Above the photograph of a beautiful Sudanese child on the front page of yesterday’s State newspaper are the words “Tragedy deepens.” Her brown eyes look at the camera with a tentative look not unlike the one I’ve seen on Brooke’s little face when she’s trying to figure something out.  Brooke is one of my precious granddaughters.

Both little girls are around two years old, but that’s where the similarity of their lives ends. Brooke has blue eyes, lives in America in a home with her parents and sister and brother, and has never even heard a gun being fired. She has food, shelter, and enough cute little Old Navy outfits to change her look for days. The child in the newspaper lives in a makeshift refugee camp set up by villagers forced from their homes because of ethnic violence raging in Darfur. She doesn’t appear to be wearing any clothes, much less the cute little color coordinated ones that hang in Brooke’s closet. She’ll be lucky to have something to eat tonight while Brooke’s mom is serving spaghetti. For half a second I wonder if she has baby shampoo, gentle soap, and warm water like Brooke has.

All that to say that the children in Darfur are breaking my heart. I remember once asking my parents what they thought about the Holocaust as it going on in Europe decades ago, and my mother said they really didn’t know much about it. They’d hear rumors from time to time, but the world was a different place then, and communication was slow.

What’s my excuse…and yours? Communication is amazingly fast. We know things as soon as they happen, and we all know about the genocide that is taking place in the Sudan where more than 400,000 people have been killed. Raping, murdering, and pillaging are common occurrences, and it’s reported that in the refugee camps of Chad women risk rape simply by foraging for firewood.  

Can anything be done to stop the madness? There’s to be a rally on the SC State House grounds at 2:00 this Saturday. Its purpose is to raise awareness of the horrors that are occurring at this very moment in Darfur. .For more information, go to www.dagsc.org.  The child on the front page of yesterday’s state is as innocent and deserving as my little granddaughter…and yours.

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