Since 2003, the Sudanese government has been waging a campaign of genocide against targeted African communities in Darfur. Brutal murders and rapes continue as government-backed militias attack refugee camps. Disease and malnourishment are rampant in the camps. More than 2 million people have been displaced, and 400,000 people have died.
The United States acknowledged that genocide is taking place in Darfur in Sept. 2004 but has yet to take the action necessary to stop the violence. The African Union is failing to keep the peace with its limited number of poorly trained and poorly armed troops. The United Nations continues to talk about supporting AU troops with its own forces without taking action. Meanwhile, 500 people continue to die every day.
I want to share why I think it is important to take action on this genocide and on all injustices and hatred in the world.
We need people to fight injustice because it is those people who have been changing the world for the better throughout history. There’s always an alarmist notion that society is going downhill, but the opposite is true. Think of how far our own country has come since our own genocide and the enslavement of our brothers and sisters. Our progress is the direct result of the hard work of millions of dedicated people who refused to give up.
We need people who triumph over hatred with love. We need individuals with a passion within them that drives them to keep fighting, even though the world may never see a day when hatred doesn’t exist. It drives them to keep going when they fail over and over again, when change seems impossible, when the world calls for their crucifixion.
We can all be one of these people. It requires a conscious decision to strive to love others and ourselves. It requires a commitment to continue fighting hatred with love any way that we can until our death. It takes practice, patience, persistence and sacrifice. There will always be the temptation to give up. It is never easy, but it is always worth it.
April 6 will mark the 12th anniversary of the Rwandan genocide. More than 900,000 people were slaughtered as most of the world looked on and did nothing. The world needed people to step up – but few did.
Genocide is happening again, but you can step up. From April 3 to 7, the University’s chapter of the national group Students Taking Action Now: Darfur will be hosting a national week of action on campus. We will be educating ourselves and our community about what is happening in Darfur, demanding that our leaders stop the genocide now and raising money to send to humanitarian agencies. I hope you will join the fight. For more information, e-mail email@example.com.
Daly is a Rackham student. He is a cartoonist for the Daily and a member of the University’s chapter of STAND.