Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Where were you during the Sudan atrocities?

I sometimes wonder what it must've been like living through World War 2. Especially if you were somewhere on the other side of the world where there was no fighting going on (those few and far between locations). It seems that there are major massacres going on right now in Darfur. I've never heard of Darfur. I'd never heard of Rwanda. Bosnia was pretty unknown to me.

So what is it like living comfortably when there is genocide going on the other side of the world? I can come up with a few possible responses:

1) Couldn't care less. It doesn't affect me. I've never lived in Sudan, don't know any Darfurians, so why should I care?
2) Let them destroy each other. There's too much overcrowding in that part of the world, it'll be some sort of Darwinian process to ensure only the best survive.
3) It rarely bothers me, only in an intellectual "it sounds bad and I wish it would stop" sense.
4) I'm deeply disturbed, am going to devote my time and efforts to pressuring my government and the international community to step in and stop the massacres.

To be honest, I'm on 3, as I imagine most people are. Why am I not a 4? Laziness, partial indifference, there are enough worthy causes on the planet, I've got enough on my plate, etc etc. Ultimately though, as members of our country and the world community, we are in an indirect sense responsible for the indifference and procrastination of the international community.

In a sense, I am also guilty.

TRK

7 Comments:

At 4/12/2005 3:53 PM, Blogger Chai18 said...

i think that partly the reason why most people don't care about Darfur is that it is "all the way in Africa" and most people whether they admit or not, are basically racists, that because the people in Darfur are black it doesn't really matter so much, and that countries in Africa have always been fighting so whats new. it is these attitudes that lead to a general sense of apathy when it comes to events that happen that demand our attention, but are just ignored, like the genocide in Darfur.

 
At 4/12/2005 3:59 PM, Blogger The Rabbi's Kid said...

chai,

you may be tragically right. that would also explain Rwanda. can you explain bosnia though?

 
At 4/12/2005 6:30 PM, Blogger Chai18 said...

it involved Muslims, and the Balkans have always been a tinderbox so whats new that they are fighting again, the mob is fickle, always remember that.

 
At 4/13/2005 1:23 AM, Blogger The Rabbi's Kid said...

chai,

so what bothers me is am I the same? I think I do care (in an intellectual sense) and I am not racist, I care equally whatever color/race/religion is being massacred. But I don't do anything about it - like I don't do anything about lots of things I "care" about.

TRK

 
At 4/13/2005 3:51 PM, Blogger Chai18 said...

its apathy, its not like you actively DON'T do anything because you want them to suffer because of their skin color or religion, rather it is an apathy due to the fact that the conflict is not near you, it is all the way on the other side of the world, and the only exposure you have it is through the media, as such an apathy towards doing anything occurs, i mean if it was happening in your backyard you would do something, when it is in someone else's house in a different town, different country, different continent, it becomes harder and harder to pus yourself to do anything to help. its not racism it is apathy.

 
At 4/15/2005 12:23 PM, Anonymous willendorf said...

There's also "3 1/2," which is kind of where I'm at: I clicked something that sent emails to my Senators, and I made a small donation to American Jewish World Service. Do I think I should be doing lots more? Yes. Will I? Probably not.

 
At 4/17/2005 3:26 AM, Blogger The Rabbi's Kid said...

willendorf,

what kind of humans does that make us? what would we have done in 1939-45 if we lived on the other side of the world? It troubles me quite deeply.

TRK

 

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