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Tuesday, June 21, 2005


I joined Amnesty International today. Because Don Cheadle asked me to.

Ben and I watched Hotel Rwanda last night. Technically we watched the first hour and twenty minutes and have the last forty to go – I just couldn’t finish it. I cried and cried, pretty much from fifteen or twenty minutes in until we turned it off. You just keep hoping that something, anything, will go right, that someone will do something, that some country or politician or corporation will care and help and stop what’s going on, and then you remember that it’s a true story, and all us western motherfuckers didn’t give a shit, and 800,000 people died in three months. Eight. Hundred. Thousand. In one hundred days.

When I was in college, I was browsing in a bookstore and picked up a book called, “We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed With Our Families.” It was an interesting title, so I bought it. It’s about the genocide. The title comes from a letter that a group of Tutsis wrote to someone in power, I don’t remember who, asking for help. They and their families were imprisoned somewhere and were going to be killed the next day. I don’t think they were helped.

The hotel manager that Don Cheadle’s character is based on is featured in the book. I don’t remember if I got to his story or not – I think so, but I’m not sure. I couldn’t finish reading it; halfway through, I found it too depressing to continue. I put it down and although I still have it, I haven’t gone back to it since. I haven’t been able to. I don’t know if I can finish watching the movie or not.

I read somewhere that the US failure to intervene in Rwanda is the thing that Bill Clinton is most ashamed of from his presidency – it damn well should be.