what we really care about

After a fair warning given by Randy White at the beginning of his most recent post, I cautiously read on.  I’m glad I did, but that certainly isn’t to say that it made me happy.

His post was about the internal armed conflict in Guatemala from 1960-1996 that resulted in the deaths of approximately 200,000 people.  Randy is currently in Guatemala with some students trying to figure out how a country can deal with these types of things — and on a more intimate level, how we (as Americans) deal with the fact that our own government funded the insurrection that began it all.  But, the post was mostly a lament for the identified and unidentified bones that fill rooms in Guatemala like catacombs.

My first reaction was sadness, followed by, “how in the world have I not heard about this before?”  I remember thinking the same thing about the Rwandan genocide in ’94.  I had a short conversation with Gia and one of our friends about how we fail to hear (and possibly do something?) about these things.  It is very disturbing to me that they can largely go unnoticed and not talked about by us, particularly when our very own government played such an enormous part.

Without absolving myself from the proactivity needed to get the right information, I think I was provided with at least part of the reason only 30 minutes later when the 10 o’clock news came on, and the lead story was about Lindsey Lohan spending the night in jail. Apparently, this is so important that we need to know that her jail sentence was reduced a few days… so important that her dad gets air time with Larry King to protest the judge’s decision.  This is the stuff we truly care about in America. And it’s pretty disheartening.

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