The Banning of the Drums; or ‘How to be a Good Nigger in Jamaica’

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Annie Paul:

Kei Miller firing on all cylinders in this one…a must read.

Originally posted on Under the Saltire Flag:

To fully understand the present moment, some people say we must understand the past that gave birth to it. So this week, I pause my regular commentary on topical matters in Jamaica, to look briefly at history.


In about 1740, across the Caribbean, the drums were banned. Of course this wasn’t so much a banning of drumming as it was a banning of blackness. People had been taken out of Africa. Now it was time to take Africa out of them. Drums not only represented a continent and a vibrant culture; it was a living language loud enough to speak across plantations and in whose syncopated vocabulary, revolts could be plotted. Importantly, the white planters did not understand the language of drums and so these drums had to be banned.

The logic was as we might expect it to be from that period of time, so steeped in racism. Black…

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The Great Brazilian Nightmare…#BRAvsGER

What is left to say…the Brazilian team proved to be a pushover for the Germans in a semi-final no one could have predicted.

Incredible to remember that Ghana’s Black Stars actually  held this same German team at bay with a 2-2 score when the two met on the 21st of June, Algeria too…how could mighty Brazil have crumbled so easily then? The tweets below reflect a good cross-section of reactions to this peak or trough (depending on your affliations) to one of the most intensely (social) mediated global pop cultural events ever–World Cup 2014.
#BRA v #GER becomes most tweeted about sports match ever – which adds up to a lot of mockery:
#BRA v #GER becomes most tweeted about sports match ever – which adds up to a lot of mockery:
Nooooooooooooo. What is this. No. Let them start again. This isn’t right. 4-0? 25minutes.
Can we just press restart?
Brazil has been my team since 1966 but this lot really are a useless shower and they’ve had this coming. Neymar or no Neymar.
This is schoolboy stuff. Brazil have completely capitulated. Never seen anything like it in my entire life.
Seriously, I’m not joking, I do hope FIFA investigates this for fixing. I know what would happen in cricket in similar circumstances.
I think that the referee ought to stop this now, just out of respect to Brazil teams past.
Total, total psychological collapse. I’ve never seen anything like it. Have you? At a World Cup? In a semi-final?
checking to see which Parliamentarians look distracted #WorldCup2014
Wake up Brazil! Your goalie is playing like a Dad who is letting his kids score. #FifaWorldCup
This won’t be the first time that thousands of Germans will have to lie low in Brazil for a while for their own safety.
Double digits mi seh! Let’s really see history.
This match is looking like GerMany vs BraNil
Stephanie Nolen is the Latin America Correspondent for Canada’s @GlobeandMail, tweeting live from Brazil…
@PialiRoy it’s almost unbearable to be here
Is this legal? 5-0 in 30 minutes at a semi final game? Fifa needs to make rules about this.
This isn’t because Neymar is missing. This is because Thiago Silva is missing.
Scholari with that Rolf Harris in court look, wondering “how the fuck do I get out off this stadium…”
Possibly the saddest Brazilian fan at this world cup game: #BRA #GER
Possibly the saddest Brazilian fan at this world cup game: #BRA #GER
It turns out Facebook engineered this whole match to study #BRA‘s emotions.
How do you explain to your wife that you missed the birth of your child to see Brazil beaten like this? #YoureSleepingOnTheCouch
This is really sad :/ "@BuzzFeedSports: Brazil fans spotted burning flag in São Paulo:<br /><br /><br /><br />
(via @VejaSP) <a href="&#8221; />
This is really sad :/@BuzzFeedSports: Brazil fans spotted burning flag in São Paulo: (via @VejaSP)
These guys would have not let this happen...
These guys would have not let this happen…
For whatever it tells you about Brazilians (or humans?) there are still a few people around me muttering “seis a cinco”
This whole #BRAvsGER match, summed up in less than six seconds. 
It’s officially the end of the world. Square full of Brazilians cheering German goal number 6
Report that people breaking up Copacabana :-(
It's all got too much for one little Brazil fan #bra #ger
It’s all got too much for one little Brazil fan #bra #ger
Was it a fix? Did #Brazil throw it for the betting? Odds on 6-0 must have been 1000-1. Someone somewhere is very happy
To be fair, you wouldn’t be able to see a ball coming at you if you were crying either.
Final score: Germany 7, Brazil 1. (Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP-Getty)
Final score: Germany 7, Brazil 1.  (Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP-Getty)
Is cause dem run the people outa the favela fi kip werl cup. Judgement tek dem.
World. This is just sad. #BRAvsGER
@Pornhub: Please stop uploading the game highlights to Pornhub… Our public humiliation category is full. #BrazilvsGermany
My mother heads off to bed with, “Tomorrow, I have to pay the people who backed Germany” #allaboutgambling
“It’s a measure of how downright German the Germans are they were absolutely furious with each other for allowing Brazil to score.”
Oscar being consoled by Thiago SILVA after 7 - 1 defeat by Germany in 2014 World Cup semi-final #BrazilvsGermany
Oscar being consoled by Thiago SILVA after 7 – 1 defeat by Germany in 2014 World Cup semi-final #BrazilvsGermany
Feel lucky that you have witnessed that people. You won’t see a game like that until Liverpool v Arsenal next season.
Maradona rubbing it in just a bit
Maradona rubbing it in just a bit
Germany came for the kill. Didn’t reach final last #WC. So sure they’d reach the final this yr they constructed a village in #BRA #epic
Don’t worry, Brazil. There are still bigger opponents to beat, like malnutrition and global warming!
I bet Clarice Lispector wouldn’t have given a toss who won tonight.
Thanks to @tejucole we have a remarkable archive of what turned out to be unforgettable #thetimeofthegame. 
Is it tough for German fans that they CAN’T chant Deutschland uber Alles??? :P
Wins Twitter. Dies. “@afrolicious: In my version of events, someone’s grandma living in the favelas orchestrated this as vengeance.”
CONFIRMED: Reggae Boyz tied up Brazil team and stole their gears.
Only team Germany haven’t beaten this World Cup? Ghana! #blackstars
No humiliation. All of us have bad days at the office. Even sportspeople.
An amazing shot of the stadium where the #BRA vs #GER World Cup match was played earlier. - AP photo #glnrWorldcup
An amazing shot of the stadium where the #BRA vs #GER World Cup match was played earlier. – AP photo #glnrWorldcup
Wondering if Argentina are considering tanking their semi-final just so they can smash Brazil in the playoff and add insult to injury.
Brasilian friends saying it would have been worse to lose in the final. To Argentina. At home. #agreed
Whenever I begin to feel sorry for Brazil, I remember Fernandinho kicking James Rodriguez for 90 minutes and not getting a yellow. #BRA #GER
Mass robbers create panic among hundreds of fans watching #WorldCup2014 semi-final on Copacabana beach 
Riot police move in amid violent scenes on Copacabana beach as Brazil humiliated 7-1 by Germany 
How are the Brazil supporters coping? Crying every time I see a caipirinha. #Brazil
Brazilian friend: “Who’d think at the World Cup we’d find out our football is crap & our cops are great?” re this 
This video of Brazil fans in Haiti watching the team collapse is a must see…
Brazil fans crazy at loss to Germany
Fights between fans reportedly forced hundreds to flee Copacabana beach. 
Riot police move in amid violent scenes on Copacabana beach as Brazil humiliated 7-1 –  #World 
For real?? RT @InigoGilmore: RT @Lance_News Just escaped hectic gunfire on copacabana beach #copacabana #rio gun men opened fire on fanfest
BBC News – World Cup 2014: Panic as fans flee Copacabana beach 
Meanwhile the mighty Associated Press which objected to Shepherd Fairey using one of their photographs of Obama for his famous poster has blithely lifted part of a story by Indian writer and IP activist Achal Prabhala, Neymar and the Disappearing Donkey, published on the blog Africa is a Country, without attribution. Prabhala’s brilliantly researched article which was reposted again and again during the world cup looked at the subject of race in Brazil, examining the transformation of Neymar in particular in terms of his appearance.
#Plagiarism RT @AfricasaCountry: Thank You To The @AP. We Feel Like LIke Neymar Right Now.

