Tuesday, March 14, 2006 at 10:43 AM

Darfur: Thanks for caring America, but you’re already a genocide too late…

Posted by Anthony L. Hall

Lately, I seem to be provoking a lot of criticism from avid readers. And where all of it is welcome, not all of it – I’m happy to report – is warranted. For example, a colleague rang me yesterday morning, still fulminating with moral outrage over an NBC news report she had just seen on the genocide in Darfur, Sudan. And, as if I were complicit in this crime against humanity, she chastised me for “paying all that attention to Arabs killing each other in the Middle East and hardly none (sic) to those Arabs slaughtering blacks in Africa.”

Well, after telling her how much I respected the emotion that report evoked in her (and how much I appreciated her willingness to challenge my political consciousness), I referred her to this article I wrote several months ago on the genocide in Darfur. (And, that this conflict in now spreading into neighbouring Chad only exacerbates an already dire situation); I referred her to this article I wrote almost 9 months ago on the famine in Niger that makes the Ethiopian famine of the mid-1980s seem like the plight of the obese missing a single meal; and I referred her to this article I wrote almost a year ago on the genocide the DR Congo that makes the ones in Darfur and Rwanda seem relatively tame.

I suspect many of you not only share my colleague’s compassion for these suffering Africans but also her indignation over the relatively little amount of coverage their plight has received in mainstream media. Therefore, I hope you’ll take a moment to read my previous articles on these lamentably old stories that are just now making headline news in America.

NOTE to my American readers: Notwithstanding my cynical title, please take a moment to call or write your Congressional representatives to plead for America to work more aggressively with the African Union to stop the massacres in Darfur and the DR Congo, and to provide more supplies to aid workers fighting famine in Niger, Mali and elsewhere in Africa.

ENDNOTE: At the risk of imposing too much on your time and soliciting too much political activism, I beg you to read this article about politicians in Florida who are trying, shamelessly, to bully the government of The Bahamas to curry-favour with their Miami-based Cuban American supporters. It’s really an international scandal, which sullies the good name and goodwill of all Americans throughout the Caribbean.

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  1. Anonymous March 14, 2006 at 1:44 pm


    Your commentary and links to previoius articles do indeed vindicate your political consciousness. Those of us on the frontlines in this effort to stop the massacres and prevent starvation appreciate your activism.

    David Macalister
    Oxfam Volunteer, Scotland

  2. Rachel March 14, 2006 at 2:39 pm

    Hi Anthony

    I believe I saw that report on NBC last night. A female reporter went there to report it. After reading your previous articles I have to say you handled your outraged friend pretty well. I had no idea you’d written so much about this and so long ago.

    I will definitely email my representatives.

  3. TheMalau March 15, 2006 at 4:41 pm

    As a fairly progressive Congolese young man (DRC), who lived in Rwanda during the genocide (I was 12 then) , and now living in Midwedtern USA, you cannot believe the breath of oxygen your activism, and the fact that you keep these stories on the network, bring to my day. Your colleague sems to be the archetype of the United-Stater (this is intentional) described in Hotel Rwanda: Get really upset and riled up for a little while, with very little background info, and then move on just as fast. I face that every day here, and I am starting to pull my hair out. Thank you for preventing my going bald.

  4. Jennifer March 15, 2006 at 5:13 pm

    Hi Anthony

    I agree that it is probably good to give us time to reflect since there’s so much food for thought in this article. As a long-time reader, I’m very familiar with your articles on Africa. Some of my girlfriends wondered if maybe you weren’t too Afrocentric. But they all know better now. And when you put news reports like the one on NBC into perpective it really shames us all that we have done so little. I have already emailed my reps and have encouraged all of my friends to do the same. You are really inspirational. Good luck with you professional duties.

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