Michelle Obama: Barack and I See Our Own Daughters in Kidnapped Nigerian Girls

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
May 10 2014 12:58 PM

Michelle Obama: Barack and I See Our Own Daughters in Kidnapped Nigerian Girls

mo
Image posted on Michelle Obama's Twitter account on May 7

First Lady Michelle Obama delivered her first solo weekly address Saturday in which she spoke about her outrage over the kidnapping of hundreds of Nigerian schoolgirls who have been missing for almost a month. In the address, the first lady said that “like millions of people across the globe, my husband and I are outraged and heartbroken” over the kidnapping “committed by a terrorist group determined to keep these girls from getting an education—grown men attempting to snuff out the aspirations of young girls.”

Speaking out on Mother’s Day weekend, Michelle Obama said that the kidnapping was important to her not only as first lady but “more importantly, as the mother of two young daughters.” Making it clear that the issue had become personal, the first lady added that “in these girls, Barack and I see our own daughters. We see their hopes, their dreams—and we can only imagine the anguish their parents are feeling right now.”

Advertisement

The militant Islamist group Boko Haram kidnapped more than 300 girls from their school in a remote region of Nigeria’s northeast. Although 53 have managed to escape, according to the Associated Press, around 276 remain captive and Boko Haram has threatened to sell them into slavery.

Meanwhile, there are hints that the increasing international pressure is pushing Nigeria to step up its efforts to look for the abducted girls even as some warn the presence of international troops could lead to a wave of terrorist attacks. The country’s Army has posted two divisions to look for the girls, reports Reuters. In the first hint that the Nigerian government knows something about the whereabouts of the girls, President Goodluck Jonathan said he believed they were still in the country.

Daniel Politi has been contributing to Slate since 2004 and wrote the "Today's Papers" column from 2006 to 2009. You can follow him on Twitter @dpoliti.

TODAY IN SLATE

Politics

Meet the New Bosses

How the Republicans would run the Senate.

The Government Is Giving Millions of Dollars in Electric-Car Subsidies to the Wrong Drivers

Scotland Is Just the Beginning. Expect More Political Earthquakes in Europe.

Cheez-Its. Ritz. Triscuits.

Why all cracker names sound alike.

Friends Was the Last Purely Pleasurable Sitcom

The Eye

This Whimsical Driverless Car Imagines Transportation in 2059

Medical Examiner

Did America Get Fat by Drinking Diet Soda?  

A high-profile study points the finger at artificial sweeteners.

The Afghan Town With a Legitimately Good Tourism Pitch

A Futurama Writer on How the Vietnam War Shaped the Series

  News & Politics
Photography
Sept. 21 2014 11:34 PM People’s Climate March in Photos Hundreds of thousands of marchers took to the streets of NYC in the largest climate rally in history.
  Business
Business Insider
Sept. 20 2014 6:30 AM The Man Making Bill Gates Richer
  Life
Quora
Sept. 20 2014 7:27 AM How Do Plants Grow Aboard the International Space Station?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 19 2014 4:58 PM Steubenville Gets the Lifetime Treatment (And a Cheerleader Erupts Into Flames)
  Slate Plus
Tv Club
Sept. 21 2014 1:15 PM The Slate Doctor Who Podcast: Episode 5  A spoiler-filled discussion of "Time Heist."
  Arts
Television
Sept. 21 2014 9:00 PM Attractive People Being Funny While Doing Amusing and Sometimes Romantic Things Don’t dismiss it. Friends was a truly great show.
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 21 2014 11:38 PM “Welcome to the War of Tomorrow” How Futurama’s writers depicted asymmetrical warfare.
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 22 2014 5:30 AM MAVEN Arrives at Mars
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.