Thursday, March 22, 2007



Why doesn't Africa matter to us?


“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people could change
the world.  Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”                                                                           
                                           Margaret Mead


I was the guest speaker March 18, 2007 for Social Justice at the Unitarian Church in Newport, Rhode Island. The subject that I was asked to speak on was the Darfur genocide.


Channing Unitarian Universalist Memorial Church = Justice Sunday, March 18, 2007

Use Your Voice to Stop the Darfur Genocide

1 Omar al-Beshir 2 Janjaweed

3 China 4 Oil

5 Darfur 6 Sudan

7 Chad 8 Africa

9 Genocide 10 International community

11 You and me.

What do all of these words have to do with one another?

Darfur is a western region in the country of Sudan, in central Africa,

where a genocide is happening today, March 18, 2007. 10:30 a.m. Newport = 5:30 p.m tomorrow

in Khartoum, Sudan.

The Sudanese self-appointed, President Omar al-Beshir has an ally, China

who has been in the business of supporting the al-Beshir regime in order to get Sudan’s oil.

The collaboration of the Sudanese government with the Arab Janjaweed have been targeting the Darfuri people - targeting that fits the definition of genocide - for four years this February.

The international community of governments has virtually done nothing affective to show that genocide is unacceptable.

And all genocide needs

to thrive - is what has been happening. No accountability.

Words with no integrity. Words of care by President Bush have proven to be just words.

You and me. If WE care – what difference can we make?


“We don’t have to wait for some great politician to be our champion.

We ARE the Champion we’ve been waiting for.

Let us Stop Waiting for Someone Else to Make the Difference

Let us STOP “Waiting for the World to Change”.

Get Inspired



We have been called to be human in the most basic way on this subject.

Where there is a will - there is always a way.

And where there is NO will - there is never a way.

This is not so much a religious principle, as it is simply a virtue of character.

We are our brothers' and sisters' keepers.

I am one person, but I am on a mission. Genocide vs. the human right to live…out … a normal existence - is a passion for me.

You are one person, who I am sure has a heart and a soul

that wants the same thing the Darfuri and Chadian people want –

A safe environment for your family to live.

There are many people in the United States of America who, like me, are aware and are working toward ending this genocide.

There are also, many people in our country - who don’t know the genocide is happening.

Words are all that I have to impress upon you my message, my passion.

Words to move you

inspire you

or possibly be the impetus for you

to be an activist for the Darfuri and Chadian families

that need our attention

and the using of our voices.

You are important. Your heart and your spirit are needed.

Our news media has relegated this Darfur genocide as a non-story. But we all know the story Anna Nicole Smith.

The Associated Press reported that the United Nations stated the following:

Sudan’s president claimed that human rights groups have exaggerated the crisis in Darfur to help their fundraising

and charged that demands for U.N. peacekeepers in Darfur are meant to protect Israel,

and claims that Zionist groups want to weaken Sudan

and that Jewish organizations are behind dozens of rallies.

Al-Beshir has said Israel is spreading lies that Sudanese Arabs are killing Sudanese Africans.

He claims that human rights groups’goals are to carve up Sudan

and get access to its oil reserves”


What can you do?

Be informed

Tell others what you know

Contact a Darfur activist group in your area that you can give at least 10 minutes a week to

Go online to one of the websites that has been involved in this cause and sign a petition.

Schedule a Call, an email or letter, routinely - in your calendar and contact:

President Bush

UN Sec Gen Ban ki-Moon

Senator Jack Reed

Senator Sheldon Whitehouse

Representative Patrick Kennedy

Representative James Langevin

Most important in your communication is to express why this is important to you

And your RI legislators are working on Sudan divestment RI House Bill 5146 and S 8

These pictures are taken after this message was presented on Sunday, March 18:

Darfur Activists in Providence, Rhode Island
on the floor of RI Senate Chambers waiting for Senators to arrive and talk to them
about their understanding and voting plans on S 87 - Targeted Divestment from Sudanese Companies, that virtually fund the Darfur genocide

March 20, 2007 Rhode Island Senate Before Called into Session
The *RI Senate Bill 87 did pass with a vote of 33 to 0 ( 2 abstaining)
*Targeted Divestment from Sudan with RI State Pension Fund Investment

23 Darfur Activists (StandNow and Save Darfur) in the Rhode Island gallery before RI Senate called in session where RI Senate Bill 87 would soon be voted on

Make sure your personal mutual funds are not supporting the genocide

Fidelity Co. - Sudandivestment.org

Divestment: Targeted divestment focusing on companies that directly finance the Sudanese

government’s military campaign in Darfur

Of the 400+ international companies operating in Sudan, about two dozen are currently considered

the “worst offending” Sudandivestment.org

Many U.S. corporations, mutual funds and individuals are invested in foreign companies that

operate in Sudan

Mainly in the oil, telecommunications or weapons - industries

If such companies prove unresponsive to shareholders’ efforts to address their complicity

and refuse to change their behavior,

shareholders then remove their funds.

