The Matryoshka Doll of Civil War

Civil War: armed conflict between citizens of the same State.

Hopefully we are all aware of the American Civil War. To refresh any foggy memories, the Northern and Southern colonies divided and engaged in battle during 1860’s over slavery. Although slavery was abolished, our country is still afflicted by the aftermath today. Cue racism.

Why am I talking about this?

Because “The” Civil War is one of too many that have and are occurring throughout our world. While there are students in schools all over the United States studying this history (likely incorrectly, but that’s another discussion), I’d debate that very few are learning about the civil wars and genocides that have and are happening. The Civil War is the closest representation, although to a much smaller scale, of what the world is undergoing today.  If our culture is still being negatively affected by a war that was waged 151 years ago, imagine the lasting effects the matryoshka doll (pictured above) of civil wars will have.

Enter Sudan and South Sudan. The civil wars within a civil war. Civil War broke out in the 1960’s between the majority Arab North of Sudan and the predominately Black South of Sudan. After decades of violence, exploitation and horrors, the South gained independence in 2011. Tragically peace was short lived for both parties. By 2013 both countries were laden once more by violent, politically and ethnically charged civil wars.

In Sudan The Sudanese Armed Forces have brought destruciton on South Kordofan and Blue Nile civilians while Darfurians  are under attack by governmental forces. In South Sudan the Dinka tribe with allegiance to President Kiir and the Nuer tribe with allegiance to former Vice President Machar are waging a civil war. Both countries are laden with violations to human rights by bringing violence, recruiting children, and restricting access to humanitarian affairs.

I struggle to fathom the realities of life for a Sudanese, but refuse to cease striving. This should be a primary objective of the education system: Raising a generation not sheltered from the atrocities of the world, but eager to learn about, engage with, and gain skills in order to abolish them. I believe this process would be a springboard to combat slacktivism. Friends, continue to stay informed and raise awareness through liking, sharing, wear a certain color on a certain day, and engage in conversations with those close to us, but let us also deliberately change our language. Recognize we are not talking about a distant land or place that innately is war-torn, but there are people losing their lives to other people. Allow this to hit close to home.

Nicole Clanton


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