Darfur Fast for Life

We fast in solidarity with the hungry and starving in Darfur and for lasting peace in Sudan

There’s something broken with the system

May 11, 2009 By: Admin Category: Jon Foreman

As a musician, I have a natural aversion to politicians. In fact, I believe in democracy simply because I distrust all politicians equally.

And yet, I have a tremendous amount of faith and belief in humanity. When it comes to folks outside of the power schemes I might even trust people too much. I am ruthlessly idealistic, hopelessly optimistic. I believe the best in people. That’s why I have to do something, because I feel that if people knew the truth, they would feel the same as I do. They would feel that something has to be done. They would care and things would change.

President Barack Obama last week requested a $1.5 billion emergency appropriation to deal with a flu outbreak that has killed 3 people in the US. I believe this action was in response to a nation experiencing “what could potentially be the biggest national emergency since Y2K” (genius comparison courtesy of glenn phillips.)

An estimated 300,000 folks have already died in Darfur and we do nothing… $0.00. And three people die of the flu and we spend $1.5 billion to figure things out. $1,500,000,000.00

I understand the need for precautionary measures but this feels like reactionary spending when I am reminded of the 2,500,000 people whose lives hang in the balance in displacement camps? What can be done for them? don’t tell me nothing.

Obama: “We can’t ignore the genocide in Darfur… We have to do everything in our power to make it stop. We have to act. Now.”

Nothing? Years and years go by… and still… nothing…

Our national inaction sends the simple message that a whole crowd of Sudanese souls are not worth as much as an American with the flu. “Surely this is not true!” we protest. And yet our actions speak louder than our words.

There’s something broken with the system.

We the people of the united states of america… We are the system. We are the media. We are the government. We are the twittering public. We the people of the united states of america… we own this place. We decide who is president. We pick the next american idol. Obama our leader, is in many ways a follower of his people. In a state where the vote of the populous determines the next face of the government, a politician must listen to his/her constituents to remain in power. I believe nothing was done for Darfur because Obama doesn’t think the public cares about Darfur.

Perhaps we can blame the media- perhaps the public doesn’t care because they are uninformed, or at least under-informed? Yes, but in many ways “the news” is simply a vendor trying to sell a product, we tell them (with our viewing, purchasing power) what product sells. Britney, Brangelina, or Bosnia. we choose the news.

And now for the staggering fact: you and I are the problem and the solution.

5 Comments to “There’s something broken with the system”

  1. If it bleeds it leads – well, most of the time. We definitely are a nation that is imprisoned by a mindset of “If it effects me in the here and now then I’ll worry about it”. Unfortunately, we don’t see that this is effecting us, here, now, and will forever. I’m with anyone who wants to start writing letters to the major news organizations in this country to shed some light on this issue. Something has to change…and Jon, thank you for being a voice for those who have no voice.

  2. Rafaela says:

    That’s so true! Honestly I didn’t know about the people in Darfur untill now.. I do know about Africa and Asia and all other places where there are people who need our help.
    I was at a conference in The Netherlands and the main theme there was helping the poor. It really opened my eyes and I think conferences like that are really good for opening people’s eyes. Not just American eyes, but also European and all rich people’s eyes.
    I think it’s really awesome what you do, Jon! You’re a great excample for us all!
    Like someone said at the conference: One person can’t do everything, but everyone can do something!

  3. That is so true! We get so caught up in our own little selfish lives, that we forget about everybody else. They need somebody to help them. I’m glad someone is speaking out! and thank you Jon for being such an inspiration.

  4. i don’t fell i am being political , just truthful so i must comment , if Obama cannot stand for the unborn in our own nation and even believes they have no rights to live even if they survive an abortion & would not approve a bill in the Senate in Illinois back before he EVER went to DC does he really embrace life at all ?? He will become more active in Darfur when he sees that it would further his agenda ,whatever that may be , oh lets see which way the wind is blowing today .
    jon you are one of my heroes , the man who is so unpresumptious he will not capitalize his name . Therefore i am . God Bless you !

  5. What exactly should we do about the genocide in Darfur?