Monday, September 25, 2006

Hotel Rwanda, From A Comfortable Seat

I finally saw Hotel Rwanda tonight. It was screened at Sarratt Cinema in preparation of Paul Rusesabagina's lecture tomorrow. At one point early in the movie, cameraman Jack Daglish captures some footage of the horrible slaughter that is occurring just a mile or so beyond the hotel walls. Mr. Rusesabagina thanks the man for helping to show the world what is going on. Surely, help will come soon as a result. Jack shrugs, knowing all too well how the world works, and replies, "I think if people see this footage, they'll say 'Oh, my God, that's horrible.' And then they'll go on eating their dinners."

I watched the movie in its entirety, thought, "Oh, my God, that's horrible," and then I walked around Tower Records afterwards and listened to some CDs. Of course, it was 9 p.m. on a Sunday night. What else to do? Where to start?

My workplace has enriched me by helping me to forge friendships with people from all over the globe. My coworkers come from El Salvador and from Bosnia, from Argentina and Peru, from Egypt and Albania. They are beautiful human beings and I am proud to know them all. Some came to this country to escape horrible struggles and hardships. Some of them came here as children and don't necessarily have any memory of their home countries.

I am sure that many of us have very different religious beliefs, and if we look hard enough, we can certainly find reasons to hate one another. But the truth of it is that we are all happily and singularly human, we punch the same clock and we clean the same tables. We share roads and we share rights.

Of course, beyond our little corner, hate in the world continues. We just seem hard wired to fight. Just like in Rwanda before them, the people of Darfur also face horrible violence, rape, and genocide. This just in: Aerial bombing continues in Darfur.

Local blogger, Sam Davidson does a noble job of keeping a writer's focus on Darfur. We live in the richest country in the world. We might not all be rich, but in reference to Jack Daglish above, we can say, "Oh, my God, that's horrible," have our dinners, and then do something about it.

1 comment:

Sam Davidson said...


That movie was the reason I started writing about Darfur. I was oblivious to the genocide back in 1994. I resolved to not let the same thing happen again.