70% of the government’s oil revenues are spent on defense.

Both Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch report that these funds

have been used to purchase expensive military equipment like the bombers

and helicopters used against civilians in Darfur.

Participate in the Global Days for Darfur April 23 – 29.

Use your voice

Use your presence

Don’t count on others – but be a champion yourself

Your participation is needed

Stand up, stand out

Live out loud

Refuse to be a part of the silence

Silence kills

Refuse to be inactive and complicit about Darfur

Let’s …Make…this…the Genocide - That – We - Stopped

Non-profit aid organizations have been leaving Darfur and Chad due to lack of protection and killing of aid workers

The African Union has never had a mandate to protect,

just to record stories of victims

65 % of the Darfur men have been killed

In the refugee camps the majority is made up of women and children.

Rape of children and women is used as a tool of genocide

The refugee camps are not places of safety

450,000 dead

2.5 million living on sand

under a scraggly rare tree

or a piece of plastic with nothing, but the will to live

A Darfur mother said “I just want my children to live normal lives…”

(Moms around the World Oprah show)

But if things continue as they have been – normal lives will be a memory and nothing more.

Genocide is the deliberate and systematic extermination of a national, racial, political, cultural or any other group of human beings.

Adolf Hitler, a charismatic leader and his followers opened the first camp in Dachau, Germany on Wednesday, March 22, 1933. 74 years ago this Thursday. They were stopped of their genocide, extermination of human beings in 1945.

This was 12 years of the world playing their part in silence and complicity.

The international community officially said - NEVER AGAIN - at the end of World War II and Hitler’s regime.

Those two words NEVER AGAIN made people feel better to say them

however what … have … they - in reality - meant?

The words Never Again are meaningless

without quick, decisive and

unquestionable willful acts to prevent or stop genocide.

* Andrew Natsios our US Special Envoy to Sudan has said recently that

Darfur’s situation is No longer genocide, although he claims “at its height”

It was genocide THIS IS NONSENSE (* appointed September 19, 2006)

Picture this:

It is before dawn and you are sleeping.

Without any reason or warning, you wake up to the sound of planes bombing your house, your neighborhood.

Just then - Janjaweed come in on horseback and camels - pillaging and violently attacking everyone indiscriminately.

Your house and every house on your street, in your town are burning to the ground.

You are farmers with livestock and all your livestock are being stolen.

All of your possessions are being stolen.

You are seeing your father and brothers shot - right in front of your eyes,

your sister is being raped in front of you.

Everyone is running away while being chased. You are scared and have no one – you are running alone in the instant madness.

After days and days of walking you come to a barren land where others are assembled.

You have nothing. They have nothing. But there you are.

With no food, medical help, water, no spare clothes, no facilities.

And now it has been four years that you are living like this.

And you wonder why no one seems to care.

This is western Sudan in Darfur and eastern Chad.

And our government and the rest of civilization stands idly by.


There will be two opportunities to see this story from the perspective of the people who are living through it

In a film titled “Darfur Diaries – Message from Home”

Next Sunday, March 25, at the Jane Pickens Theatre at 7:00 with discussion led by

director/producer/author Jen Marlowe, who will also sign

the book Darfur Diaries – Stories of Survival

April 23, here, at Channing Unitarian Church, where we will have the book for sale.

I also would like to encourage you to see the film that has finally made it to Aquidneck Island as of Friday, March 16, 2007. I have seen it more than once. It will inspire you to become an activist and if you are already one – it will lift you and charge you up. Don’t miss it.

It is the story of a political activist, who used his voice to be an abolitionist and social reformer.

William Wilberforce, who was a friend of John Newton, who was the captain of a slave ship for 20 years. Once Newton admitted to himself that slavery was wrong, he became a preacher. He wrote the song Amazing Grace – the name of this movie.

When William Wilberforce is asked by his friend, William Pitt, who became Prime Minister at the age of 24,

to take on the slave issue,

Wilberforce goes to his friend, John Newton to ask his advice on what to do:

John Newton tells him

“God sometimes does his work with gentle drizzle

Not storms,

Drip … drip… drip

That is what “we the people around the world” have been working toward - to end the genocide in Darfur.

Please be one of us.

of us.


We have a moral obligation in this country to speak out against our government's actions if we believe in our hearts that something is wrong or if our government needs to take a stand when it refuses to. That is who we should be and what we should have the courage to live out. I believe - it's an unspoken creed of decency.


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