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Never Again

By: Bobby Finstock on 05/15/08 @ 1:00 am

I am pretty active member on the website blogcatalog.com. Every few months they do an event called “bloggers unite“, where a bunch of bloggers write about an important topic. This time around the topic is about human rights and I was kind of goaded into taking a break from the typical shenanigans, tomfoolery, and chicanery that goes on around here. Originally I was going to get on my soapbox and write about Darfur, child poverty, or something along those lines.

Bloggers Unite

I would have felt all warm inside for spreading the word about an important cause. At the end of the day I would have checked my stats and seen that a few thousand people read the post, patted myself on the back for doing a good deed, and then returned to writing about important things like my blog getting banned in Qatar.

However it would be total bullshit to do something like that because:
A) I don’t know very much about any of these causes
B) You would have seen right through it
C) What would it have accomplished besides feeding my own ego and possibly getting a few people to act?

The more I thought about this the more ashamed I was. I remember watching documentaries and movies like “Schindler’s List”, “Hotel Rwanda”, and the episode of “Band of Brothers” that showed the concentration camp and saying to myself, “I can’t believe humans could do that to other humans. Thank god it will never happen again.”

In one of the last history classes I took to finish my degree we discussed the African Diaspora, the Jewish Diaspora, and the tragedies that happened in India years ago. There were days when everyone in the class left in tears. That will happen because hearing accounts about systemic rape, mutilation, and genocide can be slightly powerful. After each class I again comforted myself by saying that this would never happen again.

The thing is these atrocities are happening again and most of us are turning a blind eye to it. I can tell you more about this season of American Idol (even though I hardly ever watch the show) than I can tell you about Darfur, it’s really sad.

Ultimately what can I do?

To throw a few bucks to an aid organization and walk away would be kind of insulting. So I have decided to educate myself about Darfur, violence against women, and children’s rights. From there I can make intelligent choices about what I can do to impact these situations.

I invite you to do the same.

The biggest crime against humanity is apathy and I know I am guilty of it.

Please pass this blog along today to at least one person you know. Or better yet write a blog about a topic of your choice and send me the link so I can share it.

About the author

Bobby Finstock

Finstock is founder of Pointlessbanter.net. He is known for his encyclopedia like knowledge on the life and times of Scott Baio. In the future he hopes to write again under his own name in order to impress the ladies and build his celebrity to the levels of other failed internet writers.

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29 Responses to “Never Again”

  1. May says:

    Well , most of the time thats all we can really do – educate ourselves and act on that. It’s great that you’ve highlighted such very important issues – thanks for sharing.

  2. AnneGwish says:

    I applaud you Kevin. I too need to learn more about Darfur. As for places to learn about the other two subjects you mentioned, try Planned Parenthood, they usually are connected locally with Rape Crisis Centers, which not only serve as places for counseling and such, but also aim to educate. And look into CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) for children. Great organization, I’d be involved if I had any time at all.

  3. LOTNorm says:

    Indifference is the ignorance of the intelligent.

    We know, but choose to do nothing. It’s sad, but it’s human nature. Hopefully we can change, but it’s not easy.

  4. Yep. Educate ourselves. I wrote about something I know a little about on my history blog, Clio and Me, but I also put together a post this morning about something that was new to me, the “Responsibility to Protect.” The post was short, with most of the effort going into collecting good links. Self-education. So the campaign has already had a positive effect on two bloggers themselves. Good stuff.

  5. Anok says:

    You know what? That was a great post. Best I’ve seen from you yet. Maybe it’s because I’m all emotional about this topic, but still. It’ll get a Digg from me for sure. Great post, Kevin.

  6. Meghan says:

    Very well put. I read Philip Gourevitch’s book about the tragedies in Rwanda about 10 years too late. I know plenty of people that say they can’t watch the news because its all just so depressing. As if it’s a bad Lifetime Movie Marathon – this is life, and it continues on whether you care to tune in.
    Darfur – it’s not George Clooney’s Problem!

  7. Ian Thal says:

    I’m glad some people do in fact participate in these “Bloggers Unite” days on particular issues, but I think that you are correct that all too often it becomes a cause for self-congratulation.

    My blog has focussed on presenting my artistic career, so inserting political and moral issues that don’t fit would be supremely supreficial– on the other hand, because my artistic career does touch upon political issues– I do discuss those in depth. I can blog about the Holocaust, for instance, because I have researched the Holocaust (and the rhetoric of Holocaust deniers) in developing my work– but should we really be encouraged to blog on an issue without being encouraged to research an issue as well?

