As Black History Month continues on, I could not help but notice that President’s Day was yesterday and I did not even send George W. Bush a present. That is okay. I am sure that he received plenty of gifts from Iraqis, grateful for all the conditional freedom and ongoing conflicts, which surround their country. In fact, if any suffering country wishes to be saved by the U.S., it would seem plausible that they ask for assistance while bearing gifts or at least abundant natural resources. While it is no secret that our involvement in middle-eastern affairs has its perks, namely oil, it never fails to surprise me that so many Americans actually buy into the image of the U.S. being the “Superman” nation of the earth.
First things first, Superman worked for free. That is to say, Clark Kent had a day job but anything which fell under his alter ego’s jurisdiction (i.e. crime-fighting, stopping meteors, etc.) was done free of charge. In fact, I have yet to see an issue in which Superman saved the day and left a bill. Now, if help-those-who-cannot-help-themselves was truly the policy of this nation, perhaps countries such as Sudan would not be in such dire straits.
Welcome to Sudan, the largest country in Africa. Sudan stretches across the cultural divide of the Arab North and the Black African South. The country, which originated as a group of tiny, independent kingdoms, was once a major trading post for Europeans. In fact, the Greek author Homer knew of Sudan and his countrymen would often voyage there in search of everything from wine to slaves. In 1821, Muhammad Mi unified the cluster of kingdoms and it slowly became what is present day Sudan.
Things fell apart. Since its independence, the country has been captured and recaptured in a series of violent wars, primarily between the Muslim north and the Christian south. Its ongoing fighting gives Sudan the distinct honor of having the longest civil war in history.
The fighting still goes on today and the sad truth is, the country is not being given the thorough attention it needs by countries like the United States because it simply has no trade off. Its dust storms and persistent droughts make much of the land unfertile, and its natural resources are limited to small reserves of metals.
Perhaps one day someone will stumble across a large oil reserve in the middle of the country and then, suddenly, we will realize how appalling the situation is in Sudan. Perhaps it will take a miracle or a superhero.