Harpo, Who Dis Woman? Why Is Ramaa Mosley Getting Credit For #BringBackOurGirls?

May 8, 2014  |  

Source: ABC News


We all know that the power of white a woman’s tears knows no bounds, however are those tears grand enough to time-travel and rewrite the course of digital history?

This is the question that folks, mostly black and on Twitter (I have an issue with “Black Twitter” but that is a story for another day), have been grappling with since “ABC’s Nightline” ran a report last night on the woman behind the international social media effort to raise awareness about the missing schoolgirls in Nigeria, particularly the popularity of the hashtag #BringBackOurGirls.

It seems that Nightline is all sorts of infatuated with the latest Hollywood trend, considering all the celebrities including Michelle Obama, are retweeting this hashtag now. And you know, maybe the news organization might want to report on the actual story behind the hashtag. Or maybe not.

At any rate, they featured this woman as the originator of the hashtag. Her name is Ramaa Mosley and she is a movie director. You might have seen her film called The Brass Teapot. Or you might not have seen it. But according to Rebecca Jarvis with Nightline, “For weeks, the girls were missing with little attention paid outside of Nigeria – until this woman [cuts to Mosley on a cellphone and sitting in front of her MacBook] noticed a small news item.”

Mosley further elaborates on her great contribution to society to ABC News:

I went on Twitter and Facebook to see if anybody was talking about it and people were not talking about it. There are a few people, who mentioned it that are Nigerian and were posting about it. Other than that, nobody in the United States or in Europe had made any calls.”


I like how she flippantly dismisses the power of the Nigerian cross-continental massive on both Facebook and on Twitter as just “a few people.” Among those “few people” are some pretty notable and connected figures including Dr. Obiageli “Oby” Ezekwesili, who according to her Wikipedia page, is a former Vice President of the World Bank for Africa and former Nigerian Education Minister . She is also the creator of the #BringBackOurGirls hashtag, which she has been tweeting out daily to her 127 thousand followers (some of whom are Westerners in the United States and in Europe, or even fellow Africans themselves, now living in the black Diaspora, who might have Twitter accounts with non-African friends too).

We have known for years, white women have a mysterious elixir vitae hidden within their tear ducts,which, when sparked by the presence of full-on savior mode, will dispense into each droplet a smidgen of sunshine-spewing puppies, cotton-candy rainbows and Jesus’ healing blood. But now it seems that we have unlocked a new level to the power of white women’s tears, which now has a new enough momentum to turn back the hands of time, and rewrite some shit, including hashtags and social media movements.

This is truly huge news. A modern breakthrough in physics and technology. Way more important than those missing black girls. Why, with this news, the possibilities of revisionist history are endless: colonialism. Slavery. Hell we might be able to rewrite Biggie and Tupac’s tragic ending into a wonderful tale of how a white woman came along, ended the East/West coast beef and got the two rappers to pass the statewide standardized test, thus saving their public schools from closure. The sky is the white woman’s limit. Thankfully, Mosley was around to go into full white woman-crusader action or else nobody else with Internet access would have known about the missing girls.

And with the power of Greyskull behind her, she was able to leak those magical white woman tears all over her computer keypad, which then seeped into the mainframe, causing pandemonium with the interceptors and turbo-encabulator and eventually a shift in the space-time pendulum, which enabled ghostly apparitions of Mosley to penetrate the Matrix, beat the crap out of Agent Smith one good time and transfer all the anguish that was embedded into the tears genetic code onto a status update, which magically changed the world for good. And on the seventh day, she dried those heavenly tears and rested.

Or she likely just retweeted somebody else. But that’s not what she tells ABC News. More specifically:

Mosley said that she decided to transform her initial feeling of powerlessness into action. She thought about getting on a plane to Chibok, Nigeria, where the students were kidnapped, but her 11-year-old daughter begged her not to go out of concern for her mother’s safety.

“She asked me to try to think of a way to help from here,” Mosley said. “I decided what I would do is that I would put out a call on social media.”

But Mosley, a director of commercials and documentaries, did not have much personal experience with social media. She had heard her daughter use the word “hashtag,” but she did not even really understand what it meant.

“I thought it was sort of a phrase that young people use,” she said. “Then I realized recently that a hashtag is like a call. It’s like a call out to the world and it’s also an amalgamation so you can pull together information, put that information in and get information back.”

Mosley knew that mothers in Nigeria were chanting, “Bring back our girls,” at protests, and she had seen it used on Twitter, so she decided to take to social media herself.

“I started shouting it to Barack Obama, my senators in California, to any celebrity that I could think of,” she said, “and within a few hours, I started getting responses.”

Honestly, it just gets more ridiculous from there including Mosley gushing over the Facebook page she created under the same appropriated hashtag (which at the time of published had around 40k likes but has since exploded with each news story about her alleged founding) and how the hashtag has been tweeted over 800,000 times, a credit Nightline gives exclusively to Mosley. Also, Mosley ends the interview, doing what white women do best: crying more white women tears.

Put aside the obvious appropriation, does she really think for one hot-ass minute that her single retweet of somebody else’s was that impactful, particularly in a continued wave of public cries from across the digital hemisphere, not only under the marquee of #BringBackOurGirls but also #BringBackOurDaughters, #RescueOurDaughter, #BlackGirlsMatter, #NigerianGirlsMatter, etc..? I have to say that is some pretty impressive narcissism.

