This is my 16th day of fasting for Darfur, Haiti (where I visit once a month now) and my hometown, Chicago. I waited until the hoopla of Mia Farrow's hunger strike was over to announce my decision to do this. I began my fast on May 1st.
Only Diaspora people are allowing this pain flow through their communities like a river; and only Diaspora people can build the dam to stop it!
Many of us love to boast of being African Americans, yet we turn our backs to people of African descent in our kente clothe robes. We love
to speak of its royal legacy and our being descendants of kings and queens of the continents while we sit safely on the shores of our hoods,
sororities, fraternities, business and social clubs and watch generations of Africa's future die from violence, hunger, and child trafficking.
We love to appear at conferences where Desmond Tutu, Nelson Mandela or some other son of Africa who carries the word of God in his ACTIONS. But for us who are Christians, we can't get off a church pew to do the "greater works" the scripture speaks of as one of the last
charges to us from Christ.
As I walk through the squalor of Cité Soliel (Sun City), Haiti, my driver asked if I was afraid: Foreigners don't come here and surely don't walk here.
I looked into the eyes of my people in Haiti and saw the eyes of my children dying in the street of my birth town, Chicago.
Until we intervene in these cities, there will be no true Sun City or cities that work (Chicago's motto), only a selfish world dying with those whose we watch living in decay.
Why should the fair skin sons and daughters of Betsy Ross, like Mia Farrow, take the lead on Darfur while we, Sojourner Truth's children,
are M.I.A. (Missing in Action)? Thank God for Mia and God have mercy on the M.I.A.!
Oh, and if you wonder why I say fast instead of hunger strike—there is a major distinction. In my opinion a hunger strike is about self-scarifice by denying the body of substance and truly putting light on social injustice. A fast is about a divine revelation on the subject protested to direct one's path on how to eradicate the injustice. I can't just hope and pray for Chicago, Darfur or Haiti. As I told the Prime Minister of Haiti, Madam Michele Duvivier Pierre Louis, when I hosted her in my home a few weeks ago, one can hope and pray for Haiti anywhere; one can only truly help Haiti if they go there.
Dr. King lost his life because he dared, as he once said "to leave the comfort of one's familiarity." The people of the Diaspora desperately need us to challenge the injustices in their country even when it happens at the hands of their brother, as is the case in the hoods of Chicago.
We cannot sit and let women and children starve to death, lack medical attention and water. We must support any effort, in addition to sanctions made by our country to intervene on behalf of the people where these social injustices occur.
If nothing else, we must let our African brothers and sister in Darfur know that they are on our radar. We must decide to show up and join the world country who stand against this atrocity and demand that people are rescued from their plight by whatever means necessary. We can do it in other parts of the world, why not Darfur? The greatest resource God gave to this world is not oil, land, diamond mines, or water rights (the greed for any of these has caused the oppression of countless millions) but human beings.
I'm a brother keeper, a sister keeper and a world citizen. Are you? Please don't be M.I.A.
—REV. MARCIA DYSON