Neymar Interrupted…#BRAvsCOL, #World Cup 2014

What a day! Feeling it for Brazil’s Neymar whose vertebra was fractured in a rough and dirty tackle by one of his opponents. What’s interesting in the following selection of tweets is how skeptical people were initially of Neymar and what was perceived as his calculated antics–all the sympathy resting with Colombia’s James Rodriguez, one of the top scorers and stars in this tournament–until–it was known that Neymar wasn’t doing the usual fake dive and award-winning performance some players are known so well for. His vertebra was actually fractured in the unnecessarily rough tackle that took him down and he is out of the rest of the tournament. Here’s hoping that Neymar’s injuries aren’t permanently disabling and that he will soon return to football. In retrospect the amount of snark unleashed at Neymar seems shameworthy. Judge for yourselves…oh plus there’s plenty on James, rapidly becoming the most beloved player of this World Cup, his distress at Colombia’s failure to advance (with the famous last words “Men cry too.”)…and last but not least the ‘giant grasshopper’ that landed on his arm just as he struck his goal.

My father always said ‘Always bet on the person you want to lose. That way you end up either happy or richer.’
Foul. Foul. Foul. Then foul. Foul. Then dive. Then foul some more. Fake injury. Jogo bonito my foot. Vamos Colombia,
How cute is this!! RT @Footballltrolls: Childhood Friends Scored Today !
How cute is this!! RT @Footballltrolls: Childhood Friends Scored Today !
Jogo dramaaaaaaaático, the Brazilian announcer says. Indeed
Holy hell! #neymar people are sobbing his name here #BRACOL
That thing about crying wolf?
At the end of the game Neymar gets to take Oscar home to keep him in his trophy cabinet #AwardWinningActingSkills
#WorldCup2014 #BRA #COL Ah now the other Brazilians – Luiz excepted of course — will actually have to play as poor Neymar has gone off
It’s jogo bonito one minute, jogo feo the next.
Brazil marching towards the title with the confidence of a litigant who’s bribed every judge all the way up to the Supreme Court. #BRAvsCOL
Nobody can stop Rodriguez from scoring, not even giant Brazilian insects.
Nobody can stop Rodriguez from scoring, not even giant Brazilian insects.
Brazil playing like minnows. The uninitiated can be excused for thinking they’re plucky underdogs.
Brazil panicking because referee contract only extends to regulation time.
FULL TIME: #COL crowned unofficial World Champions by the people of the world. #BRA to play #GER in so-called “semi-final”.
Don’t think I’ve ever disliked a Brazilian team more…
#BRA ain’t here to make friends. On to the final four. GOLAÇO by Luiz. Thank you Colombia, you were wonderful. #thefootball
Neymar leaves the pitch in tears after he gets a knee in the back. #BRA 2-1 #COL #WorldCup2014
Neymar leaves the pitch in tears after he gets a knee in the back. #BRA 2-1 #COL #WorldCup2014
Nice that the WC now has a clear-cut villain for the uninvolved to root against.
HUGE RESPECT goes to Colombia, one of the best teams in the 2014 World Cup, very unlucky to be knocked out. #COL
HUGE RESPECT goes to Colombia, one of the best teams in the 2014 World Cup, very unlucky to be knocked out. #COL
Brazil lives to fight another day
Well, Germany better brush up on their faking-an-injury skills.
James weeping in David Luiz’s arms is killing me. And again: I don’t care about football
Unbelievable that #FIFA managed to first turn so many Brazilians against football, and now turning so many against #BRA team. #fuckFIFA
Well done Brazil, but if they win it on this form World Cup has gone from hero to zero. Tough luck on Colombia, the best. #VamosColombia
And top scorer for now. RT @KEmpress22: Look at the Brazillian players consoling Rodriguez. He deserves it all. Great player. So young.
cried my first tears of this tournament watching james cry. damn.
James Rodriguez is so good nobody is talking about Neymar, who probably died.
David Luiz consuela a James 
Full time. #BRA beat #COL 2-1 and so will play #GER in the semi-finals on Tuesday! #BRAGER
Full time. #BRA beat #COL 2-1 and so will play #GER in the semi-finals on Tuesday! #BRAGER
The entire internet would also like to give James Rodriguez a hug.
the only team that hasn’t looked trash is now out of the comp… classic.
Anyone not supporting Germany next week is a travesty of a human being. And probably getting a call from FIFA, asking him to be referee.
Ok James Rodriguez. Enough now. We want our wives’ and girlfriends’ attention back.
#COL James celebrates scoring his side's only goal in the #BRA matchup & his 6TH World Cup 2014 goal. #glnrWorldCup
#COL James celebrates scoring his side’s only goal in the #BRA matchup & his 6TH World Cup 2014 goal. #glnrWorldCup
Huge line outside the stadium and on twitter to comfort James Rodriguez.
@Fernando_Duarte No reason to be quiet, Fernando. This was a pathetic display from Brazil. Godawful, cynical, and cowardly.
Dani Alves and David Luiz console a teary-eyed James Rodriguez after the match. #Respect
Dani Alves and David Luiz console a teary-eyed James Rodriguez after the match. #Respect
“U can DO this!” Whispered Andres Escobar, reincarnated as a locust, on the anniversary of his death, into the ear of Jamés. “Believe…”
Germany hosts the World Cup, make the world love its football. Brazil hosts the World Cup, make the world hate its football.
Many years later, as he faced the firing squad, giant green bug was to remember that distant afternoon when he went to meet James Rodriguez.
James Rodriguez: “I’m crying because we gave everything we had inside of us. The referee didn’t help us. Men cry too.”
Fucking hell, that picture of a bug on James Rodríguez was real?!! </p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
<p>That is honestly terrifying. <a href=; />
Fucking hell, that picture of a bug on James Rodríguez was real?!! That is honestly terrifying.
Neymar has been taken to hospital with his back injury. Very much hope it’s nothing serious.
A large grasshopper "attacked" James #Rodriguez after scoring penalty during #BrazilvsColombia quarter-final match
A large grasshopper “attacked” James #Rodriguez after scoring penalty during #BrazilvsColombia quarter-final match
Brazil and Colombia Bring the Ugly Game  via @tunkuv [My take on the quarterfinals today for @thedailybeast]
how come nobody was up in arms when ogenyi onazi was hacked down by the french player and left with a broken leg?
Neymar is out of the World Cup with a broken vertebrae. What an absolute bummer!
@NPRrussell: Brazilian superstar Neymar out of World Cup after fracturing a vertebrae. Referee did not whistle a foul on the hit.” @damani
Sad day for the World Cup as it loses two of its brightest young stars  - one to defeat, one to injury.
Sad day for the World Cup as it loses two of its brightest young stars – one to defeat, one to injury.
Excellent question “@simoncrosskill: Hey FIFA isnt a deliberate knee in the back worse that a bite on the shoulder.”
Sad hearing the news @neymarjr ..Have a speedy recovery
News of Neymar’s broken vertebrae has just hit the party I am at and it has ground to a stony-faced halt #worldcup14
Brazil and Colombia Bring the Ugly Game  My piece for @thedailybeast (with an added Neymar post script)

