Department has continued largely to ignore the overwhelming rate of Christian persecution in this part of the world.
Indeed, the Obama administration has downplayed the religious nature of this persecution. Secretary of State John Kerry said that the terrorism is best fought by alleviating poverty, and senior state official Johnnie Carson told Congress that Boko Haram is thriving because of “social and economic problems.”
Indeed, one wonders if the Obama administration would have even gotten involved had it not been for a Twitter hashtag – #BringBackOurGirls – that caught national attention. It seems that the best our government has done is publish a picture of Michelle Obama holding a sign with this hashtag. Apparently, we are more concerned about the feelings of hedonistic basketball players who happen to be African American and who may be the alleged victims of “economic slavery” than we are the safety of Christian African girls being sold into actual slavery.
I am not saying that Donald Sterling does not deserve his day of vengeance. I am saying, however, that if we are taking a hatchet to Sterling, we must do more than slap Boko Haram with a hashtag. LeBron James and his fellow players will survive fine regardless of what is done to Donald Sterling. These defenseless Christian girls in Nigeria will not. All racism is wrong and must be appropriately addressed for “such a time as this.”