Oscar winner George Clooney is in Washington today to headline the Save Darfur rally just days after returning from a real-life secret mission. Clooney and his television-anchor dad smuggled cameras into the Darfur refugee camps to report on what's been called the 21st century's first genocide.
George Clooney: The news is that two years after we've said "genocide" that it's still going on and it's increasing -- and that somewhere in there we can all talk about this and make speeches and say this is horrible and we have to do something. But every day we don't do something, and every day this goes on, thousands of people are dying and dying horrific deaths.
Samantha Power wrote a piece where she met with a woman who was running as they were coming into camp. And she [the woman] was holding two of her kids and her son following her, and they shot her son in the back, who's six. And she ran up in the hills with her two daughters. And they came back, and they have stuffed the well full of parts of all the citizens of this little village, including her son. They poison the wells in every town they go into. They don't want the land. They just want to [ethnically] cleanse everyone.
The unfortunate truth of it is it's not somehow sexy enough news and it's hard. It's hard to look at, and after a while people don't want to see it. And there's a lot of, I think, wear and tear on people seeing a lot of tragedy. But while we don't pay attention to it and sort of shut our eyes, there's an awful lot of killing going on, an awful lot of rape going on.
Here's the thing: We always see this now. We have tragedy fatigue on television. Every day, 20 kids [are] killed in Iraq or, you know, there's always disaster. Pakistan, Afghanistan, there's always horrible disaster in Nepal now. But this is genocide, and if everybody just got up right now out of their chair and picked up a phone and called their congressman, or called the number that registered with the president, it makes a difference. It always has.