Silence helps the killer

Chelsea Dulaney

Our generation is continuously reminded of dark events in history. We have heard about horrific acts of slavery, the Great Depression that left thousands of Americans homeless and jobless and the Holocaust that killed millions of innocent people in Europe.

When we look back on these times, we wonder how these issues, such as genocide, can even exist.

I remember when I was in middle school, I thought that an event such as the Holocaust could never happen in today’s world. Little did I know there had been ethnic cleansing and genocide in areas such as Cambodia, Bosnia and Rwanda even after the Genocide Convention made a promise that a genocide would “never again” happen.

So why are hundreds of thousands of people being starved, raped and slaughtered in Darfur, a region in Sudan, Africa?

To put things into perspective, Sudan is about the size of Texas. Statistics from show that 400,000 people have already been murdered and 2.5 million people have been forced out of their homes by a government-supported militia known as the Janjaweed. This genocide has been going on since 2003, and Darfur is still in need of peace.

I know that it is sometimes difficult for people to comprehend these atrocities because Africa is thousands of miles away. It used to be hard for me to put statistics into perspective because I was fortunate enough to not experience a major tragedy in my life. However, after 2006, when my 49-year-old Dad suddenly passed away, I realized how hard it is to lose someone close to you.

But, even though I have had a tragedy in my life, it does not even begin to compare with what the Darfurians are experiencing. Children are forced to live in fear because they have seen their parents being slaughtered directly in front of them; many orphans walk hundreds of miles to bordering countries to find refugee camps where they aren’t even assured safety.

So what can you do to help? Many people think money is the only solution; that’s not true. Raising awareness can be step one in any relief process. It’s also important to raise your voice and express your concerns to Congress and the president.

With elections approaching, it is helpful to see how each candidate responds to the atrocities ( Web sites, such as, also have information and petitions to sign. Writing letters, signing petitions and making phone calls (genocide hotline: 1-800-genocide) can make all the difference to the people in political power.

If thousands of people voice their concern about this genocide, it will force officials to take a look at what people are concerned about. Don’t be speechless when your grandchildren ask you what you did to stop the genocide in Darfur. Stand up and make a difference.

Chelsea Dulaney is a sophomore early childhood education major and guest columnist for the Daily Kent Stater.