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Saturday, February 10, 2007

IS GENOCIDE OK? As Long As It Isn't Happening To US?

Here "WE the PEOPLE" Are, immediately following our
LOBBYING RHODE ISLAND SENATOR JACK REED FOR DARFUR,
October 10, 2006, the day after he returned from Iraq.
And Iraq was infused in EVERY single answer we asked for - about Darfur

IS GENOCIDE OK?

AS LONG AS IT ISN’T HAPPENING TO US?

STOPPING GENOCIDE IS A CHOICE.

COMPLICITY IS THE PERPETRATORS’ ONLY REQUIREMENT TO HAVE A

SUCCESSFUL GENOCIDE.

AFTER RWANDA, WE SAID AGAIN:

“NEVER AGAIN”

and “NEVER AGAIN” IS HAPPENING – AGAIN

IN DARFUR, SUDAN

WITH U.S.GOVERNMENT’S CONFIRMATION

SINCE 2003

WHERE THERE IS NO WILL

THERE IS NO WAY

WWW.SAVEDARFUR.ORG

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The following is taken from a letter to the editor I had published last summer in my local newspaper, The Newport Daily News (Rhode Island):

When genocide is left unattended it is a breeding ground for the next one. Genocide has happened over and over and yet the response of our proud government is intolerable. In just our recent history we have Bosnia from 1992- 1995, Rwanda’s 100 days in 1994 resulting in 1,071,000 murders and since 2003 until today we have acknowledged the genocide in Darfur, Sudan. There is no acceptable reason to ignore genocide. It is black and white. Genocide is a moral issue that questions our values. How can we keep turning away?

“Never again” are words that were institutionalized after the holocaust. And yet they are meaningless without quick, decisive and unquestionable acts to prevent or stop genocide.

I volunteered at the national Save Darfur Rally in Washington, D.C., April 30, 2006. Between 50,000 and 75,000 stood on the national mall making a statement that most of our local newspapers and television stations didn’t report.


One poster in the crowd stated President Bush’s words from his 2005 Inaugural Speech “All who live in tyranny and hopelessness can know the United States will not ignore your oppressions or excuse your oppressor”. When Bush read a report on the Rwandan genocide, he wrote in the margins “Not on my watch”.

The G-8 has had Darfur on its agenda for 3 years in a row.

This was taken from a letter to the editor I had published last summer in my local newspaper, The Newport Daily News (Rhode Island):



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Again I volunteered at the Global Day for Darfur in New York City, September 17, 2006. On September 15, 2006, a letter to the editor I had published in The Newport Daily News (Rhode Island) is in part included here:

Genocide needs two things – perpetrators and the silence of good people.

Why don’t we care about genocide?

What does it say about who we are?

If it was you, or your wife, your husband, your mom, your dad, your daughter, your son, your sister, your brother, your dearest friend, your co-worker, your minister, rabbi, priest, even the neighbor that you can’t stand, who was being raped, had their houses burned down, had the government bombing your house, starving into the pain of death coming slowly– then would you give it attention?

Would the media find it the story to put in your face every day while it was happening?

"Be A Witness"




Why do we think – that we are persons of high-valued principles and live our lives morally, but for this one thing – genocide?

And why do I have the boldness to ask these pointed questions?

Because of experiences that have been concentrated lessons for me.

I was asked by the Save Darfur non-profit organization in Washington, D.C. to be the Rhode Island bus transportation coordinator for the “Voices to Stop Genocide – Save Darfur Now” rally in New York City, September 17, 2006.

I called 50 churches, synagogues of Aquidneck Island and in the Providence area. I have made contact with countless persons, high schools, colleges and congregations of faith and put up flyers. The purpose was to try to get people to join in the rally on Global Day for Darfur on September 17. This is what I have experienced. Over 95% of those that I have talked to don’t know what Darfur is. And once I tell them, I have been asked to spell it or where it is. And some don’t ask anything. . . .

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I am no one special.

In 2004, PBS’ Frontline “Ghosts of Rwanda” got my attention. For the first time, I learned what I should have learned in 1994. I learned about the 100 days of genocide in Rwanda that started April 6 in 1994. One hundred days of 1 million people being hacked to death with 10 cent Chinese machetes in Rwanda. And surprisingly the worst killings were done in the churches and Catholic priests turned the vulnerable in to the genocidaires. I read how my government not only failed to help, but took actions to keep other countries from doing anything to help. I wondered how I could have been so ignorant about this big news. While I researched online and in books, I realized that the reported big news at the time was the O.J. Simpson trial. And then I remembered that I was being the general contractor for the building of my house at that time. I vaguely remembered the dodging by Prudence Bushnell on the definition of genocide vs. “acts of genocide”.

When I learned about the genocide in Darfur, I got active. It has been awhile since I have given my presentation about Darfur to raise consciousness and activate people to do what they can to help stop the genocide, but I got a call a couple of weeks ago from Rabbi Jagalinzer. He wanted to know if I was still doing my presentation. Of course, I said. So next Friday evening, Feb 16, I am presenting my speech with a portion of the film “Darfur Diaries” and hand-outs with all of the Senators and Representatives, plus President Bush, Condoleeza Rice and Secretary-General Ban Ki-moom contact information. I met with RI Rep. Patrick Kennedy and RI Senator Jack Reed last fall to lobby about Darfur along with other constituents. Today, I called to make a lobby appointment with our freshman RI Senator Whitehouse to lobby about Darfur. Senator Lincoln Chaffee was our best champion for this cause and he got defeated last November because he was a republican. And so is George Bush, you know.


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Want to do something? Pick one of these:

http://www.savedarfur.org/content

http://www.genocideintervention.net/index_home.php

http://www.standnow.org/

http://www.ajws.org/



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1 Comments:

At February 10, 2007 at 2:51:00 AM EST , Blogger ilovemylife said...

Rhode Island Senator Jack Reed, RI constituents and me with the t-shirt:
"INSTEAD of Mourning a Genocide . . . . . . STOP ONE"

The student is from Brown University and resides in South Korea when she isn't in Providence, Rhode Island. She was very articulate at the lobbying appointment. College students are at the forefront of this issue. Be very proud of the young people.

 

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