Wednesday, April 26, 2006

The first genocide of the 21st Century

It's going on right now. Words have always been my friends, and right now, they are deserting me in the face of seeing the horrors of Darfur on the news.

The estimate of deaths since 2003 (when open warfare erupted between two loosely-allied rebel groups) is 400,000. 3.5 million people are hungry. 2.5 million have been displaced due to violence. But, the rape of the women is easily the most disturbing thought of all, "Rape has become a hallmark of the crimes against humanity in Darfur. It has proven one way for the Janjaweed militias to continue attacking Darfurians after driving them from their homes. Families must continue collecting wood, fetching water or working their fields, and in doing so, women daily put themselves or their children at the risk of rape, beatings or death as soon as they are outside the camps, towns or villages. It is assumed that the hundreds of rapes reported and treated grossly underestimate the actual number committed, as victims of rape in Darfur are often too scared or too ashamed to seek help. In a culture where rape draws heavy social disgrace, victims are often ostracised by their own families and communities. These women and children have been forced from their communities and even punished for illegal pregnancy as a result of being raped." (Source: The situation is nauseating.

Please consider taking action today. And it doesn't have to be financial. First, go to Save Darfur and send President Bush an electronic postcard, tell him you can't stand it any more, and that's it is time for him to fulfill the promise he made, "Not on my watch." Better yet, call the White House and tell him to get off of his ass--800-224-2084.

And to anyone who says, why do we always have to be the world's policeman? Who else is going to care about children getting raped if we don't?

And if you will be in DC this weekend, there is a March on April 30th. Stand and be counted.

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