Rev. Daughtry's weekly article that appears in the NY Daily Challenge every Wednesday and Friday.
Press Statement Upon Return From Chad, Africa Part III
Significantly, all the Dar-Furians I talked to had high praise for the USA role in the crisis. They wished the U.S. would do more but they were grateful for what had been done. They remembered that former secretary of State, Colin Powell, called the crisis “genocide.” Parenthetically here is a golden opportunity for U.S. leadership to invest even more to end the crisis. It would be a great benefit to the Dar-Furians and reap great credit to the USA.
In addition, they were grateful for the religious support especially Christians and Jews. They wished their Muslim brothers and sisters would do more to help them. Also, all the Dar-Furians I talked to believe the root of the problem is Arab expansionism and Arabization, the imposition of Arab culture. Those who are being destroyed and whose land is being taken are Africans, irrespective of their religion. Dar-Furians are Muslims as is the Sudanese government. They believe there is a master plan formulated by some Arab leaders to expand Arabization and Islamization. They were deeply disappointed that Muslims, especially Muslims of African Ancestry could not see this plan and support them.
When all is said and done, the undeniable fact, to which everybody agrees, is a terrible wrong has been committed against the Dar-Furian people. They did not choose to go into refugee camps because they loved refugee camps. No, somebody forced them to leave their homes and somebody ought to pay. Moreover, their lives need to be restored. Reparations, in addition to freedom, ought to be given to them.
Our organization, the National Religious Leaders of African Ancestry Concerned about Dar-Fur, will intensify its advocacy, organizing and humanitarian efforts.
We will continue our weekly organizing meetings from 12 to 2:00 p.m. at the House of the Lord Church. All are welcomed.
On Friday, April 6 we conducted a Good Friday, prayer vigil at the UN and the Sudanese Mission.
On Thursday, April 12, I will be speaking at the Resource Center in Englewood, New Jersey.
May 5, we will have our first benefit concert at Medgar Evers College. This will kick off our material support drive.
On June 16, we will have a major conference on Dar-Fur. We hope to bring the Dar-Furian leadership to Brooklyn. While we were in Chad, all of the leadership promised to attend the conference.
Also, we plan to meet with the top governmental, political, civic and humanitarian organizations with a master plan for Dar-Fur.
We will continue to bring pressure on the Sudanese government to do the right thing.
Finally, there is a Pulitzer Prize winning photo, which was done by Kevin Carter in 1994. It is a picture of a baby crawling, head down, trying to get to the food wagon. Behind the baby, about five yards, a buzzard is stalking the baby. The photographer didn’t wait to find out what happened to the baby. Later he committed suicide. This picture, which was taken in the south of Sudan during a famine, could easily have been taken in some of the refugee camp. The question I would ask you, as the Dar-Furian crisis deepens and spread, which side are you on, the buzzard or the baby? To do nothing is to choose!.