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I should have posted yesterday, but I've not been well. I won't dwell on it.

The Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Genocide was signed yesterday... 60 years ago. 60 years of genocide have followed it.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights was singed today... 60 years ago. It's clearky had a similar result.

Amnesty International has a new "Protect the Human" campaign.
http://www.protectthehuman.com/ - UK
http://pth.amnestyusa.org/ - US
(If you know of sites for other countries, do comment.)

A bunch of musicians got together and made a music video. (You can buy a copy at iTunes, but I don't have it, so I probably can't find the right link.)

Now, I'm a little fussy about my protest music, and I'm having trouble overcoming the cheese factor in this one. But the message is the same, and it's important. It is, for want of a better description, our own Human Constitution, of, for, and by us. It is ours to uphold and protect.. it is also ours to let it fail.

Scream Bloody Murder
This documentary (and humongous website, apparently) by Christiane Amanpour and other contributors is a solid (though by no means complete) listing of our failures in the last 108 years.

And that's really what it is -- our failures. I'm sure that sounds horribly pessimistic and even more accusatory, but really, what should be the response to 108 years of willful ignorance and deliberate connivance in an otherwise "civilized" world? I mean. At least we could pretend some kind of justifiable ignorance and pre-developed thought in regards to older "modern" (post-1500) atrocities. But since international telegraph, printed newspapers, and the birth of our grandparents? No excuses. Unfortunately, this isn't a problem that's going to be solved by knowing about the problem. We've been talking about genocide for 60 years now, and the US can't even manage to stop to correct the pattern of horror we've been involved in. We can't even manage to actually recognize the wrongs of others.

This problem, this horror will only be solved by direct and sure action on the part of citizens, leaders, and whole nations. So, what have you done today, or ever, to end genocide or human rights abuses in general? Think about it hard. I'm more than willing to admit that I haven't done much, as far as direct action goes. But here's what I have done...

-I've spammed friends and family alike with genocide information out the whazoo.
-I've written my Senators and Congressman, presidential candidates, and various other elected and appointed leaders.
-I research and write on the topic and present it to others in academic and lay settings. Soon, I'll take this site to the big(ger) leagues, and then, hopefully, make more of an impact.
-I blogged for charitable contributions to Aegis Trust last year. It wasn't much, but it was something.
-I discuss it at parties when I've had that extra sip that usually causes people to make googley eyes at strangers.

But I'm still mostly working in awareness, and for that I am sorely grieved. But, my aim is toward vocation, and to that end I will exert myself. It's not that I don't take my role as educator seriously, because I do, and I am thrilled to share the information I can with you and others and to see the knowledge I bring change the lives of those around me. But, there is more that I could be doing and more that I could contribute. Isn't it interesting that the educated among us are so often the first to speak of all the knowledge they lack and the active of all they fail to do. (I by no means claim to be among the most educated or the most active.)

Enough about me. What about you? This month, hundreds of millions of Americans and billions of others around the world will celebrate winter festivals of various and sundry kinds with resplendent decor, sumptuous feasts, and family and community gatherings. We'll talk about what we're thankful for and what we love so well and all the blessings we have. We'll talk about the sorrow of missing those who are not with us. What about those who are missing so much more? What about those whose families and communities have been obliterated.

That's what this whole thing is all about. Genocide isn't like murder. Murder kills one and leaves the many to miss him (or ignore him, as is so often the case). Genocide eliminates the many and leaves the one alone without home, family, community, identity, and with reduced visibility and voice. It undermines human rights not just in it's assault on those it directly effects, but also in destroying the corporate existence we each enjoy in our self-identification. If I am one of millions, or even one of thousands, I have a voice that may be heard. But, if I am only one, no one will ever hear me.

So, while you celebrate your family and your together and your culture and your voice, I challenge you to do more than pay lip service to those who have lost all of that and who are in danger of losing it. If all you can do is email your elected officials, do it. If you can afford to give to any number of relief organizations, prevention funds, legal defenses, etc, please do, and generously. If you can leave your comforts and go work in this field, I encourage you to. There is so much work to do, and the chance to save humanity from itself is such gloriously rewarding work. If you go to work leaving this discomfort behind, I commend you. It is no small feat to overcome assaults to work to protect others instead of only shoring up your own walls.

But there is the truth. The work is ours to do, the recognition of human rights ours to enforce, and humanity ours to protect. We need your help.