By TARA M. PANNESE
Right now in Africa, the government of Sudan is funding the slaughter of African tribes to fulfill its goal of wiping out the entire population of one of its provinces, Darfur. Villages are being burned, women and children are raped and killed, and men are castrated and separated from their loved ones.
After the horror of the Holocaust, leaders of the developed world promised that genocide would never be allowed to happen again. They repeated these promises time and again as the people of Cambodia, Bosnia, and Rwanda suffered unimaginable tortures.
We have a chance to restore our forgotten promise to humanity. The people of Darfur are crying out for our help. Darfur has been struggling to survive the rape, torture, and murder of their people for the last two and a half years. These atrocities to innocent civilians have gone on long enough.
The future of Darfur depends on you. It is our responsibility, as individuals of the University of Massachusetts Lowell community, to educate ourselves about this urgent situation. We should be putting pressure on our government officials, friends, family and teachers to participate (in any way possible) in ending the genocide taking place in Sudan.
The question your probably asking yourself right now is: How?
The next time you're surfing the Internet checking your horoscope or the last Patriots game, remember the people suffering in Darfur and visit these sites: www.genocideinterventionfund.org; www.dollsfordarfur.org; http://www.ushmm.org/conscience/alert/darfur/steidle/main.php?print=y
Ask your friends and family if they have heard what is happening in Sudan. If they haven't heard, tell them. One of the most important things you can do for the people of Darfur is to spread their story. A huge reason that genocide continues to happen in today's world is that the public doesn't know it's happening.
Finally, put pressure on your government. Contact local leaders. Tell them you care about the Darfur issue and you want and expect them to care about the issue, too. Ask them what they are currently doing in response to the atrocities.
Write to Gov. Mitt Romney at: Office of the Governor, Room 360, Boston, MA 02133. Phone: (617) 725-4005, (888) 870-7770; Fax: (617) 727-9725.
Genocide is not an issue to be taken lightly. This is a problem for all of humanity, and as American citizens we should be outraged that these gruesome murders are allowed to happen. If we all do our part and stand up for the Darfurian people, we can help save them.
Tara Pannese is a student at the University of Massachusetts Lowell.