It is good when the rich, the powerful and the attractive decide to do some good in the world.
But there is a part of me that wants to ask a question. It is very, very good that the horrors of Darfur in the western Sudan are attracting so much attention. Any good that can be done there must be done.
However, I have to admit that, as I read this page one piece (“Hollywood Stars Find an Audience For Social Causes”) in The Washington Post, I could not help but ask a question or two or three. Where were all these people a decade ago, while thousands were being massacred in South Sudan? Was that even larger and more hellish confict not as worthy? Or was there something wrong with that political and social cause, some reason that it was harder to embrace?
What think ye, readers?
The late Abe Rosenthal of The New York Times certainly had an opinion or two on that matter.
However, I must say I was happy that reporter Nora Boustany did include one gentle stab when dealing with this issue. I daresay that we, as a culture, deserved it:
While commending celebrity activism, Payam Akhavan, a scholar on genocide at McGill University, said, “The fact that it takes movie stars to make people care about pressing human rights struggles reflects a self-absorbed culture where compassion and empathy is awakened through glamour rather than human conscience and duty.”
And all the people said, “Amen.”
Although, I must say, religious activists — left and right — have had a more consistent record as of late when it comes to pouring time, money, prayers and tears into these causes. But you knew I would say that, didn’t you?