Today was the official launch of the Fast for Darfur. It is heartening to see so many people sign up in solidarity.
But I am disheartened to see some of the comments in reaction to Mia’s statement on the Larry King Live blog. Mia is not out for attention, and she truly understands the complexities of the crisis in Sudan, including traveling to the refugee and IDP camps at least 11 times. She works tirelessly on behalf of UNICEF and is one of the most selfless people I know.
Fasting has many ends. Some are personal and private. Others are public. Because of her high profile, Mia can garner large amounts of media attention and raise awareness of the humanitarian crisis in Darfur through her fast. And perhaps this can do some good.
Please look at the “About” page on this website to see what Cesar Chavez says about fasting. Our fasting, in whatever form, will not change the behavior of the Government of Sudan. But perhaps it will grab the hearts and minds of people — people who collectively can encourage the government here in the United States to exercise the political will to push the international community to begin anew in crafting a coordinated and comprehensive roadmap for peace in Sudan. To date, the status quo has failed to stop the bloodshed in Darfur. Yes, we should continue to work all other avenues. But why not try this fast as well?