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I've Had It Beaten Out of Me

On Saturday, the Pirate and I started watching "Hotel Rwanda." It was interesting and gripping, but not what I was hoping for. If you're looking for an evening of romance, genocide ain't gonna get you there.

Last night the Pirate and I tried watching the last part of it, but I just couldn't do it. For the same reasons I couldn't watch "Amistad," for the same reason I can't watch any movie that depicts one person or group perpetrating horrendous violence and degradation on others while another person or group looks on and does nothing. It offends every part of me, outrages me that someone felt that they needed to subject people to it.

I understand that movies that depict historical horrors are normally made to alert people who might not know to the facts. I am sure those people exist. But for me, it begs the question: what am I expected to do about it? At the beginning of the film, the actor who played the hero in the movie came on in a little PSA that said that the same thing that was happening in Rwanda is now happening in Darfur, and that we should give to Amnesty USA.

While I appreciate the sentiment, here's the problem I have: what good are they doing? Has Amnesty International or Amnesty USA stopped a single person from being killed? Have they had a significant impact on a single world power?

I live in what was, until a few years ago, the bastion of democracy in the free world. Now, though, I have been beaten, defeated and deprived of hope because I know that it doesn't matter what I want. I am not rich enough or powerful enough to change the minds of the people whose opinions matter. I cannot change the world with my vote, because our own recent history has shown that even my vote, in this supposedly democratic society is meaningless. I can't take the refugees of the world into my home. What can be done? I don't know anymore.

I used to have hope, but my government took it away from me when it took my rights.