Below is an excerpt from my latest column in The Daily Caller. Later this week, I will be launching a new project and a simple, but very focused new site. It’s time to be more than aware. It’s time to act and hold political and policy figures to account. We also must take tangible steps to help specific people, and organizations, who are doing good work. I hope you enjoy the article below, and look forward to your input.
Right here on earth. Hell exists. Famine, preventable diseases like malaria, yellow fever and cholera seem almost merciful – because once death comes, the sick are released from their earthly prison. When the suffering finally abates, there is Grace in that moment. There are things worse than death. Rape, fistula, sex slavery and child soldiers are becoming ever more common. For decades, the images of suffering in Africa are pervasive. People make jokes about leaving food on their plate, instead of giving it to the starving children of Africa. It isn’t a joke though. Just in my lifetime, the “skinnies” in Ethiopia, or hundreds of thousands of others across the continent suffered from waterborne illnesses that steal life through excruciating means – the fevers, the diarrhea and vomiting. The appalling conditions in South Africa under Apartheid. The stories about Stephen Biko still ring in my ears. Or Mandela. Darfur. Blood Diamonds. Conflict minerals. The Congo.
The unfairness of human life is evident. Good people die every day. In Africa, in the United States, everywhere. Hell exists in the margins for most of us, for others it is the only life they will ever know. A few people have stepped into the breach as advocates for awareness, truth, and building a tangible progress to uplift humanity. People like Samantha Power. John Prendergast. Nate “Oteka” Henn, an advocate with Invisible Children – who was watching the World Cup when he died in the bombings carried out by al-Shabaab in Kampala, Uganda. Terrorism indeed.
Advocates work tirelessly. However, the domestic political agenda is all too often the altar on which foreign aid, good governance and national security is sacrificed. The silence emanating from some notable “advocates” in the Obama Administration is deafening. Tragic even. After all those beautifully written speeches, turns out: they were “just words” after all.