A Tale of Two Women

Photo by Michael Christopher Brown

Photo of Camille Lepage in CAR by Michael Christopher Brown

This past two weeks stories of one female photojournalist and one conservative female pot stirrer struck me. One for her behavior in search of ratings mocking efforts to help girls in Africa and another who died trying to make the world care a little bit more about what happens in Africa.

There’s this from Ann Coulter, and the backlash against her, regarding the 300 girls kidnapped in Nigeria. While a social media campaign will do little to encourage the Boko Haram to release the girls, what can be gained by essentially making fun of their plight? It’s more than a shame that she chooses to dismiss and demean rather than to use her position to aid others. Fortunately, the social world took notice and took aim and fired back.

And then there’s this photojournalist killed in the Central African Republic that Americans little noticed.

In an interview about her work Camille Lepage said, “I want the viewers to feel what the people are going through, I’d like them to empathize with them as human beings, rather than seeing them as another bunch of Africans suffering from war somewhere in this dark continent,” she said. “I wish they think: ‘Why on Earth are those people in living hell; why don’t we know about it and why is no one doing anything?’ I would like the viewers to be ashamed of their government for knowing about it without doing anything to make it end.

Lepage is whom we should be talking about and who should be trending on Facebook for her courageous work. Not Coulter who panders to the elite and ignores those who could be aided by her voice. Coulter would continue to kick the poor and the poor in spirit because others do not seem to matter.

May we be more like Lepage and choose to see the entire world instead of focusing on ourselves. Let us encourage our government to take action and to find ways to take action ourselves instead of ignoring the plight of others around the globe. Because bells are tolling, and we know the John Donne’s answer to the question for whom they toll: “any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.”

As it has always been those without voices need those with voices to speak, scream and cry out for them. This is what we should be doing for the girls in Nigeria or humanity caught in war and slavery.