A letter published in the California Chronicle by our own Ruth Gonzalez. Congratulation Ruth!
Dear Mr. /Ms. President,"With great power, comes great responsibility." As corny as it sounds (Sorry Spiderman) it rings true. Your job as our "Commander in Chief" and "Leader for the Free World" comes in a time when our country and the world especially are involved in conflict after conflict, which seems to have no end. I would like to bring up my concern and growing outrage toward the continuing genocide taking place in Sudan´s Darfur region. This five year old conflict has already claimed the lives of over 400,000 non-Arabs and millions uprooted from their homes, due in larger part to the Sudanese militia known as the Janjaweed. Just knowing of the pure evil that they are causing and the simple fact that the world does not seemed that moved to take concrete action to ending this madness, just makes me ashamed and sick as a human being. For over the last 60 years, the phrase "Never Again" has been passed by the lips of politicians, presidents, world leaders, and the world over. But as the century progressed the names like Cambodia, Bosnia, and Rwanda have become part of an already disdainful legacy of indifference and apathy. But yet as the killings continue, there is also hope. For the first time in history, there is a huge movement of mostly young people that are rallying together as one voice to putting an end to the genocide and already it has proved effected. We can only do so much. Now this is where you come in. You have the tools and influence to really make change not just in Darfur, but in other areas like the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and in Uganda. Your predecessor has done some good by publicly saying that these atrocities are wrong and authorizing sanctions, but that isn´t enough. Pressuring countries like China to stop their businesses with Sudan can help and supporting the International Criminal Court can mean a world of difference. The ICC, with the support of the U.S. Government, will help bring those responsible to justice.
In retrospect, there have been moments in history where the human spirit can shine a light through the darkest of times: the liberation of the Death camps in Europe, the trials in Nuremburg, a small band of peacekeepers staying during the Rwandan genocide when the world looked away. And now, ordinary people are joining together and voicing their outrage at the continuing genocide in Darfur. But we also need someone who can lead the way towards the end of this crisis and helping the people of Darfur to a better future. Professor Elie Wiesel once said "Remember: Silence helps the killers, never his victims." If the world continues to stay silent while Darfur burns, then we all are helping the Janjaweed in killing the innocent and when this ends, history will have no mercy towards us. I can only fear that the US, whom is a great preacher in human rights, can only turn away because of our own sovereignty and self interest getting in the way of what is just and righteous: that all humans are the same and have every right to be treated as such. Hopefully you can see this within your own conscience.The choice is up to you to take action.Respectfully Yours,Ruth Gonzalez