Just as boy bands and other flash-in-the-pan fads are ever-changing in popularity in the middle school world, so too does the activism fad of the day move much too easily in and out of our own minds.

I can distinctly remember when I was little going through at least two of these ‘It’s cool to save (blank)” phases. First was none other than the good old ‘save the whales” campaign. Whales aren’t food, and everybody needed to jump right on ship and save them.

But before I knew it, whales were chopped flipper. They were old news and apparently weren’t worth saving anymore.

But you know what was? The rain forests. We had to save the rain forests. If the rain forests died, we all would die. We are all dying already because we aren’t doing enough to save the rain forests. No more paper towels, we had to use hand driers and we had to stop using paper and save those gosh darn rain forests!

And then, sure enough, rain forests eventually lost their bark to tortured farm animals. These were forgotten about for starving children. Starving children eventually became earthquake victims. Earthquakes lost their footing to tsunami relief.

And, slowly but surely, each and every activism fad faded into another, just as yesterday’s Backstreet Boys are today’s Jonas Brothers.

But now it really seems that again, the curse of the activism fad is happening in the wake of an international crisis of importance to not just humanitarians, but anybody with half a pulse.

While only a few years ago these cases held national headlines, they have now been pushed aside by the oh-so-great importance of who won ‘Dancing with the Stars” last night or how many kids Octomom can push out this week.

Darfur isn’t the cool cause anymore, but it still really should be.
Two weeks ago, basketball legend and activist Manute Bol came to UR to talk about the work he was doing to help build schools in Sudan. While I understand that we all can’t go build schools in Africa and being in college usually means that donating and fundraising is pretty far from the mind that does not mean that we as college students can afford to let Darfur become another forgotten fad.

Be it a small donation to Manute’s cause or simply taking the time to write or e-mail your local congressman or senator to let them know that you still care, that you haven’t forgotten about Darfur and that you want the United States to continue to bolster its international efforts for peace in Sudan, there is something that everybody can do to help.

The people of Darfur and Sudan still need our assistance. Don’t let them become the next victim of the activism fad. The lives of untold numbers are at stake, and we can act on to save them now.

After the Holocaust the world said ‘never again” to genocide: ‘If only we knew!” we cried. When Rwanda happened, the world sang the same tune.

And now, with Darfur, we all know and yet sit complacent. The global community, the United States and each and every one of us needs to remember to keep saying and working toward ‘not now!”

Clark is a member of
the class of 2012.

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