Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Obnoxious 'passivists' can do more for Darfur than protest

Processing this article was extremely fruitful for me. I hope it is for you. Highlights giving a flavor of the article, harshly disparaging of current efforts, are followed by the "Letter to the Editor" it prompted me to submit.

Obnoxious 'passivists' can do more for Darfur than protest Yale Daily News, CT - 12 hours ago... particularly surprising that an estimated 20,000 to 30,000 protesters attended a rally held three weeks ago in Central Park to condemn the atrocities in Darfur ...

What for me are some highlights of this article:
“…What is surprising, however, is the fact that so many people could gather in one place and not see the futility of their rally. Aside from producing a lot of extra garbage in Central Park, the protesters hardly did anything truly productive, much less anything actually to help the victims of war in Darfur…

“…Protesters always delude themselves into believing that they operate within the realm of political and social change. In reality, flamboyancy is the only thing that matters to them - who yells the loudest, who refuses to eat for the longest time, who prints their flyers on the most obnoxiously colored neon paper….”

Please read the article. My response follows. It was sent as a Letter to the Editor.

Ms. Moore's article is filled with so much ignorance, destructiveness and hatred, I hardly know where to begin in sharing an alternative view. So let me focus first on what may be common ground.

Ms. Moore rightly spotlights the futilely noncommittal, self-serving nature of the crowd of September 17th in Central Park. In the face of its purported cause, Darfur Genocide, it was shockingly noncommittal, casual, comfortable, jocular and yes "passive" in its character, with a handful of inspired, enormously hardworking exceptions. But yes, for the most part participation for most in attendance seemed little more than one of many entertainment choices they considered - the beach, the club, the game, the Darfur rally.... Frankly, to my sad eyes, there are few exceptions to the "passivity" on display that day, anywhere, any time in the campaign to stop Genocide. (What exceptions there are we are attempting to capture and showcase at www.DarfurDyingForHeroes.blogspot.com.)

Now I'll partake of some of the outrage Ms. Moore indulged in and direct it back at the article. She implies a broad disdain of nonviolent means with the ludicrous exception of making and giving money (to be made through mindless jobs) to for the support of aid workers. Certainly this view is at best careless on Ms. Moore's part. When she is running an organization will she eschew all advertising? All Public Relations? As in the position of group leader will she believe that her true commitment, whether she is committed to the well-being of all stakeholders or to their exploitation, will not permeate the hearts of others and determine the level to which her organization rises or falls? Has she never been on the team of a passionately committed coach, or captain, or their opposite and experienced the ultimate difference that leadership makes in the outcome? Presumably she is telling the thousands of "passivists" throughout history from those of the Boston Tea Party on through the marchers for Civil Rights, the Steven Bekos of South Africa, and so on, that their individual impact for their cause would have been greater had they been working behind the counter in a McDonnalds and donating their money?

However, the aspect of what sparked the venom of Ms. Moore, I hope, is the "passivity" of Darfur "activists" of all persuasions be they nonviolent or militaristic, of ultimate faith in the human spirit as is true for me, or in people's ability to manufacture solutions as seems true for Ms. Moore. If this is ultimately at the root of Ms. Moore's outrage then she and I are in profound agreement.

Darfur is Dying for Heroes, for commitment, for the substantial and sufficient commitment of we-citizens in a position to help, to protect. Ms. Moore is profoundly correct in this, if this is what she senses. And, I think that such commitment, such capacity for commitment, has all but died in this country. I think that Darfur is one last opportunity for us to exercise what little capacity we have left for exercising humanity, what capacity we have for commitment to a cause beyond self. Why Darfur? Never have so many been in a position to do so much good, for so many, at so little cost to themselves.

Ms. Moore, let's be the change that others need to see, as Gandhi instructed. From your heart become a model of heroic commitment via the production of material outcomes. I will continue to strive to express my agony at the extermination of our family Darfur through the antiviolent (think matter - antimatter) approaches I have been using which include applying abilities that industry paid me hundreds of thousands of dollars for, for free, as any father or brother would do were their "immediate" family in dire need. Our family Darfur is in dire need.

Jay McGinley jymcginley@cs.com
Since May 14, 2006: Donating 100% of the skills to Darfur that industry paid me big bucks for -
+100 days volunteer Vigil for Darfur in and around DC
+60 days Hunger Strike.
Currently on day 11 of what should be undertaken globally by we-the-citizens: Rescue Darfur Fast-Till-Genocide-Stops (http://darfurdyingforheroes.blogspot.com/2007/09/rescue-darfur-fast-til-it-stops.html)

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