Genocide is Happening

May 30, 2008
By
Dear Reader,
You may be unaware of this, but there is a crisis that needs your attention. I’m not talking about illegal immigration or anything that inconsequential, I’m talking about genocide: the deliberate and systematic killing of any group. In this case, the group is non-Arab blacks in the Darfur region of Sudan. This is a sickening tragedy that needs to stop. So far AMIS (African-Union Mission In Sudan) are the only ones taking any action, if that is what you can call it. They are an African peacekeeping group whose only power is to videotape the horrors of the genocide and make sure that the Cease-Fire treaty is not breached.
After World War II, the world promised to never let such a horrible thing happen again. But it is, and we have turned a blind eye to those fact- not just American viewers, but broadcasting stations themselves. In 2004 the top 3 American news station, NBC, CBS, and ABC aired about 24,900 minutes of news. ABC aired 10 segments on Darfur, Michael Jackson’s trial had a total of 468 segments.

Hitler’s tyranny taught us the horrors of genocide. The Darfur genocide is said to have been started in February of 2003. Why then was it only admitted to being genocide by the American President (George Bush Jr.) on May 29 of the year 2007? It took America 4 years to call something by its true name, and still, we did not act. The focus was not on helping stop the genocide as much as debating the meaning of the word.

America has shunned this region for the simple fact that it is not our problem. This is the same reason that Nazis were able to run Germany. Those who were not persecuted simply turned away and saw to their own survival. We don’t want to risk anything, and that is the problem. Since 2003 an estimated 80,000 to 400,000 people have died in the Sudanese killing campaigns. Perhaps their worst form of humiliation and torture is the systematic rape of any females they catch outside of the refugee camps. Even small children are not spared; there are reports of 7 and 10 year old girls being raped and even giving birth to children of the Janjaweed. The refugee camps house thousands of Displaced Persons. In total there are 2.2 million Sudanese Displaced Persons from last year alone. At times the Janjaweed will attack refugee camps, burning them and forcibly relocating the residents, who flee to nearby AMIS camps for shelter.

These many atrocities are being committed daily and there has been nothing done by the US, a country that has declared this a genocide, to stop it. Media does not cover it because it isn’t ‘popular’ enough. Americans would rather gawk at Will Smith’s next movie trailer than hear about the thousands of lives destroyed in a country they don’t live in. The fact of the matter is, people see it the same way they see a horror movie. It’s all right because it could never happen to them.

I do not write just to inform you on these horrors. I present a solution. If every voting district writes 100 letters to their Congress person and Senators, the nation will have to act. My class has been writing letters to our elected officials, had a carwash to raise awareness, and now I am here to tell you that you can help. We look back on World War II with disgust and hate, vowing to never let such atrocities happen again. But when the conflict arises we shy away and keep public attention from the facts. Don’t make Darfur just another name in your textbooks, don’t make these facts just more numbers to look over and shake your head at in a few years time, make this America’s next big act. Stop genocide and save Darfur.





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