A Year Of Crisis? Global Pandemic, Racism, Rape, Murder And Injustice (Opinion)
A year of crisis?

A Year Of Crisis? Global Pandemic, Racism, Rape, Murder And Injustice (Opinion)

Until a few months ago, all we were concerned about was surviving the pandemic. But cases of racism, rape, murder and injustice have become rife in the media and have given us more cause for concern. Is this a year of crisis?

Titilayo Olurin

A disease which originated in Wuhan, China, that would later be known as the novel coronavirus or COVID-19, spread across the country, killing many and leaving others sick and helpless.

The world went about its business. Was the disease not, after all, only within the walls of China? How wrong we were!

Soon, the virus was on a rampage, moving from city to city, country to country and continent to continent, disrupting lives and causing ruin.

It became a global pandemic, one like no other, taking its toll on the health, economic, social and political systems across the globe.

Live as we knew it changed, and we struggled to survive, looking to science for a cure or religion for an intervention.

Just when we thought it could not get any worse, it did. Racism reared its ugly head in the US. The fatal shooting of Ahmaud Arbery by a white father-son duo while he was out jogging outraged us. So did the killing of Breonna Taylor, a 26-year-old certified EMT, by plainclothes police officers at her apartment.

Still reeling from the shock of Arbery and Taylor's deaths, a video of a Caucasian woman who told a dispatcher that she was threatened by an African American male, Christian Cooper, surfaced. Cooper's only crime was telling the woman to put her dog on a leash, according to the park's rules.

We were incensed by the unfairness of it all. But there was more to come. A Minnesota police officer snuffed the life out of George Floyd with his knee on his neck.

The injustice of the justice system became unbearable, the irony of which was obvious.

While Nigerians were yet sympathizing with America's cries of racism, news of rape and murder hit us.

Within a week, a girl was raped and murdered, another was raped by 11 men, and a third was fatally shot by a drunk policeman.

Vera Uwaila Omozuwa was a 22-year-old microbiology student of the University of Benin, who took sanctuary in the church where she often went to read. She was raped and murdered by unknown men.

17-year-old Tina Ezekwe was killed by a drunk policeman's stray bullet in Lagos State. How do we begin to wrap our heads around the story of a 12-year-old girl in Jigawa State who was raped by 11 men?

These despicable acts sparked outrage and protests online. Hashtags like #JusticeforUwa #JusticeforTina #Wearetired soon began to trend along with #blacklivesmatter across all social media platforms. We wasted no time in joining the #blackoutTuesday movement, too.

Others took their protests to the streets, seeking justice for the young girls who were raped.

But with a justice system like ours and a society where rape apologists exist, many fear that justice might not be served.

They also worry that the embers which burn these protests might die quickly, just as quickly as they were ignited, and all the anger and outrage might end on social media.

Yet, there is something about this outrage that makes it different. Many are indeed tired. They have had to deal with a pandemic as well as its attendant anxieties, and cannot take anymore, certainly not racism, rape and murder. Perhaps, finally, this time, the protests against rape are beyond social media.

Happenings Media