Thursday, February 16, 2006

Dafur: Where is the Black Community?

As I was cooking some chili tonight, I sort of listening to "Newshour with Jim Leher" and they began talking about the situation in Darfur with Senators Sam Brownback and Barack Obama. It was good to see such bipartisan cooperation, especially from Senator Brownback, a man that I don't agree with on a lot of issues. Brownback has taken a strong lead in this issue and he needs to commended for that.

It is also hearting to see Olympic Speed skater Joey Cheek donate his winnings to those suffering in Darfur.

But I have one question. Where is the African American community when it comes to Darfur?

I might be wrong about this, but with the exception of Senator Obama, I don't hear much of black America talking about this issue and we should be. Twenty years ago, it was the black churches as well as other prominent black leaders who took the lead in fighting against the aparthied regime in South Africa. Now, when genocide faces the African continent, there is nary a peep. Why?

Why is it that a white Senator from Kansas and a white speed skater from North Carolina seem to care more about some black folk in Africa than, well black folk?

Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe there are a whole bunch of black musicians and sports figures doing something. I surely hope so. Because with all the talk about Africa being the "motherland" you'd think Black America would be doing something.


Heiuan said...

Overload. Simple overload. I'm feeling more isolationist by the day. And by isolationist I mean grab my kid and head to the hinterlands where no one can find us.

Maybe the Religious Right IS right. Maybe we're in the end times. Or maybe I'm just so sick of everything that I can't tell up from down any longer.

We've only got so much energy, my friend. And lately, I'm just tapped out.

plez... said...

You are correct that the Black community has been almost silent on the genocide in Dafur. The Black community was also silent about the genocide that occurred in Rwanda (along with their President Clinton!) as the Tutsis tried to rid their country of all Hutus.

The issue of apartheid in South Africa resonated in the Black community because it was so damn similar to what we had overcome a mere 20 years earlier in the South with Jim Crow. It wasn't that big of a leap for us to look at a White minority subjugating the Black majority in South Africa and make the connection with our recent past history.

This issue of genocide (see Bosnia, World War II Germany, Rwanda, and now Dafur) is something that is very hard for ANYONE to grasp. It is so horrific and so carnal, that most people (whatever their persuasion) find it easier to just ignore and hope that it goes away. No one wants to see butchered bodies or freshly dug mass graves on the evening news. So the Black community (like most communities) in the US take comfort that such atrocities are going on elsewhere and are complacent about "hitting the streets" to end it.