Today, all over the country, people are taking to the streets, all in an attempt our government and its people to stop obsessing over oil executives getting richer, the latest celebrity baby (ahem, pot calling kettle) to pay attention to the genocide in Darfur. The powers that be have been gracious enough to call 400,000 people dying and 2.5 million displaced what it is - tragedy, and the strongest word, genocide. There is great power in naming, in letting the truth be told. But what else can be done?
It's important to know the back story of all this, which is admittedly complicated and confusing. Impassioned emails and discussions have flown back and forth ever since Marilyn started shining her one light, and more have joined her. I truly had no idea the scope of the situation, and it's still breaking upon my mind and my heart. On Friday morning I watched George Clooney and his daddy synthesize it as best they could, and finally I understood one important point. At this moment, no one is asking for our country to intervene with our military troops. Simply the support and funding to keep African Union troops in the region.
A solution that asks almost nothing of us. How brave we are.
I think the part that really made me sit up and listen was when they talked about how these Darfur families have to make a choice. Each time they must leave their camps or villages for supplies, they must consider this - if the men go out, there is a strong chance they'll be killed. If the women go, it's almost guaranteed they'll be raped. If that doesn't boggle your mind, break your heart, and personally, as a woman, make you so angry that you want to start packing your bags to hold some Darfur woman's hand in yours - well, I know you are people of heart and soul.
We are so safe. I sit in an air-conditioned house, still full from a big Sunday lunch, with my favorite drink at my fingers. I just got up from a nap in my own bed, and when my husband leaves I don't have to carefully consider if I'll ever see him again- what is to be done? There is no answer yet, but only to lift my voice alongside many, and say, this is wrong.