Untitled Slush -

The stuff in the bottom of your blue icee before it melts. _-The Lesbian Writers Guild at UCSD-_

Saturday, March 11, 2006

desperate for change

Slobodan Milosevic died today. He was facing 66 counts of criminal activity, war crimes and genocide chief among them.

At first I was angry, knowing he would never get his sentence from The Hague. But, the more I thought about it, the more it just made me sad. Sad to think that genocide is still happening. That there are others will go unpunished in their lifetimes.

It makes me sadder still to think that Milosevic's death made the news, but the individual stories of the estimated 400,000 people who have died in Sudan often go untold. To think that there are mothers who carry their babies around even after they die because they can't bear to put them down. That there are teenage girls and women who are terrified of being gang-raped if they leave their refugee camp to look for fire wood. And, men who are shot on the spot if they test the borders. To think that there are people who live in a world where rape is the preferred alternative.

Why have we pushed Sudan aside? Why did it take Colin Powell so long to declare Sudan a "genocide"? Why aren't we doing more now that he has?

We seem to deal better with genocide when it's over.

As a society, the times we recall the Rwandan genocide are rare. The moments in which we mourn for the Bosnians are rarer still. Rwanda lost 500,000 but the Bosnians lost close to 200,000.

Why does Bosnia's loss of life feel like such an abstract concept to me when Rwanda feels so concrete? Why did I carry a sign that read "NOT ANOTHER RWANDA" when I was protesting the Sudanese genocide, but no one said a thing about Yugoslavia?

More than half a world away from Sudan, and seemingly in another universe, I read of the atrocities and struggle to comprehend. But, the anger and the sadness swirl around inside of me and mesh with my desperate motivation to strive for change.

So, I take baby steps and ask you to join me:

1) Check out the latest news about modern-day slavery and genocide on the American Anti-Slavery Group's website: www.iabolish.com

2) Attend the screening of the new film, "Darfur Diaries" at UCSD on Tuesday, March 14th in Price Center Gallery A.

3) Sign the petition asking the UC system to divest from Sudan:

4) Show up and be heard when the UC Regents vote on divestiture from Sudan later this month.


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