Sunday, April 09, 2006

Genocide Is Not a Spectator Sport

By: A. Crutchfield a.k.a. Ms. Darfur

Many of you have probably seen Hotel Rwanda, an Oscar-nominated film featuring Don Cheadle and Sophie Okonedo depicting a snapshot of the genocide on the Tutsis carried out by the Hutu militia in just 100 days in 1994. Over 800,000 people were killed and the United States government under former President Bill Clinton’s leadership turned a blind eye.

Sadly, a similar human tragedy is occurring this very moment in another African country - Sudan in a region called Darfur. Since 2003, Sudanese government sponsored militia, commonly known as Janjaweed have committed indiscriminate killings, pillaging of villages, and mass rape against Darfur’s settled African farmers. According to reports by the World Food Program, the United Nations and the Coalition for International Justice, 3.5 million people are now hungry, 2.5 million have been displaced due to violence, and 400,000 people have been killed. These may seem like just words on a page, but these tragic circumstances are a reality for millions of innocent people. Although the U.S. government unanimously declared the atrocities genocide in July 2004, leaders here and in the international community are failing to protect civilians or to influence the Sudanese government to do so.

Recently, on March 16, 2006 the U.S. House of Representatives voted by a slim margin of 213-208 to spend $50 million dollars for peacekeeping in Darfur, and while this is a small victory, additional immediate actions are necessary. You too can act to put a stop to this tragedy: inform your family, friends and colleagues of this crisis; contribute donations to the organizations that are providing on-the-ground humanitarian relief to the refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs); and demand that this issue become a national priority by contacting your Congressional Representative or Senator at or . Don’t just wait for THIS tragedy to come to a theater near you. Take fifteen minutes out of your schedule today to save a life.

Ms. A. Crutchfield who I lovingly and respectfully call Ms. Darfur for her passionate and admirable work in making people aware of the Darfur tragedy that is unfolding before our eyes currently works with the U.S. Congressional Black Caucus and The Momentum Initiative, a grass roots organization under the counsel of members of Congress, Political and Business Professionals and Political Enthusiasts, that promotes political awareness amongst young urban professionals and creatively shares information, resources and sparks dialogue on a diversity of issues. Momentum's prime target market is Blacks in America, as well as those who are concerned with issues that affect this segment. The 6 core issues of the initiative are Economics | Healthcare | Education | Family Life | Sports, Arts & Culture | and Foreign Affairs. If you are interested in learning more or joining please e-mail or call 202.906.0103.

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