Thursday, June 3, 2010

Thursday's Thoughts: Genocide

Welcome to my new Thursday's Thoughts! I will use Thursdays to blog about my opinion on a popular media event, inform you about a social justice-y topic, blog a much needed rant, or just ramble about a topic I am interested in. I am not a political analyst, super smart consumer, blah blah. However, I am one passionate son of a gun - that has to count for something, right? If I need to be schooled on a topic, please do so - in a respectful manner.


You may or may not know this about me, but I was a serious anti-genocide advocate in my undergrad. I was the president of the USF chapter of STAND, which is an amazing student-led anti-genocide org under the Genocide Prevention Network. What led me to this work? Well, I have to hand that award to Don Cheadle and his fabulous performance as Paul Rusesabagina (who I've met!) in Hotel Rwanda. Hotel Rwanda tells the story of one man's courage to save as many people as he could when genocide broke out in his country in 1994. (If you don't believe that one person can make a difference, you must watch this movie!) I walked out of the theater crying so hard that I could barely see. I was severely overcome with emotion, and that set me on the path to use my passion for good. Rwanda still holds a dear place in my heart, and I hope that one day, Todd and I can adopt a child from this country.

During my time with STAND, I was able to work with local refugees, educate our student body on the cause, and I learned a HELL of a lot about advocacy. Change will never occur unless there is NOISE surrounding the topic/event. WE HAVE TO SPEAK UP!

What is Genocide, and better yet, what is the Anti-Genocide movement?

I want to use this blog post to EDUCATE, because that is the first step. I figured the best way I can do this is share a paper I wrote for my Macro-level social work class. We had to choose a social movement and give the spiel. I was proud of this paper.

Other Resources


A Problem from Hell: America and the Age of Genocide by Samantha Powers: Samantha Powers is a personal hero for me and is one hell of a font of knowledge on genocide. This book educates us on all of the world's genocides from one of the world's best advocates for ending genocide.

Not On Our Watch: The Mission to End Genocide in Darfur and Beyond by Don Cheadle and John Predenrgast: This book is quite powerful, as it discusses genocide from the view of 2 different people, and actor who has become invested in the cause (Don Cheadle) and a powerhouse in the anti-genocide arena (John Predergast). It also gives great ideas for advocacy!


Hotel Rwanda

The Devil Came on Horseback

Sometimes in April

Dafur Now

Frontline: Ghosts of Rwanda


Areas of Concern

Afterthought: Most people in the U.S. probably pass over these news stories and say "this doesn't effect me, why should I care?" I have a real problem with this. No, you don't have to dedicate your life to saving these people, or even dedicate time to an anti-genocide cause, but to not care that thousands upon thousands of innocent people are dying because of a tyrannical government is unacceptable. We've completely lost touch with the outside world and it breaks my heart to see so many young people with no direction, no passion, no life in them other than clothes, sex and video games. But then you have all the other young people who do care, and who have used their passion to seek change, like the youth I worked with. It's always a double-edged sword and we can't win them all. :)

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