More World Cup Underdogs…#ALGvsGER and #USAvsBEL

  1. If you run out of World Cup Budweiser keep old bottles and boil up some rice. Chuck away rice but put water into bottles in fridge. Chill.
  2. Drink cold, but go easy, it’ll be a higher alcohol content than you are used to. #fudweiser
  3. The world upside down: Algeria teaching Germany how to play soccer. It might be just a brief dream.
  4. You can hear the Algeria fans singing pro-Palestine songs in the Stadium ️
  5. Never, ever thought I’d say this, but Germany look tactically inept.
  6. In today’s #WorldCup recap, Jonathan Wilson on the political fear of soccer and how to shame a pathological diver: 
  7. @FutbolsaCountry May the team that holds the more legitimate historical grudge against #FRA prevail.
  8. Don’t know if Algeria is fasting. But Germany is definitely slowing.
  9. Germany is struggling against guys who haven’t eaten all day.
  10. The Muslim world could use a lift ya now… New caliphate and all#ALG
  11. Wait, Algeria holding Germany to a tie? What a World Cup.
  12. Great game Algeria. You made us proud. Well done Germany.
  13. Nooooooo. Germany plays France next. Here come all the WW2 tweets. Gah!
  14. “Football is a simple game. Twenty-two men chase a ball for 90 minutes and at the end the Germans win.”—Gary Lineker Or 120 minutes, Gary.
  15. Unnuh see dat goal???? Slimani … Algeria …. OMGawd
  16. Is there extra extra time in extra time?
  17. Yow, big up Algeria.
  18. Fucking beauty! Never saw that coming. Bet they wish they’d bothered to properly defend Ouzil’s goal now.
  19. GOAL! #ALG will not lay down and its that man Djabou. Its now#GER 2 – 1 #ALG but is it too late?
  20. This one hurt the worst. Bravo, #ALG, a courageous, honorable display. Those first half missed chances…
  21. Algeria is this World Cup’s PT Usha.
  22. Well played Algeria. Organize a triangular series with Chile and Mexico please.
  23. Thank you thank you goal gods!!! Algeria scored!!#neighbourshateme #screaminginpublic
  24. Disappointing start to the new Caliphate.
  25. Corporate America takes World Cup breaks, and we have the data to prove it  via @qz
  26. Put it in your diaries. #GER are in the quarterfinals and will face #FRA on Friday. #onyourside
    Put it in your diaries. #GER are in the quarterfinals and will face #FRA on Friday.#onyourside
  27. "When things are a bit tough we concentrate on the ball and forget"| Read the #AlJazeeraMag:
    “When things are a bit tough we concentrate on the ball and forget”| Read the#AlJazeeraMag
  28. Why, in multi-racial Brazil, are the World Cup crowds so white?@AfricasaCountry finds the answer: …
  29. And so it is that I find myself cheering for USA because, for a change, they’re the underdogs. #WorldCup2014
  30. Argentina's Angel di Maria celebrates after scoring the goal to propel #ARG into the last 8. - AP photo #glnrWorldCup
    Argentina’s Angel di Maria celebrates after scoring the goal to propel #ARG into the last 8. – AP photo #glnrWorldCup
  31. I have the most creative fans… #WorldCup fan-generated video for#Champion. Nice work! Go USA! 
  32. Basically, the Belgian players have been trained like little soccer automatons since they were embryos. …
  33. World Cup: Brazil Uses Sex, Patriotism, Cocktails to Promote Condoms & Tests  RT @FrontiersMag
  34. Would love Divock Origi to score — check this Kenya Citizen TV interview w his dad, who played for Harambee Stars …
  35. Now we know real football has arrived in the US RT @dhume Watching #BELUSA @AEI. [Don't tell Ann Coulter.]
    Now we know real football has arrived in the US RT @dhume Watching#BELUSA @AEI. [Don't tell Ann Coulter.]
  36. I have a sudden desire to see Belgium win today.
  37. Lackluster show by Amreeka so far. Someone should announce Brazil has oil to motivate them.
  38. USA and Belgium never seem to miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity.
  39. THE BEARDS ARE COMING! #CreepingSharia
  40. When I am one day taken hostage, disregard whatever law enforcement wants to do. Just please, please send Tim Howard in after me.
  41. Just tried to follow Tim Howard on Twitter. Got blocked.
  42. Tim Howard could’ve saved my parents’ marriage.
  43. Tim Howard playing so well he might be the fourth (maybe even third) best goalkeeper in the tournament so far.
  44. Can I do a #creepingSharia tweet for Tim Howard??
  45. Belgium 0, Tim Howard 0.
  46. FT: #BEL 0-0 #USA. Tim Howard with a man-of-the-match performance takes #USA to ET.  #USAvsBEL
    FT: #BEL 0-0 #USA. Tim Howard with a man-of-the-match performance takes#USA to ET.  #USAvsBEL
  47. Pic of the day: @Pontifex et Swiss Guard following ARG-SUI at #Brasil2014
    Pic of the day: @Pontifex et Swiss Guard following ARG-SUI at
  48. FIFA has banned goals?
  49. An estimated 28,000 people are at Soldier Field to watch #USAvsBEL | Alex Wroblewki/Sun-Times Media
    An estimated 28,000 people are at Soldier Field to watch #USAvsBEL | Alex Wroblewki/Sun-Times Media
  50. Wafflery. Oh mon Dieu. RT @Raheelk: Feel bad for brother@TimHowardGK Another 30 mins of Belgian wafflery to defend.
  51. 15 saves – the most saves in a world cup in half a century says this ESPN commentator about Tim Howard.
  52. De Bruyne is doing very well for an English kid that got left behind after a field trip to Ypres.
  53. My co-workers keep calling Bruyne prince Harry
  54. Free Stella Artois in Brussels tonight—
  55. Daddy, why do we burn waffles in the town square every July 1?
  56. Tim Howard has now made 16 saves today – the most by a goalkeeper in a single match in World Cup history.
  57. I am dying agahhahhahhahhhahhahhahahhaha
    I am dying agahhahhahhahhhahhahhahahhaha
  58. My buddy just turned to me and said “fuck it, nobody plays this shit anyway, right? It ain’t like its fuckin baseball.”
  59. BOOOOOM! And the prayer was instantly answered! #HailMary#USA
  60. Every home needs this white foam. Put it on the Christmas list. #Brazil2014
    Every home needs this white foam. Put it on the Christmas list.
  61. Fact! >RT @themacheteman: USA just start play some football.. soccer dem did a play all along
  62. Rio's iconic Christ the Redeemer is now red-and-white in honour of Canada Day
    Rio’s iconic Christ the Redeemer is now red-and-white in honour of Canada
  63. Great match. Tough luck USA. But one can’t win on a goalkeeper and a late sub.
  64. If Tim Howard is not on a box of Wheaties … something is wrong America.
  65. Best World Cup Ever.
  66. Congratulations USA. Now that you know what it’s like to have your soul ripped out by a game of football, you’re in the gang.
  67. New lesson for #USA: steal more Germans for your national team. You need more Germans.
  68. Bravo, #USA. It felt super weird to start supporting you.
  69. The next American that dips a French fry in mayo is exiled.
  70. Come on USA. Do lap of honour like it is hollywood film.
  71. England, next time you lose, lose like USA.
  72. And dear Americans. It’s football. Not soccer. Just hold that thought.
  73. HISTORY: Tim Howard made 16 saves tonight, most by any keeper in a World Cup game ever.
    HISTORY: Tim Howard made 16 saves tonight, most by any keeper in a World Cup game ever.
  74. All the round of 16 top seeds through to the quarters. But every match was close. This tournament is bananas.
  75. This World Cup has been thrilling and exhausting to watch. I’m relieved to get a couple of days off. Can’t imagine how the players feel.
  76. New American fans: this is what soccer is like. It kills you, and you die, and sometimes it’s beautiful, and then you do it again next week.
  77. Tim Howard has achieved true cult status. I hear he is going to run for 2016. Hillary has endorsed him. The GOP will have no candidate 1/2
  78. Twitter make dem ting yah better… Man dem seh Jesus and Howard both save… But Jesus had 11 niggas he could trust
  79. BREAKING: The whole of the USA goes back to not caring about ‘soccer’ at all.
  80. Oh shut up Pentagon you lost RT @guardian: Pentagon says growing US forces in Iraq need ‘flexibility’ for mission: 
  81. Will be supporting Colombia now. They are more Brazil than the team that calls itself Brazil
  82. It is incredibly satisfying to see the rest of the world’s pity and condescension cascade toward the US
  83. As a numbers guy, I’m just hitting refresh and watching the followers on Tim Howard’s account go up crazily.
  84. Murray out at Wimbledon, TWO WHOLE FUCKING DAYS to go before more World Cup…are they trying to kill me?#armchairanarachy

