Friday, May 26, 2006

Day #12 May 25: Are there no Rescuers?

Holocaust Museum, White House

As I worked to prepare for a meeting with the executive of a leading organization in the effort against Darfur Genocide, distilling my thoughts was a priority.What distilled was a simple definition of the problem - what's killing Darfur: FEW IF ANY RESCUERS.

"Rescuers" is a term used by Eva Fogelman, "Conscience and Courage," to describe the select few individuals that saved Jews during the Holocaust - an estimated 10,000 of the overall population in Germany, for example, stepped up to be Rescuers. How many in the US stepped up? It seems to me we have made not progress since the Holocaust toward the all important objective of raising Rescuers. This must be a profound sadness for folks such as the US Holocaust Museum.

I shared this analysis with the executive - that More Rescuers is what would have reduced or eliminated the Holocaust; that no Rescuers is the reason for Darfur genocide uninterrupted. At first I think he was hurt. I think he would have liked to have been included in my calculations as one. I stated my guess that Eric Reeves - Smith professor dying of leukemia but working heroically to write about Darfur - was the only one I saw.

By the end of our brief conversation I think he saw some use and hope in seeing that the metric of - how many rescuers? - is a useful way to look at Darfur, or any genocide.

Rescuers is what can help. Rescuers is what we must be. Rescuers is what we must create / cause. Rescuers is what we lack. Rescuers Rescue for Love, because they can't NOT rescue; not for money. Their efforts are heroic, radically self-sacrificing acts; not because it is their Job.Where are the Rescuers for Darfur? What is wrong with us? If we were a country of Christians, wouldn't there be as many Rescuers as there are of us? Wasn't Jesus a Rescuer? Wouldn't His followers be?

My thanks to the wonderful folks that stopped by and expressed compassion for Darfur. Let's restore Darfur.

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