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A Commitment to Inaction: US Rhetoric and Darfur
Unformatted Document Text:  Andrew Buchwach Although they lacked a deep understanding of the conflict, each respondent knew that people were dying in the Sudan. Out of 12 respondents, 10 individuals were familiar with the term “Janjaweed,” although only 5 understood the direct connection between the government’s actions and the instability in the region. Each interviewee professed that “someone” has a responsibility to intervene in Darfur and 8 respondents explicitly stated that the US has a duty to intervene. No one I spoke with had any idea what this intervention might look like. Some individuals expressed a muted racial bias: one individual, when prompted to discuss genocide in the context of Darfur, remarked that “everybody in Africa is trying to kill everybody in Africa,” while another replied “…it’s all basically about Muslims or Arabs or something like that.” 9 of the 12 individuals I spoke with identified NPR as their primary news source. They frequently cited its “in-depth analysis,” although 5 respondents noted that coverage on Darfur is becoming increasingly infrequent. CNN was also cited by 6 respondents as a primary news source. No interviewee watched Fox and several expressed a dislike for the station, saying “…it’s not really news.” This is perhaps consistent with the self- professed “liberal” tendencies of 11 of my 12 respondents. Although my survey population was disproportionately liberal, I still believe that these results are legitimate. In order to gather potential interviewees, I briefly explained the purpose and merits of my research project. I was turned down by several possible candidates because they expressed a disinterest in the topic. Therefore, although I cannot claim with authority that there is a direction connection between a self-professed liberal ideology and an interest in Darfur, I believe my work presents a valid hypothesis. 20

Authors: Buchwach, Andrew.
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Andrew Buchwach
Although they lacked a deep understanding of the conflict, each respondent knew that
people were dying in the Sudan. Out of 12 respondents, 10 individuals were familiar
with the term “Janjaweed,” although only 5 understood the direct connection between the
government’s actions and the instability in the region. Each interviewee professed that
“someone” has a responsibility to intervene in Darfur and 8 respondents explicitly stated
that the US has a duty to intervene. No one I spoke with had any idea what this
intervention might look like. Some individuals expressed a muted racial bias: one
individual, when prompted to discuss genocide in the context of Darfur, remarked that
“everybody in Africa is trying to kill everybody in Africa,” while another replied “…it’s
all basically about Muslims or Arabs or something like that.”
9 of the 12 individuals I spoke with identified NPR as their primary news source.
They frequently cited its “in-depth analysis,” although 5 respondents noted that coverage
on Darfur is becoming increasingly infrequent. CNN was also cited by 6 respondents as
a primary news source. No interviewee watched Fox and several expressed a dislike for
the station, saying “…it’s not really news.” This is perhaps consistent with the self-
professed “liberal” tendencies of 11 of my 12 respondents. Although my survey
population was disproportionately liberal, I still believe that these results are legitimate.
In order to gather potential interviewees, I briefly explained the purpose and merits of my
research project. I was turned down by several possible candidates because they
expressed a disinterest in the topic. Therefore, although I cannot claim with authority
that there is a direction connection between a self-professed liberal ideology and an
interest in Darfur, I believe my work presents a valid hypothesis.
20


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