The World Cup and its Others…

Presenting a Storified tweetshot of reactions from those of us in the Global South as our representatives at the World Cup in Brazil surged ahead on the day that the Black Stars (Ghana) and the Super Eagles (NIG) made their presence felt–race, religion, colour, ethnicity, nationality–all came in for comment. For example, the following tweet from Jean Lowrie-Chin in Jamaica: @chinhubert saw a tweet during #GHAvsUSA: “Not sure who to back – Ancestors from Ghana but remittances from USA” ☺ #Brasil2014. Check it out…

So Germany is the only European team that has a white guy who scores
Ok, who am I supporting here? #HONvsECU (@tejucole, any advice?)
@kamilashamsie Um, definitely the small poor country with brown people.
Helpful. “@tejucole: @kamilashamsie Um, definitely the small poor country with brown people.”
@kamilashamsie @tejucole But they are both small poor countries with brown people. No? Very helpful indeed :) #HONvsECU
Costly error by #ECU leads to Costly goal for #HON. Nice.
There can no longer be any doubt: the U.S. is one of the top nine American teams in this tournament.
So basically postcolonial nations have spent every minute since independnce dedicating themselves to proving every colonial stereotype right
It is delightful that the national honor of so very Catholic France continues to be in the hands of its predominantly Muslim football team
germany/netherlands ain’t winning no world cup in south america…so save unnuh breath…
I am Ghanaian. I am Ghanaian. I am Ghanaian.
GOAL! Has someone accounted for the Obeah Man??
GOAL! Has someone accounted for the Obeah Man??
Oh my God, this is happening. Come on you Black Stars!
Black Stars broke my heart in 2010, not going to celebrate until the end. *watching with one eye*
You have nowhere to hurry, Ghana.
where is ogun in particular today? where is ogun?
C’mon Global South!!! you can do it! #GhanavsGermany
There are no atheists in the 85th minute.
It is immense that #GHA believes that they can and actually do go toe to toe with Europe’s deadliest team
What a thoroughly entertaining game.
This German niggas bleeding ALL over the field. Soccer so violent. #WorldCup2014
Great fight Ghana a so we do it! #AfricanStandUp
Can we play extra time on this one? A perfect half of football and fantastic entertainment from both sides.
these commentators “Germany did not bring their A game”. enough!
OK Ghana I was just kidding. I love you. But I can’t promise about Samuel Kuffour. Not when he says “pahnahty”.
GER vs. GHA was pretty much an episode of Game of Thrones. Valar Morghulis.
One of the best games of #WorldCup2014 so far on the longest day of the yr. Great display esp by #Ghana.
Watched Ger vs Gha in a bar in Fort Greene. Jokes for days. “That was an awesome head kick.”
My mum just saw her tenant that is owing her money on super sport in Brazil
It’s funny (completely unfunny) how much space Hajrovic is getting on the right flank. Acres. He could start a farm out there.
If you get an email from a Nigerian friend claiming he’s lost all his cash in Rio, don’t delete it as spam. It might just be true
#NIG clearly looking for a specific target area in #BIH defence.
#NIG clearly looking for a specific target area in #BIH defence.
So, so harsh for Bosnia
Nigeria's Emmanuel Emenike fires in a shot on goal during the match between #NGR and #BIH. - AP #glnrWorldCup
Nigeria’s Emmanuel Emenike fires in a shot on goal during the match between #NGR and #BIH. – AP #glnrWorldCup
Yow Nigeria nuh concede no goals yet!!!
Naija! Naija! Naija! Naija! Naija!
Wake up call. It will not be strange if Goodluck Jonathan wins in a free and fair election 2015. Twitter is not = Nigeria.

Social Protests vs Moral Panics

Clovis, Jamaica Observer editorial cartoon, June 19, 2010

Clovis, Jamaica Observer editorial cartoon, June 19, 2014. A depiction of the so-called ‘hijacking’ of morality by Jamaicans for Justice and their sex education curriculum for institutionalized children. See my previous post Sly Perfidy for more information on this.

The following was first published on my blog at Economic and Political Weekly, an Indian magazine of ‘independent scholarship and critical inquiry’.

The question of what arouses outrage or ‘moral panics’ in societies is a fascinating one. In Jamaica members of a powerful Evangelical Christian fundamentalist lobby group have decided to rally their troops in a crusade against the University of the West Indies because the contract of one of their members as head of an organization named CHART, the Caribbean HIV/AIDS Regional Training Network, has been terminated. The head of this unit, retired Professor Brendan Bain, who happens to be a Christian fundamentalist, had given expert testimony on behalf of churches moving to retain the buggery law in Belize.

Because this action was perceived to be antithetical to the mission statement of CHART–”to continually strengthen the capacity of national healthcare personnel and systems to provide access to quality HIV & AIDS prevention, care, treatment, and support services for all Caribbean people” international stakeholders crucial to funding CHART asked that Professor Bain’s contract be terminated and after lengthy consultations the University complied.  It was felt that by arguing that buggery laws be retained (when there is medical consensus internationally that such laws impede the successful treatment and management of HIV/AIDS) Professor Bain had lost the confidence of CHART’s stakeholders.

