It only took just one failed component, one failed component out of millions that painstaking effort had made right, to cause the searing tragedy of the Space Shuttle Challenger explosion. You'll remember that for Challenger it was a faulty "O ring."
The contributions of the many that led to a brilliantly executed September 17th series of worldwide events is something we all should humbly honor, praise, reverence and express our deep respect and gratitude for. I do. It was awesome. And a handful of truly heroic efforts took place - promoting/filling busses from Pittsburgh, Boston, Ohio, Washington...; logistics; PR.... Thank you and God bless your commitment. And your accomplishments including front page coverage in the New York Times, appointment of a special envoy to Darfur as desrcibed in Bush to Name Envoy for Darfur Washington Post, By Colum Lynch and Glenn Kessler Staff Writers Tuesday, September 19, 2006; and finally, a spotlight on China, for example The Genocide Test, Editorial, Washington Post.
What the September 17th teams worldwide did is absolutely necessary! But there is a faulty "O ring" in the Campaign to Save Darfur. SEPTEMBER 17TH, AND THE FOLLOW-ON EVENTS CONTEMPLATED AND PLANNED WILL NOT STOP THE GENOCIDE. And I have yet to have anyone prominently involved with the Darfur movement disagree. And I've asked them. And I've received responses.
A crucial component is missing; a component that has been essential for every previous social-change movement. Stopping Genocide requires Monumental Social-Change - NEVER has genocide been stopped. N-E-V-E-R. Never. Not Rwanda, Cambodia, Kurds, Serbrinka, not 6,000,000 Jews.... Kosovo was far too late addressed to some degree.
What is profoundly missing is a Core Group of Leaders that anyone, EVERYONE SEES is heroically putting their skin in the game, standing up for, getting in harms way for, SACRIFICING PERSONALLY for Darfur. Name major social change that has ever come without this. Civil Rights? Apartheid? Stopping Vietnam War? Suffrage? IT HAS NEVER HAPPENED.
Unmistakable-Sacrificial-Leadership-visible-to-the-masses is the spark plug; the inspiration; the moral clarity; THE PROOF OF IMPORTANCE THAT INSPIRES COMMITTED ACTION IN OTHERS. Leadership of this kind, in sufficient quantity is - the price to Save Darfur. Until the "price" is paid, the genocide will not stop, no matter what else we do.
We can do everything else right (and these are NECESSARY): advertising, PR, rallies, celebrity participation, strategy, Sudan Envoys... but without the ignition, without the spark-plug we've got our "O ring," our efforts will crash in defeat, and 4,000,000 family members in Darfur are exterminated.
I have been begging for two years for such effort:
So Jay, does all this make you right? What matters is: 1. Might it be correct?; 2. That YOU decide, correctly, in time. As Reverend Gloria said in NYC on Sunday, “It’s about T-I-M-E.”
Rosa Parks was a seamstress. Steven Beko was from no organization. Ghandi was a young lawyer and the wave upon wave of fellow leaders were from all walks of life. Dr. King a brilliant minister and many co-leaders were uneducated laborers. King said, "Anyone can be great because anyone can serve." Gandhi said, 'The frailest, old crippled body can be just as powerful as any head of state."
BUT THE MOST LIKELY SOURCE FOR THE LEADERSHIP CORE IS STUDENTS. This has been true in every movement. And if the students of this country do not rise up for humanity and justice, NOW, there is no hope. THEY must form the core of our leadership. We adults in the NGOs, Churches, Synagogues, Mosques HAVE MADE OUR POSITION CLEAR. WE WILL NOT GET IN HARMS WAY FOR DARFUR.
Someone(s) cried out about the "O ring" long, long before the Challenger exploded. I'm sure of it. He/She/They were blown off as troublemaker, renegade, lone ranger, loner, outsider, not-a-team-player.... The Challenger exploded. All that is left are, regrets.