It is time for Americans to step up and help to save Darfur

As Americans, we are not taking action in Darfur, Sudan. “The great aim of education is not knowledge, but action,” says the English philos-opher Herbert Spencer. In order for us to take action, we must be educated. There is a genocide occurring in this region of Africa.

Since 2003, the Sudanese government has formed militias called Janjaweed who assault innocent Fur, Masalit and Zaghawa people. Janjaweed bomb these villages to get these tribes off of the Darfur land. Just a few days ago, I went on Google Earth and searched Darfur, Sudan. They had red flames on villages that were completely wiped out. I was astonished to see how many red flames I saw. The sight was indescribable. I also saw yellow flames for villages that were damaged. I couldn’t even count the flames. This gave me the chills. I thought to myself, “How could this possibly happen? Wouldn’t you think that the U.N. would have stopped this genocide by now? How come I didn’t know about this until last year?”

What can possibly be worse than your village being bombed? Well, in Darfur, a lot of tragedies occur. Janjaweed rape and sexually abuse the women in Darfur. Also, watching this in front of your very eyes is just as bad. As a matter of fact, novels and documentaries have been recorded in Darfur. In my social studies class with Ms. Schiller we watched a documentary called “Darfur Diaries.”

At the public library I took out a book called “The Devil Came on Horseback” by Brian Steidle and Gretchen Steidle Wallace, which describes what Janjaweed did in front of their very eyes. If the Janjaweed bombs did not kill you, you were put in refugee camps. Sounds familiar, right? It is a second Holocaust.

No one, including me, thought that something this horrible could happen again. No matter how amazing this sounds, President Bush does not call this genocide. Genocide, according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, means “the deliberate and systematic destruction of a racial, political or cultural group.”

Right now, everyone is thinking the same thing – “how can I help?” I know that several middle schools in Monmouth County have a “Help Darfur Now” chapter. My social studies teacher hosts a club in school where she sells buttons, pins and bracelets about Darfur. All of the money she makes goes to the “Help Darfur Now” organization. The profits from our upcoming dance are going to the same organization.

Another simple way to help is to educate people. Education will help us to learn from our mistakes to not have this happen again. For more information visit . In conclusion, I urge everyone to help save Darfur now.

Nate Cohen

Seventh-grade student

Marlboro Middle School