Bain’s supporters have turned the situation into a circus about freedom of speech, convening several times a week, dressed in black, with taped mouths, outside the regional headquarters of the University to protest his dismissal. Their contention? That Bain should have been free to give expert evidence based on his ‘research’ and that by rescinding his contract the University had bowed to the dictates of an internationally constituted ‘gay agenda’.

In India in the last two years much outrage has been expressed at the alarming frequency and ferocity with which women are raped. The government has reacted by strengthening the legal penalties for rape. The straw that broke the camel’s back seems to have been the gang-rape and subsequent death of young Jyoti Singh in December 2012. Since then an avalanche of rapes has been reported and dwelt on, the most recent being the callous rape-killings of two lower caste women in Budaun, UP by men of a politically powerful though marginally higher caste. Read at face value the Budaun case highlights the persistence of caste-sanctioned violence in contemporary India despite the existence of strong legislation proscribing such behaviour.

The spectacularity of the violence done to the young women–hanging their violated bodies  in a public square for all to see–suggests that a strong signal was being sent by the perpetrators. Was this a lynching? What had the girls or the communities they came from done to provoke this? Considering the extremely high incidence of reported rape cases recorded in recent years should one label the dominant culture a rape culture? Does this mean Indian culture is synonymous with rape culture? Since the caste system is an integral part of hegemonic Hindu culture and higher castes seem to be signaling their right to rape lower-caste women in instances like this, does that make Hindu culture itself complicit with rape culture?

And what exactly is rape culture for that matter? A concept developed by feminists in the 70s, rape culture refers to cultures that normalize, excuse, turn a blind eye to or even condone the rape of women. In contrast male rape, especially by other men, is not viewed as casually in such societies. Certainly the comments made by various high level politicians, policemen and priests in India regarding cases of female rape suggest that there is virtually a patriarchal consensus that the rape of women should not be a justiciable crime. Fortunately the founders of the Indian constitution thought otherwise providing legal recourse to rape victims although the enforcement of such laws has proved to be difficult in a culture inclined not to view unconsensual sex as a crime.

To me these two conjunctures illustrate the difference between social outrage and moral panics. The latter sums up the Jamaican situation while the Indian protests are symptomatic of outrage generated by a genuine problem–that of the vulnerability of women in patriarchal societies where rape culture prevails.

The quasi-hysterical protests in Jamaica show all the classic signs of a moral panic. According to Charles Krinsky, considered an authority on the phenomenon “A moral panic may be defined as an episode, often triggered by alarming media stories and reinforced by reactive laws and public policy, of exaggerated or misdirected public concern, anxiety, fear, or anger over a perceived threat to social order.”

Whereas in India the demonstrations have been about existing laws that are inadequately policed and enforced, in Jamaica the highly organized protests are indirectly about the repeal of a law–the buggery law–which if actualized would be considered a blow to the self-appointed policing of public morality by evangelical Christians and a major defeat on the part of local interests at the hands of an illusory or imaginary enemy–the so-called globally powerful gay lobby.

The problem with moral panics is that they are seldom about real or actual threats to the social order and they rarely happen in response to much more serious dangers–that of human trafficking, paedophilia or narco-trafficking for instance–all of which pose much greater threats to Jamaican society. There are probably good examples of moral panics in Indian society but the recent escalation in anti-rape protests is not one of them.

The Sly Perfidy of People Who Say They Care…

Clovis, Editorial cartoon, Jamaica Observer June 12, 2014

This editorial cartoon in the Jamaica Observer of June 12 featuring a schoolboy in a chastity belt responds to the alleged rape of a male jogger that was sensationally reported in a previous issue of the paper. Questions have been raised about the sketchy details available, suggesting the incident might have been staged to fuel the moral panic instigated by the evangelical right in Jamaican society.

Jamaica is in the throes of a full blown moral panic. Three times a week since mid-May demonstrators clad in black have been assembling in front of the University of the West Indies (UWI), praying and carrying placards urging passers-by to honk in support of their campaign. Some have even taped their mouths to signal that this is a freedom of speech issue.

If you guessed that the protest might have something to do with the serious ills threatening this Caribbean society—rampant criminality, paedophilia, human and narco-trafficking, extra-judicial killings by the police and a crippling national debt among others—you would be wrong. The protest is indirectly fuelled by fear that an international ‘gay lobby’ is gaining ground in Jamaica as manifested by the termination of contract of a former UWI Professor from his post as head of  the Caribbean HIV/AIDS Regional Training Network or CHART as it is popularly known.

According to the University of the West Indies, CHART CEO Brendan Bain had to be removed from his leadership position after the majority of stakeholders in that organization declared they had no confidence in Bain’s leadership anymore. What prompted the no confidence vote was testimony provided by Bain in a Belize court case, on behalf of a Church group that was arguing for the retention of that country’s buggery laws. This was felt to be in direct contradiction of CHART’s mandate to improve delivery of HIV treatment in the region by reducing the stigma attached to the disease. There is widespread medical consensus based on extensive research that stigmatization and intolerance of men who have sex with men (MSMs) have helped to intensify the spread of the disease as those afflicted with it are afraid to ask for medical help. The Caribbean and sub-Saharan Africa which have the highest rates of HIV infection in the world are irrefutable proof of this.

Disregarding these facts Bain’s supporters have turned the situation into a circus about freedom of speech. Their contention? That Bain should have been free to give expert evidence based on his “research” and that by rescinding his contract the university had bowed to the dictates of an internationally constituted “gay agenda”.

Clovis, Jamaica Observer editorial cartoon, June 19, 2014. A depiction of the so-called 'hijacking' of morality by Jamaicans for Justice and their sex education curriculum for institutionalized children.

Clovis, Jamaica Observer editorial cartoon, June 19, 2014. A depiction of the so-called ‘hijacking’ of morality by Jamaicans for Justice and their sex education curriculum for institutionalized children.

Jamaica’s leading newspapers have provided daily fodder to support these protests in the form of provocative anti-gay cartoons, columns and articles. An atmosphere of near hysteria prevails with all the radio stations besieged by callers self-righteously denouncing the ‘gay agenda’ that is about to derail this virtuous, God-loving country. Virtually every day another scandal rocks the nation. A male jogger is raped by a gang of men! A few days later a 16-year old boy who tried to buy a tube of lipstick is nearly lynched by a mob and has to be rescued by the Police. Practically the next day Jamaicans for Justice, the local human rights group, is accused of attempting to “sexually groom” minors in the state’s care by providing them with special text books modified to include information on anal and oral sex.


Improbably a morning radio host on Newstalk 93 claims that the furore over sex education has NOTHING to do with homosexuality or gay rights and everything to do with the rights of poor, vulnerable children. Yet such concern for children’s rights and for the welfare of children in state homes is unprecedented. Was such a declaration made when the sexual violence that is the norm at these homes was exposed in the media a mere two months ago? Are these armchair moralists aware that the majority of children at these farcical ‘places of safety’ are routinely buggered and raped, often by adult staff members? Where was the disproportionate outrage now being displayed over the education of these children when the Jamaica Observer detailed the kind of sexual abuse young boys in one particular home were subject to?

According to a story by Karyl Walker in the Observer of April 9, 2014:

Horror stories of rape and sexual predation have long haunted children’s homes and one former student of the institution told the Observer that he had been raped by older boys many times during his stay there.

