Reaction to Darfur

Nat Hentoff, the syndicated columnist, has an article that’s appearing in countless newspapers across the country. I can’t tell you exactly what the title is, because it’s different in each newspaper, but Google News’ first mention of it came from The Register and so that’s the link I’ll use.

In it, Hentoff comments that:

Now, I am depressed and puzzled at why — when knowledge of the genocide in Darfur cannot be escaped — so many Americans are indifferent.

There have been rallies from a persistent network of American human-rights activists. But, aside from them, among the millions fiercely opposing our involvement in Iraq, I see and hear no public, organized horror at the killings in Darfur.

Among my own family, friends and acquaintances, the reaction — when I speak of Darfur — is mostly only polite attempts at showing concern. Often there is no reaction at all, as if I were an utterly boring Ancient Mariner with a tale of the suffering that befell his crew when he shot an albatross.

While I would say that the public’s reaction to such atrocities is surprising, I have to concede that it’s the “typical” reaction. In fact, our reaction to past genocides has been (as echoed by Hentoff) exactly the same.

One thought on “Reaction to Darfur”

  1. Based just on the research I am currently doing, I don’t see any widespread upswing in American interest in–well, basically in anything that doesn’t immediately pertain to a given individual or their immediate family. Certainly not in anything international at all, especially not horrific events. It’s extremely discouraging.

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