  8. Shirley says:

    You’re right we must educate ourselves about the atrocities that continuously happen. If we continue to turn a blind eye then change will never happen.

  9. Tricia says:

    Great post Kevin. And there is alot that we can all do to educate ourselves about these atrocities. There are also many ways that we can help that won’t cost us anything but a little time. I’m proud to be part of “Bloggers Unite” with you. Your post tells me alot about the kind of person you truly are. Thank you.

  10. coper says:

    There is always something you can do locally to help those less fortunate than you or to change your local political climate.
    Activism as with anything is subjective – people do what they can – they can always do more.

    Writing to representatives, participating in fundraisers or even volunteering…overseas.

    The United Nations even has online volunteers who donate their time and expertise to a variety of issues.

  11. Bunuel says:

    “The biggest crime against humanity is apathy”

    I think it’s genocide.

    You can’t do anything to help the situation b/c human right violations are rational to the perpetrators. Even during the Holocaust some of the Germans were against it but they were in the minority (as were a tiny minority during the Milgram experiment).

    I think this blogger would be a part of the crowd just as now the current crowd is all about educating ourselves about genocide and developing a pleading, empathetic facial expression.

    If the US ever does anything en masse about something that looks like genocide then at least question the money angle, like Darfur, which was all about oil. Even the buildup to Afghanistan got the Oprah crowd involved with reports right before about the Taliban’s treatment of women.

    Rational apathy may just be a response to actually having already educated yourself about it all and realizing that you can’t change the world.

    • Kevin says:

      There is a huge difference between rational apathy and ignorance.

      • Jenny says:

        Exactly. And apathy is contagious or at least comfortable. I disagree that you can’t change the world. The world changes all the time, and it is up to the people on it to make that happen.

        When everyone claims that attitude, you are right, the world won’t change. But if everyone ignored that line of bull, real change would happen.

  12. Gina says:

    My respect for you just spiked.

  13. Karl Rove says:

    I may write a blog soon, but for now I want to share this link to a Save Darfur organization in Boston:

  14. Theresa111 says:

    I must say that your open frankness is refreshingly perfect. I shall also educate myself, even though it is so upsetting and sad and breaks my heart to expose myself to these horrors. Thank you for nudging me to be braver about finding out the real crux of these situations. My apologies to the world at large for getting more involved in my day to day life and turning away from their sorrow.

  15. [...] The Right to Be Human Bloggers Unite for Human Rights Human Rights in the History Survey Never Again All are not created equal Human Rights and Amnesty International Animal Rescue Stories Bloggers [...]

  16. [...] Likewise Kevin for once wasn't writing pointless banter [...]

  17. yoonamaniac says:

    Great blog. I too know more about what goes on in each American Idol shoe and I don’t even have TV reception at all. I’ll also try to educate myself about human rights issues.

  18. yoonamaniac says:

    I meant American Idol SHOW, not SHOE. :)

  19. Erin Happycamper says:

    wow, I commend you for doing something other than playing grand theft auto 4.

    Edumacation. Learn something.

  20. The Muse says:

    If you watched my TV show you could keep up with this stuff! ;^)

  21. That Guy says:

    I’m gonna go ahead and be the unpopular asshole now.

    There are entirely too many people on this planet.
    overpopulation is why we are seeing these oil prices, food prices sky rocketing, everything is increasing all over the world far beyond the normal inflationary rate.

    maybe its not such a bad thing that the human race is being thinned out.

    maybe instead of the regular influenza epidemic, or some other terrible disease, this is how people are taking care of the problem because nature is taking too long.

    call me heartless, but if i were to die right now, all the resources i would use in the rest of my life, would go to someone else. thats the way it works.

    some are fortunate, others are not. thats nature. survival of the fittest.

    commence the hating of that guy.

  22. ricecake says:

    You go man!. That’s why I have all the respect for Angelina Jolie who is an true angel and inspiration.

  23. Having seen much well-intentioned hand-wringing about human rights issues, I congratulate you on your decision to learn something about them before putting your fingers on the keyboard.

    Dave Donelson, author of Heart of Diamonds

  24. [...] wrote a great post about his lack of knowledge about some issues like Darfur and others. His message or goal or [...]

  25. [...] Read more Bloggers Unite | Pointless Banter [...]

  26. Great post. I agree that we do need to educate ourselves, but I also think we should do something to help. I’m not sure how to post a link, but I also blogged about Darfur today.

  27. [...] to see the response to the Bloggers Unite Initiative has been so positive, that bloggers like Kevin from PointlessBanter.net have helped make the media aware of it. And with more exposure, means more people educating [...]

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