“The big boys rape the smaller boys, and when the smaller boys grow up they rape those who are weaker than them. It never stop,” the former ward said.

More recently, on June 9, 2014, Christopher Pryce wrote an anguished letter to the editor about what he called the ‘Boko Haramisation’ Of Jamaica’s children highlighting the alarming rate at which children are disappearing from their family homes.

Did crusading Christians undertake dramatic demonstrations against the government for its abject dereliction of duty in regulating children’s safety in these instances? Why not? Or does it reserve such protests for socially prominent members of high society who are removed from their cushy jobs?

If there is indeed such widespread concern over the education of children why don’t we express the same angst over the rape and buggery of their little bodies? The lessons in horror these children are taught, come not from any textbook smuggled into the curriculum by ‘the gay lobby’ but as a result of the vile predations of those entrusted with their care. Yet such flagrant violations earn no reaction– let alone action–from the innumerable Christian pulpits dotting this island or the churches braying so vigorously on behalf of Bain’s so-called rights.

Our Churches deal exclusively with the spirit such blatantly skewed reactions seem to say. We don’t care if your children are starving or being turned into sex slaves but rest assured we will police what their young minds and spirits are fed with the fervour of Ayatollahs. Your spiritual health is safe in our holy hands. For material well-being apply to your nearest Don and if necessary yield up your pubescent girl children. Remain confident that such children will go to their sexual slaughter with minds unsullied by the truth. Hallelujah! Pass the collection plate!

More World Cup: #BrazilvsMexico and #SpainvsChile

Chronicling the World Cup through tweets…note my exchange with Mark O’Halloran towards the end in #SpainvsChile :) Thanks @welshirvine!

Bumboclart!!!!! I just saw the score. Chile dun Spain.
Chile Ends Spain’s World Cup Reign  via @tunkuv My take on today’s Chilean end to the Spanish imperium
Football: Beautiful game, dirty business | The Economist  @changeFIFA
Well deserved yellow card for Ramires. That wasn’t football, that was Karate. #BrazilvsMexico
Here's Neymar getting emotional during national anthems. Do those ball girls look a little embarrassed? #bbcworldcup
Here’s Neymar getting emotional during national anthems. Do those ball girls look a little embarrassed? #bbcworldcup
Fans watching the Brazil Mexico match on copacabana beach tonight #bbcworldcup
Fans watching the Brazil Mexico match on copacabana beach tonight #bbcworldcup
Watching the #WorldCup? Do you know what is happening outside the stadium in Brazil? Watch:  #ICYMI #soccer #futbol
Julio Cesar is having one hell of a busy day. The Mexicans are attacking his goalpost like its the US border. #BrazilvsMexico
The only way to handle this Brazilian mediocrity is to watch the Brazilians make fun of their team on Twitter.
The World Cup cameraman rules for crowd shots are strict: you must show three civilians and then one improbably hot girl.
Guillermo Ochoa has a contract waiting for him in a big league somewhere right naow. Man of the match so far.
Mexico’s goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa having a career match. Many Mexico fans thought he shouldn’t even start, wanted Jose Corona instead…
Brazil consensus in the bar: “Esses s��o jogadores nervosos” – nervous players. Also that the new hair is maybe not helping WorldCupp
take out the trash mexico…
Mexico goalkeeper Ochoa has six fingers on his right hand. __ se sak fè mwen paka fè goal la
Mexico goalkeeper Ochoa has six fingers on his right hand. __ se sak fè mwen paka fè goal la
Ja govt woulda give the Mexican keeper house n LAN
Viva Mexico. Viva CONCACAF
[Ouch] RT @AnnaCelico Seleção mexicana sambando na nossa cara e no nosso país.
I believe “Ochoa” is Spanish for “Eight Hands”.
jo remind mi a one a dem shifty black coolie from westmoreland…
I’m not fluent but I’m pretty sure Ochoa means ‘brick wall’ in Spanish.
Ochoa is releasing a brand of condoms this summer. Stops everything in this heat!
I’m sorry, but #Brazil team is Neymar and then a bunch of guys who showed up later
Two player types are missing in this Brazil squad, the midfield genius and irritating overdribbler.
Ochoa. Noun. A structure that prevents passage. (e.g. The castle was surrounded by ochoas.) #WorldCup2014
Intense goalless draw, moral victory for Mexico, a brilliant performance of guts and graft. #VamosMexico
Half room is wildly embracing Mexicans. Half is motionless Brazilians. Clearly tie is fine news for #Mexico. #Brazil seeing its dream wobble
#WorldCup Update: Mexico & Brazil draw 0-0 in Group A play. This Getty pic sums it up
#WorldCup Update: Mexico & Brazil draw 0-0 in Group A play. This Getty pic sums it up
That’s the umpteenth time a football fan could say, “see, goalless draws are great to watch.” Get with it, America.
Pele. Garrincha. Jairzinho. Sócrates. Careca. Romario. Ronaldo. Rivaldo. Ronaldinho. Jo.
The worst is yet to come – this Brazil side is as weak as the Jamaican economy
And his task done, #Ochoa returns to the dimension from whence he came, leaving the Earthlings to whisper of new gods.
Chile!!!! What a start! Spain on the ropes #ESP #CHI
Sheer class. Viva la Chile!
Hi Spain fans. Why not immerse your sorrows in some entertaining non-fiction?
Diego Costa was not the droid Spain was looking for.
—————->”@JulianCresser: How did I ever watch a World Cup without Twitter?”
Conquistadores, my foot…ball.
A wonderful team. Between 2006-2010 one of the best the game has ever seen. GRACIAS. *switches off TV* France fans, I have my eye on you.
You won’t hear about him. But this is all about his absence.
You won’t hear about him. But this is all about his absence.
The only team with reasonably sane haircuts is about to be eliminated #ESPCHI
Diego Costa’s probably thinking, “I shoulda choose to play for Brazil instead”.
Tiki, Taka, Tata – Spanish for “we lost once, we lost again, we got kicked out of the world cup”
Never saw this one coming..Spain out of the @FIFAWorldCup in the first round..#WoW
Perhaps Spain lost because of their recent legalising of gay marriage. Just putting it out there.
Are you Jamaican? RT @markohalloran: Perhaps Spain lost because of their recent legalising of gay marriage. Just putting it out there.
@markohalloran @anniepaul Ah twitter. Annie Paul talking to Mark O’Halloran. My work on this earth is done.
(•_•) <) )╯ #ESP / \ \(•_•) ( (> is going / \ (•_•) <) )> home / \


Well, after 5 weeks of polling in India the results are in and Narendra Modi and the BJP have swept to victory. Here is a collection of tweets curated from the lead-up to the final day of polling, May 16, that gives a good sense of various reactions to the election results.
For some the victory of the BJP is worrying, almost as if the Boko Haram had taken  elections in Nigeria with an overwhelming majority. Certainly the actions of extremists in the new ruling party have earned it the bad reputation it enjoys and the inaction of the new Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in the face of such excesses, is why people treat him as if he has horns. Let’s hope the BJP and Modi prove their critics wrong. Ultimately what my Nigerian friend, Olu Oguibe, said on Facebook remains true:

There’s a great deal of weeping and wailing among some today as Narendra Modi and the BJP sweep the stakes in India’s national elections. Yet, who is to blame for their success but the people? Like the ANC, India’s ruling Congress Party takes power for granted and corruption and incompetence as tradition. Worse, still, it saddles itself with a doddering dynasty. And so, the majority of the Indian people have knowingly and willfully cast their lot with Modi and his right wing, religious fundamentalist party. They’ll live with the consequences.

