Darfur: Easy To Be Cold.

Sorry, Not our Problem.

Sorry. Not our Problem.

I have few worries that I’m ever going to become so rich and famous that I lose track of my roots.  I’ve been blessed (cursed?) with friends who will always be there to slap me back into reality should I become too bourgeois.

The other night I was on a long-distance phone call with one of those friends.  She prides herself on being one of those people who sees the man behind the curtain, the hidden agenda, and the secret cabal that has its dirty little fingers around the levers of power.   She says even as I do my thing in the mainstream, she is doing hers in the underground.

We talked about Barack Obama and the UNITY convention (and she dogged me out for leaving before Obama addressed the convention).  We discussed–well, she went off about how Planned Parenthood and the environmental movement perpetuate eugenics and class elitism—I listened politely.

Somehow the name of Ron Paul came up.  I said I didn’t have much use for Paul due to his “no involvement” policy toward Darfur and the horrendous ethnic cleansing occurring.

What she said next actually surprised me.

“Darfur doesn’t matter.”

I beg your pardon?  When exactly did genocide stop mattering?  When did mass rape and slaughter become something to yawn about?

“Nobody cares about Darfur.  People here care about the dollar being worth 30 cents.  They care about gas going up to $10 a gallon.   They’re going to bomb Iran and that will be the “October Surprise” to get McCain elected.  Darfur?  Nobody’s worried about Darfur.”

My initial reaction was, “Are you serious?  How could a good, liberal, progressive, borderline anarchist not care?”

Then again, maybe she’s right.   I just came back from a convention of minority journalists.  I don’t remember hearing a peep about the Sudanese government or the Janjaweed or the United Nations largely sitting on their hands due to general disinterest from the world community about 300, 000 dead Africans in a dirt-poor country.

There are other far more interesting and considerably less depressing things to talk about.

There are plenty of good, pretty good and downright terrible movies to see this summer.  We’re in the middle of a red-hot presidential race.  The NFL is getting ready for a new season and the pennant race is heating up in major league baseball.  And of course, there’s always the Summer Olympics to command our attention.

The Olympics are being held in China this year.  The same China we’re not supposed to criticize for being the best friend the Sudanese government has on the Security Council of the U.N.  Only the United States has called what is occurring in Darfur as “genocide.”  None of the other permanent members of the Security Council have followed suit.

Maybe I shouldn’t be upset with my friend.   Darfur doesn’t have oil.   Darfur doesn’t have weapons of mass destruction.  Darfur just have lots of Black people (though not as many as they used to).

And since when has the world lost much sleep over the suffering of Africans anyhow?  Ethiopia.  Rwanda.   South Africa.  It all becomes a blur.  Compassion fatigue may have settled in and it’s traveling buddy, indifference not lagging far behind.  Even African-Americans don’t seem to be overly concerned over what happens in Africa.

The weather outside is hot.   But it’s easy to be cold about Darfur.

One thought on “Darfur: Easy To Be Cold.

  1. Ok, I’m the ‘friend’ so I feel a need to defend myself here.
    I have never shied from talking about the incredibly depressing and am not spending my summer on the beach, fishing or watching sports. I’m growing food for my community and watching Iraq, Afghanistan and the surge towards another war with Iran that this Administration seems hell bent on making a reality, turning the world as we know it into a complete battle zone and breaking the back of U.S citizens for desert.
    While I’ve been aware of the Darfur situation for a long time, and I dont see anyone but George Clooney saying a word about it, and I am not without pity and concern, I’m just not sure what the U.S ‘government’ can possibly do about it (right now), considering the mess that has been made of our current overseas involvements. (IE:At least one if not two brutal and bloody wars of occupation)
    My commentary did not come from hard-heartedness. It came from distain of the current state of hypocrisy from many, but also from the Progressive Left who can try to ease their conscience pointing fingers at the Sudanese government and China, when our own government is killing tens of thousands of innocents and children in Iraq in a war of occupation. When Citizens ignore that hundreds of First Responders at Ground Zero are dying and going without much needed medical care and help for their families. When we are being propagandized daily that another enemy is just …uh…. thousands of miles away, and we should kill them too.
    Every day the Administration moves closer to nuking Iran and people are sitting on their asses, undoubtedly feeling completely powerless to stop it.

