Stop The Killing Save Darfur

by Tina Armour

Sacramento Press
Nov 10 2009

Storyline: Fundraisers Community Tags: business consciousness culture
darfur politics No high resolution image exists…

A diverse group of people came together Sunday to generate awareness
about genocides occurring around the world.

The Sacramento Committee on Conscience held a showing of "The Devil
Came on Horseback," a documentary on the genocide being committed by
the Janjeweed in Darfur, and "Screamers," a documentary capturing the
struggles dating back to the Armenian genocide and going all the way
up until the present Darfur genocide.

After the film, the committee held a panel to discuss the issues of
hate in Sacramento and how people can help to stop the trends.

"It starts with bullies in school and then people with that mentality
end up running a government," said Vice Mayor Lauren Hammond.

Hillary Hodge, representative of Equality Action Now, explained events
of violence and hate that have directly affected the gay community.

"The heinous act against Matthew Shepard about a decade ago really
hit home, when they[Aaron McKinney and Russell Henderson] tied him
to a fence and beat him until his life left his body," Hodge said.

Richard Kazanjian, representative for the Sacramento Chapter of the
Armenian National Committee fought back tears as he explained the
effects of the Armenian genocide.

"The Armenian genocide is the stain on our culture. My family was
directly impacted. This event has changed every Armenian’s life,"
Kazanjian said.

Efren Gutierrez, representative of Chicano Consortium Sacramento
explained his experiences with hate as a person of mixed race.

"I am Mestizo, half native[Mexican] and half European. The greatest
tragedy is not being considered by your own people," Gutierrez said.

Barry Broad, representative of the Jewish Community Relations Council
brought to light the mistakes that everyone has made with unintentional

"The worst words you can hear is ‘you people’ and then you know
something bad is going to happen," Broad said.

NAACP member James Sweeney, offered his solutions to the hate problems
around the world.

"We need to manifest the direct antithesis of hate, which is love,
but I think people are more afraid of love than hate," Sweeney said.

So far the US government has passed 17 bills regarding Darfur,
but without implementing them the situation will not change. The
bills have been passed to show that America does recognize what is
happening in Darfur and to let the world know that the actions have
been formally classified as genocide under its legal definition of:
intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial
or religious group by killing members of the group; causing serious
bodily or mental harm to members of the group; deliberately inflicting
on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical
destruction in whole or in part; imposing measures intended to prevent
births within the group; or forcibly transferring children of the
group to another group, but no forceful action hs been taken against
the Janjeweed. . Almost half a million people have been killed and
2.5 million have been displaced because of this genocide.

For more information on the genocide in Darfur and ways to help,
visit the Sacramento Committee on Conscience website.

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