Que sera sera…

  1. Broad, smart, lovely piece by @DalrympleWill on the Indian elections and Narendra Modi. Best primer you’ll ever read. 
  2. But a pretty picture! @ajayrdave: They all were waiting for Lotus to bloom.. It has now..
  3. My @TheDailyShow interview discussing the Indian elections will air today at 9 PM EST which corresponds to 6:30 AM IST tomorrow in India.
  4. Huge celebrations erupt at the BJP headquarters. Didn’t even take an hour of counting that’s how clear it is !
  5. Asinine. Who expects pols to canvass by saying “We’re going to lose”? MT @firstpostin Dear Rahul Gandhi EatYourWords.
  6. “Indians have dreamed collectively, & they have dreamed a man accused of mass murder” Must. Pankaj Mishra on #Modi~ 
  7. Pankaj Mishra has written a terrific, searing, Pankaj Mishra-y piece on Modi & the new India:  via @WomaninHavana
  8. Muslims who condemn us for building bridges will one day realize our role for securing d interests of future generations as equal citizens
  9. Congrats to India for a new government that i will run to the best of my abilities.
  10. Now that it’s all over, and the heat is up, can all those tv panelists chuck the sleeveless Nehru bundis and go back to regular clothes?
  11. .@greatbong In 2009 you said “BJP was outmaneuvered, not destroyed.” You have been proven right. :)
  12. Big takeaway from this election result : ruling party shd avoid arrogance, inefficiency, corruption, misgovernance and lack of communication
  13. Extremely short concession speech from Rahul Gandhi taking responsibility. What is there to say?!
  14. conceding defeat: sonia gandhi cool, professional, dignified. rahul gandhi apparently feckless. nobody takes questions.
  15. Democracies everywhere these days seem to lust after toxic, nationalist authoritarian mo-fos. Sign of the times or what?
  16. Someone needs to tell Barkha Dutt another word for ‘decimation/decimated’.
  17. In a forest, close to nature. Glad the cacophony of election results are far away. Congrats Mr. Modi. Hope you’ll prove some of us wrong.
  18. That detached, taciturn press-conference-without-questions sums up the Sonia-Rahul Congress: There is ZERO organic feel for democracy.
  19. Narendra Modi Profile: From tea boy at a railway station to India’s next prime minister  #IndiaElections
  20. A big shout out to the ABSOLUTELY AWESOME fight @smritiirani put up in Amethi!! Rahul is left with no face to show!
  21. Rout as BJP sweeps to power in India RT @OsamaManzar: Congress is looking like beauty spot on Indian map as a result of this election!
  22. Seismic shift underway in India today. Keep watching at .
  23. Rabri Devi defeated.. :) :) :) Only people from Bihar can understand the pleasure of this news.
  24. Modi Crushes Gandhi in India’s Election Landslide  via @tunkuv [My take on India's election results for @dailybeast]
  25. All those who think the lack of confidence of some voters in the BJP stems from fear have got it wrong. It’s not fear, it’s moral revulsion.
  26. BREAKING NEWS: People’s verdict is against us: Sonia Gandhi
  27. All those anchoring the coverage since the morning have gone home. Except Arnab Goswami. BECAUSE THE STUDIO IS ARNAB’S HOME.
  28. India’s stock market jumped more than 6% to a record 25,000 points as Modi secures electoral victory. Orgy of joy… 
  29. Pankaj Mishra’s long piece on Modi’s India, and on the new India’s canniest artist. 
  30. India has always been a nation led with accommodation and consensus. It has chosen a leader with no real record of either. This is huge.
  31. Which is to say, Modi represents a fundamental shift in the political life of India. Should be very interesting to watch.
  32. India has been Jamie Lannistered. That is the hand has been cut off.
  33. Dear Rahul Gandhi, the journalists don’t want you to take responsibility, they want you to take questions.
  34. Those worrying about how India will change would do well to remember how it will change depends on how we, the citizens, change it.
  35. Today, hope won, hate lost. Today, work won,whining lost. Today, my India won, nobody lost. Congrats @narendramodi and BJP for historic win!
  36. The entire Congress baba-brigade who behaved like they were entitled to power & two rule -wiped out by voters
  37. “मैं हार की ज़िम्मेदारी लेता हूँ.” “मैं लेती हूँ.” “नहीं मैं.” “नहीं मैं.” “मैं.” “मैं.” पार्टी बोली,” ठीक है, ठीक है– मैं नहीं, हम.”
  38. Offering a laddoo to my distinguished predecessor A . Charles, the only other Thiruvananthapuram MP to be re-elected
  39. Who is writing the long form article on the high tech election campaign by the BJP for grassroots reach? Look fwd to it.
  40. UK PM David Cameron extends invitation to Narendra Modi to visit UK on his way to BRICS summit to be held in August 2014 in Brazil
  41. Tech guys lost too! @NandanNilekani & V Balakrishnan MT @manupubby 7 journos lost – Ilmi, Ashutosh, Khaitan, Jarnail, Chandan, Rakhi, Anita
  42. Still very long queues at @BJP4India HQ of supporters trying to get their hands on box of @narendramodi Laddoos.
  43. As Modi prepares for office, here, again, is why we think he’s unfit to be India’s PM
  44. #Modi‘s victory speech in Indian elections is remarkable to watch, and worth it just for his theatrical physicality. 
  45. Modi’s win may prove problematic when he has to attend talks in NY or Washington and can’t get in. Man doesn’t have a visa to the US. #India
  46. That’s an interesting point from @narendramodi. He will be the first PM born after independence. #indiadecides2014
  47. “I’ve never taken a vacation, ever” boasts Gujarat CM @narendramodi who will be #India’s next PM.
  48. I will be the hardest working Prime Minister, says @narendramodi. #IndiaDecides2014
    Narendra Modi has just overtaken Manmohan Singh’s combined lifelong word count.

    an hour ago

  49. BJP goons already getting on me 4 my previous tweet. That’s really grown up people. I was just making an observation. AND I use my real name
  50. I gather Shinzo Abe sent his congratulations to Modi this afternoon. That is one relationship to watch closely. #HindiJapaniBhaiBhai
  51. Even though Modi/BJP wooed Kerala relentlessly, happy to see that BJP has drawn a blank. God’s Own Country, indeed.

Nigeria’s Girls and the limits of Hashtag activism

On April 14 234 teenaged Chibok girls were abducted from their boarding school by Boko Haram, a terrorist group in Northern Nigeria. Nigerians themselves seemed slow to take notice and the rest of the world even slower. But when CNN and co finally did so it was like overkill. Below is a collection of tweets, mainly from Nigerian writers chronicling and reacting to the mainstream media coverage of the abduction and the hashtag campaign that started in Nigeria and its diaspora.

As the #BringBackOurGirls campaign in Nigeria and its diaspora intensified mainstream media suddenly came on board with high profile personalities like Michelle Obama and others posing with placards that shouted #BringBackOurGirls. Predictably it wasn’t long before some bright spark started hijacking the hashtagged statement as evident in the two images below, of Michelle O and Andrew Holness, Jamaica’s Opposition Leader.

