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Writing in the Margins

The Million Voices for Darfur campaign swings into high gear as February comes to an end. The movement hopes to collect over a million postcards, emails, signatures and phone calls in support of more U.S. involvement to end the genocide currently taking place in Darfur, Sudan. Between now and April 30, these items will be collected and then delivered to the president’s desk in Washington D.C.

The postcard that they are urging people to sign has the following text:
"Dear President Bush: During your first year in the White House, you wrote in the margins of a report on the Rwandan genocide, “Not on my watch.” I urge you to live up to those words by using the power of your office to support a stronger multinational force to protect the people of Darfur."
I think it is interesting the words Mr. Bush wrote in the margins. Sometimes, I thumb through books I read years ago, looking for highlights and underlines, and any notes I may have made in the margins. Usually, those words came in a moment of epiphany and revelation in which a brilliant thought crossed my mind that motivated me enough to write it down in hopes I could revisit the idea later. In other words, the writing in the margins is rarely meaningless.

I assume the same is true for the president’s marks on the Rwandan report. I doubt he did it as a show or display of resolve. I believe he wrote those words in a moment of heartbreak and sincerity. The question now is whether or not those old words can stir up new action.

Criticism is always easy to do; action and encouragement are much harder to come by. I believe the million voices campaign is a wonderful mixture of action and persuasion and will hopefully bring about the desired result of more direct U.S. and international involvement in Sudan. To do your part and write in the margins, click here and make your voice heard.

“Writing in the Margins”