I'm not much for celebrities because I tend to value people based on how they affect me with their humanity and not what they do for a living. But lately those in the world spotlight have used their celebrity status to do good in the world. In this way, they affect me with their humanity and I applaud and thank them. I especially thank George Clooney because not only does he put himself out there for those who are suffering, he went and saw that suffering for himself and let it affect HIS humanity.
Today he told the UN Security Council Members that millions of lives were at stake in Darfur and that we, as human beings, need to do something about it. He asked them to send peacekeepers to the region to stop the genocide going on. He put himself out there for people who are having a difficult time getting noticed in a world where there is so much war, hatred, division, and tragedy. Because he did this, I am speaking up and asking all of you to do so as well. We have until September 30th to get our voices heard because if we don't, as Mr. Clooney said: "After September 30, you won't need the UN. You will simply need men with shovels and bleached white linen and headstones."
Darfur is not just a place on the map where people are dying; it is a test of our owh humanity, our own compassion, our own right to even call ourselves human beings. We had the chance to stop the killings in Rwanda by not demanding the UN act then and close to 800,000 people were murdered. This is happening again in Darfur and again there are not enough voices demanding that the killing stop. We MUST speak up or the blood of more human beings will be on our hands. So far over 200,000 have been murdered and over two million people have become displaced since 2003. They are homeless, traumatized, and living in fear of their lives and those of friends and family. We must help them or our own humanity suffers.
On Sunday, The Save Darfur Coalition, a combined force of over 170 faith-based, humanitarian and human rights organizations, will rally in New York's Central Park. There will also be simultaneous events worldwide. Get out there and let your voice be heard. The African Union's Peace and Security Council will meet on Monday in New York, just before this year's U.N. General Assembly speeches. Let them know your voice speaks for those who cannot speak for themselves. If we are to move forward into the next century, let us do it with our humanity intact and a record on Human and Civil Rights our grandchildren will point to with pride instead of shame.