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Friday, August 19, 2005

New York Daily News - Ideas & Opinions - Stanley Crouch: To push Sudan forward, U.S. biz must pull back

New York Daily News - Ideas & Opinions - Stanley Crouch: To push Sudan forward, U.S. biz must pull backTo push Sudan forward,
U.S. biz must pull back

There is now a divestment movement focused on the genocidal actions of Arabs toward the black Africans in Sudan. This is new and important. It is growing and will sooner or later reach the point of having international impact.

This is important because the various tragedies that fall or are imposed on Africans by black leadership or Arabs usually go by unnoticed unless they get to the size of Rwanda and the rotting bodies of men, women and children fill the streets or lay as carrion in the killing fields of the bush. This is not because of a lack of concern over injustice. It is because too many black Americans feel it is their job to see, speak and hear no evil when black Africans or Arabs are involved in unremittingly barbaric and savage acts toward black Africans. Beyond that, there is a sentimental attitude toward Africa that distorts clear and unblinking evaluation. Consequently, unless a white culprit can be found, mum's the word.

The problem of Arab racism underlies Arab participation in the slave trade, just as tribal hostilities and greed underlie black African participation in the same filthy business. Accepting that as no more than another example of the lower inclinations of human nature is the high road to the sort of sober assessment that can promote justice in human terms.

We should not expect the Sudanese dictatorship of Gen. Omar al-Bashir to cease and desist out of a sudden rash of morality. But we can be sure that a shortening of purse strings will bring the bloody regime to attention. Everyone knows how to count, or to find someone who can do the counting. That is why it is not surprising to find the American abolition movement in the middle of this. The organization,, is one we all should know about.

The divestment movement is having very strong results. Stanford University seems about to pull the plug on investments, the State of Illinois has passed a law banning investments, and the State of New Jersey has backed out of more than a billion dollars in investments.

The situation in Sudan and the organized movement advocating divestiture is one of the most important things happening in our time. This is true because it sets aside sentimentality in favor of morality, disdains ethnic exclusion and speaks purely in the interest of humanity.

One of Colin Powell's greatest concerns during his last days as secretary of state was to bring the genocide in Sudan to a halt and begin thenecessary negotiations that would protect the lives of the innocent people. The good work to aid Sudan continues. And this is something we see too rarely in our time of opportunism, self-righteousness and crude materialism.

Originally published on August 18, 2005

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