Friday, May 02, 2008

Save Darfur

The ethnic violence in Darfur has been on mainstream news for sometime now with celebrities doing documentaries and visiting Darfur to bring awareness of the atrocities

Googling Darfur returned 11,500,000 sites for Darfur. I'll let you do honor of googling, no spoon-feeding.

The media had made sure that the Darfur atrocities are brought into my living room via television (and print). So I do have an idea that fundraisers of all kinds for Darfur do exist.

I was invited to one of these fundraisers the other day and as much as I wanted to help I felt uncomfortable.

I know these type of fundraisers. I’ve been to one of these and we would walk around with a wine glass in hand and nibbled on cheese and crackers with caviar and espousing to the room at large how horrible these atrocities are and how we should give, give, give to stop these atrocities. "Horrible really, my dear. What were they thinking? The poor children!"

I laud the host of the fundraiser for trying by providing the venue and attaching her name to the fundraiser. The deal was the boutique hosting the fundraiser would donate 20% of her sales and the artists of the Hope jewelries and paintings likewise would donate 20% of sales toward the Darfur fund.

The fundraiser occurred between 4:00-8:00 PM but I went at around 3 PM and gave my support by buying a very understated and nice summer sandal and the Hope necklace of which the pendant is 99.9% silver. I am sure part of my money went to a good cause.

Why did I go early and not hob-nob with wine glass in hand? I felt uncomfortable. In my mind this is the downside of “celebritizing” (is this a word?) a cause. I want to help because it is the right thing to do, not because it is trendy or that so-and-so actor/celebrity lent their name to the cause - George Clooney, hello? Never been a fan of his was I supposed to give money because of him?

Another thing, America may be considered the land of milk and honey (what crock!) but there are a lot of suffering and poverty in parts of the country; the
Appalachian poverty is appalling, the Hurricane Katrina recovery is agonizingly slow, and let’s not forget urban blight and decay in our local cities.

I don’t want to make light of what is happening in Darfur. It is a no brainer to help stop the genocide. But I’ll give my support in the background. No muss, no fuss, thank-you-very-much.