    What is going unnoticed and silenced by media, government and new candidates in this country is that the U.S. is dead broke. The Federal Reserve has been floating our debt by printing money to pay for the two wars that are basically going no where. Yet we are stubborn, we must WIN, and kill more, terrorists ALL, even if it cripples us in a debt even our grandchildren will find hard to repay.

    What is pathetic, is that instead of seeing U.S. events clearly and calling for accountability for the horrendous crimes our own government is committing day after day, year after year and addressing THAT situation, the progressive left turns their attentions to another unsolvable, Sudan. Perhaps, they think that by pointing fingers (rightly) at other nations genocide and crimes, we can conveniently throw off attention to the filthy corruption and blood bath attributed to our own, and forget the responsibility we were given- to keep our own government in check, the blood that is on our own hands for allowing ourselves to be lied to and wars of aggression and occupation to be carried out in OUR name.

    Why has Obama not been questioned thoroughly on the illegality of the Iraq war? Why is he backing Bushs’ hard stance on a fake Iranian threat of having nuclear power? Every intelligence report has said that after numerous inspections over the years that Iran is not building nuclear bombs, however Americans listen to Fox news and although Iran has no nuclear capabilities, but Isreal DOES, somehow, we need to defend Israel by nuking Iran ourselves. Nuclear bunker busters we are talking about! Not something ‘strategic and military’. Something that will kill and maim so many more innocent people who did nothing to us and begged for nothing to be done to them time and time again over the last 8 years, if not more.

    Now, we Americans, are expected to turn to that same corrupt body to ‘fix’ genocide in Darfur? These are killers we are talking about! They could care less about 300,000 dead African’s, Iraqi’s, Iranians or Americans for that matter. They have an agenda, and it has nothing to do with ANYONE”s well being, except Family Dynasties, big money, arms sales, private mercenary companies, oil companies (not gasoline or home heating for you and I) and continued domination, in fact possibly WW3.

    What I said to you Jeff, was that ‘Darfur was a ‘side issue’ for us, with the many issues we are currently dealing with on a domestic front. I said, ‘We are in two endless wars, the country is broke. We have internal issues that need to be dealt with first.” If I did not, this is what was meant.
    We did not have much time to talk and you said you would call me back, but didn’t at the time. You can’t take a 10 minute conversation in a car, in a hurry, as a total and complete perspective, but we’ve sometimes been clearer through writing. (sometimes not!)

    It’s not that I don’t care about Darfur, I have room to care about many things. What I, and we in the United States may need to begin to care about is our own state of total corruption, the pain and bloodshed the US, as a Republic, by elected representatives supposedly to carry out our positions-are causing in the world and to us as citizens. The Police State surveillance society and stolen rights through fear used against us that is being implemented right here, as frogs slowly boiled in a pot of apathy.
    This is not in total self interest. If we become incapacitated and powerless, lay down in front of our own government, if we cannot hold them accountable for their crimes, for our own detriments and the misery caused in our own name, we will never again be relied upon to do have clout to help any other nations, even as an allegedly free (cough) people, lest be called terrorists and insurgents ourselves. Or, be so impoverished, oppressed and in fear, ourselves, to be able to help anyone.
    In case no one noticed, we have lost our voices in government. George Bush is quoted with saying, ““Stop throwing the Constitution in my face,” “It’s just a goddamned piece of paper!”

    We need to stop looking to government for answers and to solve problems, unless we are going to take advantage of our right to redress, for real and for good, with consequences.

    “The price of Liberty is Eternal vigilance’, Thomas Jefferson


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