Wednesday, February 13, 2008


This month marks the 5th anniversary of the war and genocide in Darfur, Sudan. WKPCC (FM 89.3) will be running related stories all day.

Steven Spielberg, someone clearly sensitive to the issue of genocide (see Schindler’s List), is one of many who have decided to boycott the 2008 Summer Olympics in Bejing (he was to be the artistic director) because China is a leading partner/customer of the Sudanese oil industry. China’s partnership fuels the genocide financially - in essence, condoning it - and the Chinese government has done nothing to speak out against or intervene in the atrocities. Those outraged by China’s complicity are labeling the 2008 Summer Olympics - “The Genocide Olympics.” You can learn more about this at

I knew about the crisis in Darfur through my activities in Amnesty International (see what they have to say about Darfur), but I became more informed and felt more personally connected when I read an amazing book by David Eggers called What is the What a couple of months back that tells the story of one of the Lost Boys of Sudan - Valentino Achak Deng. It’s at once sobering and outrage-inspiring, yet heartwarming and funny - a book that changes you. (Thanks again to JP Gutuierrez for letting me borrow his copy.)

If you'd like to read more books related to human rights issues (both non-fiction and fiction), check out the blog for Amnesty International Chapter 22 Rights Readers book club group I used to participate in when I lived in Pasadena. It provides a list of books they've read and are planning to read; additional information about the authors, related actions, and events; and updates about the issues discussed in the books.

Here are Eggers and Deng talking about Darfur:

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