Andrew Holness, Leader of the Opposition, Jamaica

  1. Hmmm. When malaysian flight was missin a lot of Naija celebs were praying for them and sharing opinions. Missing girls… silence.
  2. Creating child soldiers. Possible explanation. Shudders.
  3. 200 girls are missing in Nigeria – so why doesn’t anybody care? | Anne Perkins 
  4. How were BH able to transport 200 girls from one location to another in a state swarming with soldiers? #BringBackOurGirls
  5. Must read: A schoolgirl’s incredible story of escape from #BokoHaram mass kidnapping in #Nigeria  #BringBackOurGirls
  6. The world mobilized to find Malaysian Air Flight 370; can it not also do the same for 200 girls?  #BringBackOurGirls
  7. See my people :D@abubakar47i: Our Mothers in the Kaduna procession today #BringBackOurGirls
  8. What matters now is that those girls are rescued. Whether by negotiations or by military action
  9. @leidychichi The girls have been taken away from Nigerian soil. Protests are to get intl awareness and military support.
  10. 200 girls forced into slavery and you can just act like it is nothing? Haba!
  11. Photos: Waje, Seun Kuti, Other Celebs Hit The Streets Of Lagos For #BringBackOurGirls Campaign 
  12. If you’re in or around #London on Friday, 9th of May, join us at the Nigeria House #BringBackOurGirls . 10am – 1pm
  13. The protests in Nigeria are democratic. This American “help” will lead the opposite way: more militarism, less oversight, less democracy.
  14. 234 chibok girls. 45 Murdered Buni Yadi boys. 100 in Damaturu. So a select group of Niggas can get power and renew Billion $ oil licenses
  15. The operation started from 11pm till 5am. all these while, calls were put across to the JTF but no response. #Chibok234
  16. After the operations, the assailants allegedly loaded their victims in about 3 trailers, 4 busses & a number of trucks. #Chibok234
  17. Their movement was slow and in about 2 kilometers away, one of the vehicles developed fault & they took about an hour to fix it #Chibok234
  18. Our security man’s sister made her own escape when they got to their 1st destination. a village not far from #Chibok.
  19. They also said that #Chibok is a xtian dominated town and that most of the kidnap victims are xtians. #BringBackOurGirls
  20. The story will not be complete without a mention of Mr.Bitrus Madu. He lost 5 daughters, he is currently on admission. #BringBackOurGirls
  21. In Nigeria as part of team covering missing girls. Tweet me questions you want put to officials.#BringBackOurGirls
  22. Because everybody must be seen to “care.” No context, only sentiment. RT @chrisbrown: #BringBackOurGirls
  23. I understand the impulse to “do something.” But Boko Haram is irreducibly complex. Makes Kony look like child’s play. 
  24. These are difficult conversations to have because we’re good and we care. We don’t want to be interrupted during the fervor of our hashtags.
  25. Part of the horror was that the girls were ignored. An opposite problem now is CNN’s heavy sensationalist interest. 
  26. Patience Jonathan: “Nigerian women, don’t demonstrate again. If you demonstrate and police do you anything, you are on your own.” #Surreal
  27. Fitfam for the mind. @elnathan urges you to “wake up and smell the moringa”… 
  28. Let us be clear, the government was never going to do anything about this; the girls were abducted the same day… 
  29. The thing with surrealism as a form of government is that the unexpected move is exactly what you must expect. You must adopt mirror logic.
  30. Delighted to welcome all the new Nigeria experts.
  31. Boko Haram Leader Shekau is meant to be under pressure from Nigerian military & he’s able to record a full 1 hour video? I am CONFUSED.
  32. @gbengasesan Top 10 countries spreading #BringBackOurGirls worldwide; Nigeria (33%), USA (28%), UK (14%)
  33. “May your house be on CNN.”—Bosnian curse
  34. And if international help is needed: why is Uncle America the default? What about ECOWAS? African Union? Other partnerships? UN? EU?
  35. Wow! I still can’t believe all this CNN action is about my country Nigeria; I thought I slept on a flight and woke up in Iraq!
  36. To use a Nigerianism, the traffic in some bits of Abuja tonight “does not have part two”. Translation? It is truly horrendous.
  37. Who did dis? *holdslaff* I said who did dis? *burst* ROTFLWTMB #diarisGodo!
  38. The story behind the story: Nigeria itself has been missing for years.
  39. @elnathan Sometimes I wonder if Nigeria is run by smart people who r purposely deceiving us, or by idiots who r really trying their best.
  40. To agree on sorrow, even in the absence of other agreements, is not nothing.
  41. @soniafaleiro @vikasbajaj Wearily deletes New Yorker app from his iPhone.
  42. Lots of armchair gossip by people hinting that they know who funds Boko Haram. The reality is that it is still a mystery
  43. The Chinese have also offered to help Nigeria #BringBackOurGirls . I never knew the Chinese for this though…
  44. History counts its skeletons in round numbers. A thousand and one remains a thousand, as though the one had never existed. —Szymborska
  45. Boko Haram killed more human beings yesterday than the total number of girls they kidnapped three weeks ago. Horrifying, and unhashtagable.
  46. For four years, Nigerians have tried to understand these homicidal monsters. Your new interest (thanks) simplifies nothing, solves nothing.
  47. Remember: #bringbackourgirls, a vital moment for Nigerian democracy, is not the same as #bringbackourgirls, a wave of global sentimentality.
  48. “‘We’ are not the ‘we’ that ‘we’ imagine ourselves to be.” This piece by @zeynep says so much so well: 
  49. Unlike some, I have no problem with the world adopting #BringBackOurGirls and the use of the word “our”. I think that is important.
  50. Now you have two sisters. RT @elnathan: I have one sister. I noticed that one of the Chibok girls has my sister’s exact name and last name.
  51. I am always worried when people in government also use #BringBackThegirls. YOU are the ones we are asking to bring them back!
  52. The girl in this viral photo from #bringbackourgirls is not Nigerian. And she wasn’t abducted.
  53. If energy does not shift hashtag into a larger political movement, next week there will be another loud sterile hashtag #bringbackourgirls
  54. 1. Spurious photos 2. White lady claims she started hashtag 3. Americans collect money in girls’ name #ff White Savior Industrial Complex
  55. There has been a long catalog of atrocities and betrayals; #bringbackourgirls contains, for Nigerians, very many grievances, not just one.
  56. BUT: I do think the domestic and international scrutiny are both putting a floodlight on Nigeria’s light-averse government.
  57. This perhaps is the international community’s role: serve as witness to what Nigerians must mostly do themselves, and amplify Nigerian work.
  58. @tejucole I am concerned about timing of concern from the west, It could be a ploy to make Nigeria like Iraq, there is oil after all
  59. Really all that remains is for Goodluck to take a selfie with #BringBackOurGirls on an A4 paper or crested on his bowler hat.
  60. I will sleep. And if I wake and see Mama Peace in a selfie with #BringBackOurGirls ashoebi I will not be shocked. This is afterall, Nigeria.
  61. @tejucole why throw cold water on genuine expressions of outrage and concern? Global indifference would be worse no?
  62. @Abu_Aaid: “@tejucole urges us to keep this at the back of our minds as we help #BringBackOurGirls.


    So my sister came visiting. Her biggest annoyance in this whole matter is that Malala has intervened. “Nigeria is better than Pakistan!”