Congo Action


This article about the Congo is one of many attempting to describe the turmoil that dominates the political system in that region of the globe. As I read this article on one of thirty-plus computers in a warm, carpeted, safe, computer lab at UAS I cannot conseptualize what it would be like to live under such conditions. Jeffrey Gettlemen writes:

When the Congolese state began to collapse in 1996, it set off a regional war. When it imploded again in 1998, it dragged in armies from a half-dozen other African countries. The two wars and the mayhem since have killed possibly five million people, a death toll that human rights groups say is the worst related to any conflict since World War II.

This is happening right now!

Few U.S. citizens can fathom such conditions. In another article focusing on the rape epidemic going on in eastern Congo one will be absolutely appalled by the facts.

Malteser International, a European aid organization that runs health clinics in eastern Congo, estimates that it will treat 8,000 sexual violence cases this year, compared with 6,338 last year. The organization said that in one town, Shabunda, 70 percent of the women reported being sexually brutalized.

So how should this affect me? Do I act on the feelings that initially come over me and drop out of my life here and head over there on a white horse with good intentions of doing some good? Do I send 70 cents a day to needy Congolees children? Do I at least be an informed American and read the NYTimes so that I may be able to carry a conversation with another informed American who aint gonna do shit for these people? I don’t know what I should do. However, what I am going to do is continue to stress about unread reading assignments, the fact that I am out of milk and bitch about not having health insurance. This is also happening right now. WTF?


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