After the last few classes and a very inspirational email from Aaron, I have made a conscious effort to look at the positive of learning about genocides. With doing so, as I am reading “The Faces of Whiteness: Pitfalls and the Critical Democrat” by John Warren and Kathy Hytten I related our class to the “face” of the missionary. In the reading Warren and Hytten describe the missionary as someone who wants to help others, urge those around them to take action, and want more immediate direct action. This could not describe our class more!
As we sit in class and talk about the harsh realities of those affected by genocides we all get weighed down by the horrible statistics and stories that we hear. What we forget to focus on is that while we are talking about genocide we are creating awareness, which then creates us to want to reach out and educate others about what is going on. By educating others we are helping a get a group of people’s story out to inspire others to take action. We are starting an “urge to take action” for a group other then ourselves.
For me, the more negative we hear creates more positive thinking. Listen to our conversations in class: Jackie said that sometimes there are not enough donations to give to the refugees when they come over to foster a proper living situation, therefore, they have to spend the limited amount of money they have to buy the missing items- a plan for a furniture drive comes into the works! We hear a number so large that we cannot comprehend that refers to the number of refugees in the world- the paperclip idea is brainstormed. So, while we learn about a genocide, while we are scared to go on our trip and ask a silly question, or beat ourselves for taking what we have for granted we need to look at the positive. We are taking action. We are going to get the stories of refugees out. We are going to create awareness for those who may not know much about the topic. These are all of the things to focus on. Yes, the negative helps put everything into perspective and sparks the initial call to action but, we have to focus on what we are doing now and what could be done in the future. Our knowledge of the subject is what should motivate us (yes it is ok to be selfish and take away knowledge of the subject)! We want to create “immediate and direct action