Write a Letter to Darfur (Not)

The cynic in me watched the booth at school today where people were lining up to write a letter to Darfur and Sudan. What exactly is writing a letter to Darfur going to do? Chances are it won’t get there and all it does is check the box for “caring.”

Exactly, my friend responded, it clears their conscience. Clearing your conscience is not the right thing to do in this situation, in my opinion.

2 Responses to Write a Letter to Darfur (Not)

  1. Rev. Jason Hickman says:

    Actually letter campaigns have been proven as an effective effort. They make governments and individuals aware that people are watching, taking note, and remembering their actions. Amnesty International’s letter campaigns have often led to prisoners of conscience being treated more humanely, freed or given a trial. Obviously not all letter campaigns work – but there is evidence they make a difference. In this case, Darfur, I would recommend writing members of Senate and Congress. So, it seems that your reactions could bear a bit more research before posting.

  2. Ben Casnocha says:

    Rev. Hickman: Your point is well taken, though to clarify the letter-writers I observed were writing letters TO Darfur, not to congress. While I am skeptical that writing letters to congress is a good use of resources, I certainly would support that over writing to the actual people in Darfur when the chances of them actually receiving a letter is slim to none.

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