While the news media plays up the Holloway disappearance in Aruba... the Cheney shooting in Texas, and the Nicole Smith appearance before the Supreme Court, thousands upon thousands of people are being slaughtered with scarcely a mention... There is a general feeling of helplessness and so we turn to the Olympics, the Oscars and our iPods. There are the few, who doggedly pursue this story. There is the occasional mention. But like scattered raindrops, they make little impact. A holocaust is happening again, and we are sitting on the sidelines... waiting... while in a dimly lit corner of the Globe, horrors are being unleashed. ...and we turn to other things, seemingly powerless to stop it. ...unless...
Here is what I propose.
All of us reading these words are in possession of the greatest communication system in the history of this planet. We are all the owners of the brightest spotlight. With our computers, we can transmit information from one person to millions in a few clicks of a mouse. Let's use that power. Let's shine a focused light to that area until the vermin scatter to trouble the desperate people of Sudan no longer.
On a given day... Every willing website (bloggers, corporate, personal) would place on their home page a message. This could be a simple jpeg image, like the example I've provided... We would share this image among everyone we know... (it's easy to copy a simple jpeg file and add one link)...
The message must contain the following:
1. It must be simple and direct. The message must not be diluted.
"There is a genocide happening NOW."
"YOU can help put a stop to it. Here's how." (let's translate it into Spanish, Japanese, French, Greek, German, Vietnamese, Russian, Mandarin, etc.)
2. The action must be easy... it would only take a few minutes or so out of everyone's time and contain the following:
CONTACT: Take a few minutes. Call your leaders... Ask them to devote their day to stopping the slaughter."
CONTRIBUTE: A single link to the best relief organization that is helping the refugees in that area.
(if people don't have the money to contribute, it gives them the option of contributing by sending an e-mail or making a phone call to their congressman, senator, spiritual leader, community leader, corporation, news media, etc. No link to anyone in particular... just call or write SOMEONE.)
3. There must be NO politics. ...and while I realize that this is, by definition, a political site, for this to work as well as it should, people across the whole political spectrum must be included. Lives are at stake. I don't think a person who is starving cares if the bread he receives is handed out by a Democrat or a Republican... by a member of the Labor or Tory party...
Imagine for a moment the following scenario...
On March 10th (or any other appointed day), millions of people across the globe log onto their favorite websites and they are greeted with the following...
It's important to keep this simple and easy... otherwise it dies a death of a thousand paper-cuts... The image should be consistent... maybe there's a photo instead of an illustration... maybe only type... but the repetition of the same design on every site will have the strongest impact.
Maybe nothing happens... but at least we TRIED to do something. I can live with personal failure... I can't live knowing that we stood by and did NOTHING.
But maybe... maybe... some celebrity picks up on it (an actor, an athlete, a billionaire)... maybe the media picks up on it... maybe a corporation will be bold enough for one day to add one extra click to get to its website for the simple reason that it's the right thing to do... Maybe a couple of members of Congress take notice and put a stop to other business for a day... Maybe a few world leaders speak up... Maybe there's one more article about what's happening... Maybe the eyes of the world all focus at the same time on Darfur. Maybe this little ripple spawns a tsunami of action. Maybe lives are spared. Maybe.
I understand I may be considered naive (it's my first diary entry... this may be proof), but we won't know if we don't try. What say you?