Thursday, April 10, 2008

Oh, Only 10,000 People Have Been Killed in Darfur? Well, in that Case . . . .

I kept forgetting to post about this because I've been so busy with schoolwork. Rest assured, I compensate my lack of postings by presenting on feminist topics in my classes. I nailed a presentation that I did for my counselor ethics class. It was about ethical decision making in diagnosing potentially stigmatizing mental disorders, and I based the ethical dilemma off of a transgender child in Colorado that got some bad press from Neil Cavuto and his viewers. On Monday, I'll be presenting on Planned Parenthood for my Community Agencies class. Catholic university and Planned Parenthood -- woo hoo! I'm sure I'm going to get the look once I open up my PowerPoint presentation. You know, the Planned Parenthood look. So that's what I've been doing.

Anywho, human rights organizations and the Sudanese government have been quibbling over how many people have really been genocided* out of Darfur. Human rights groups have been saying that between 200,000 and 400,000 have been killed, but the Sudanese government says that the death toll is less than 10,000. I guess people have to choose between believing the organizations that provide aid to the refugees in Darfur and the government who arms the radical militias that are killing these people. That's a tough one.

But it's not just the government of Sudan that doesn't believe that the violence is so bad after all. Jay Williams, a former Harvard student who helped free thousands of slaves in Sudan, spoke at my college when I was a senior. I had the pleasure of meeting him (because I played an important and hilarious role in getting the college to sponsor the event), and he told us that some people that he talked to didn't believe that such a huge number of people could be killed. They were hesitant to donate money because they weren't sure if hundreds of thousands of people were indeed being slaughtered. Because I guess people have to see the bodies before they wake the fuck up. It's sad.

With that said, the House and Senate are considering appropriations bills this month. Make sure they include critical funding for peacekeepers and aid to Sudan.

*That's not a word, but it should be.


Savo Heleta said...


I’m not sure that the international community would do anything to stop the suffering in Darfur even if a million people die (like in Rwanda in 1994).

In September 2004, then American Secretary of State Colin Powell declared that a “genocide was being committed in Darfur and that the government of Sudan and the Janjaweed bear responsibility.” The US Congress did the same. In spite of that, no effective action followed the claims.

On February 14, 2008, George W. Bush repeated that what is happening in Darfur is “genocide,” and added that his administration is doing enough to stop it. He listed targeted sanctions against Sudanese leaders, companies, and individuals.

What else has to happen in Darfur so its people and their suffering become interesting and important to the politicians who can actually make a difference?

Author of "Not My Turn to Die:
Memoirs of a Broken Childhood in Bosnia"

FEMily! said...

Brangelina have to adopt a baby from there, maybe?