I got an interesting email from the American Progress Action Fund regarding news reports of tragic events, like the devastation wrought by Katrina.
"Like many of you, for the past 48 hours we have been glued to our computers and televisions, watching this tragedy unfold. We applaud the efforts of our news media, in particular ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, FOX News, and MSNBC, to cover this story. On these networks, together as a nation, we have witnessed images of rooftop rescues and other amazing acts of heroism – along with moments of great personal tragedy. Hurricane Katrina is a truly important story and by doing a very good job of covering it, our TV news programs are providing Americans and the entire world the information necessary to help make a difference."
"Yet, as we watch in horror, we can't help but think of another tragedy a bit farther away – the humanitarian crisis in the Darfur region of Sudan stemming from the ongoing genocide there. Unfortunately, our TV networks are not doing such a good job informing Americans that 7,000 people are dying every month as a result of the genocide, according to the World Health Organization. Their stories of rescue, of heroism, of personal tragedy, and of survival are not being told."
"And so, when the floodwaters have receded in our homeland, and our fellow Americans begin the process of rebuilding their lives and their communities, we hope that the networks will reflect on the important role they play in keeping us informed of tragedies near and far and will continue to cover real news – important news. We hope that the networks will come to agree: Genocide IS News."
[T]he handwringing isn’t translating into action. In progress instead is a fresh mockery of that 1948 convention. A repeat of well-intentioned, feeble actions that failed to save 800,000 Rwandans a decade ago.
I’ve been all talk and no action, just as this op/ed piece says. Well, I want to start actually doing something to stop the horrors
in Sudan. I’ve sent letters through the ACLU, TrueMajority, and other groups, but
I suspect politicians largely ignore such campaigns.
I’m planning on writing a generic letter that can be sent to representatives, senators,
the president, and foreign leaders. My hope is that a real grassroots effort – that
isn’t lead by a major lobbying group – will get more positive attention. I have
no experience writing letters of petition, so any help would be greatly appreciated.
Update 11/06/06: I still haven’t done anything constructive. Then again, neither has the UN.