And maybe Mosley is just truly naïve. Honestly, the entire story sounds, and reads, like someone really confused by how the Internet, particularly Twitter works. And maybe Mosley exists in a giant plastic bubble, down in a hole in middle Earth, where her neighbor is Smeagol and Gollum and the only contact she has with the rest of the above Earth world is through the statically low-frequency transmission of NPR radio, but I certainly would have expected Nightline to do some actual fact-checking.

And it is not just the ABC News department, as other outlets including Wolf Blitzer on CNN who have christened Mosley as the originator of the social media campaign. Some folks might think that in the grand scheme of things, this is all trivial, particularly when the goal is for all of us to raise awareness. But how much of this story about Mosley’s “hashtag activism” is actually on the missing girls? If you ask me, this is just a perfect example of how black women and girls find themselves cloaked in invisibility and their stories go ignored by mass media in the first place.


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  • PTOF


  • Petty Levert

    Gather her Charing!!!!!!! Read Queen!!!

  • lockstress

    Is she white? Raama sounds like she could be of middle eastern descent but I digress.
    I don’t give a rats azz who brought it to the forefront….BRING BACK OUR GIRLS AND EXECUTE THOSE MEN WHO PURCHASED AND SOLD THEM!

  • Alexious Johnson

    Smeagol and gollum are one and the same. …js

    • charingb

      That’s why I wrote neighbor is (singular)…that was the joke.

      • Alexious Johnson

        Oh lol….I’m actually watching the two towers now…

  • Hope

    Bravo! This is the best article I have ever read on this site. ABC has “apologized” by adding a sentence to the bottom of the article, but still leaves up the original article. Also, it turns out that CNN has paid half a mil to Mosley for a documentary so they are just ignoring the situation. What’s really sad is that these major news organizations couldn’t even get an intern to fact check their work before publishing it to the world.



    • Hope

      Ms. Mosley, please go have a seat.

  • Jade

    Kudos to you for putting this out there! Story of a black person’s life, I guess! And yet they wonder why many of us are so angry and resentful. Sooner or later, she’ll be nominated for a Nobel price for what she absolutely does not deserve. Anyways, story of our lives!

  • 9Boots

    Damn! Damn! Damn the narcissism!

  • Suchalady

    This is on point! The blatant thievery is so laughable, I’m at a loss for words.

    In any event, I hope that these girls are returned safely and swiftly.

  • daniellefromqueens

    This hit all the nails on the head. ALL OF THEM!

  • GIRL

    LOL, she pissed you off good!

    TBH, I think it’s pretty pretentious and lazy to think that a hashtag could save the kidnapped girls or at least influence the outcome positively (by raising awareness). Boko Haram (come on, the name says it) doesn’t care about your ‘#’ and 140 character plea. The Nigerian president can’t turn your # into money and their army can’t use your # as a weapon. The world does not evolve around social media!

    Besides shedding light on this situation, we can’t do isht except pray that those with the wisdom, power and tools will be guided by God to save those girls.

    • Oby

      I literally NEVER comment on articles online, but as a Nigerian, your comment is the sanest thing I have seen amidst all this “Bring Back Our Girls” social media activism. Yes, it’s important to shed light on the issue, yes, it’s amazing that self-serving celebrities like Cara Delevigne (sp?) are posting perfectly posed pictures of themselves with boards proclaiming the hashtag, but the truth is that as much international outcry as there is over this situation, it will do little to help. I have been accused of everything from apathy to laziness to being a part of the problem, but as a Nigerian, it is hard to escape the reality of our political situation. We have never demanded accountability from our government and they have never felt any kind of burden to act responsibly. Nigeria is possibly the most privatised country in the world: those who want water, dig a bore hole; those who want electricity, buy a generator; those who are victims of senseless crimes, find their own justice. Whatever rhetoric the president is spewing now is meaningless. The lives of the common Nigerian mean nothing to him and this is evident from the scores of hit and run victims on the roads every day, evident from the millions living and dying in poverty, evident from the four year old boys and girls acting as hawkers and beggars in the streets. America cares about these girls who were abducted (thanks to Ramaa Mosley(!), don’t even get me started on that!) and I thank God for that because at least there is a hope now that they will be found. But when they are found, we will go back to the status quo. What about the scores of boys who were burned alive at the same school days before the girls’ abduction? What about the hundreds of victims of the separate bomb blasts in Nyanya Abuja? The social media activists cannot claim to care about these girls if they are blind to the plights of others in similar situations. With that, I will end my rant. I am grateful that people are impassioned and want to bring these girls home and I pray for their safe return and pray for their family at this time. I cannot but wish that the international anger would somehow extend to address the root cause. That root cause is not Boko Haram, it is the very people meant to protect us from them.

      • Exactly what I’ve been writing on the Guardian, Facebook, Instagram for the past week!!!! It’s just another Kony2012 with misinformed people jumping on the bandwagon who have no idea about the complexities of the problem. You point about the willful ignorance of the murder of the boys as well I talked about, what about them and the bomb blasts? the medical workers, christians, market goers etc that have died. At least the girls are alive is all I can say.

  • NaturalDiva

    Wow!! Excellent article. You hit the nail on the head!!!! Thank you for writing this!

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