By Justin Lalputan, Staff Writer

A few years back, when I first watched Hotel Rwanda, I was completely shocked and horrified. I was just finishing the 8th grade, and while I’d heard of the Holocaust and cases like it, this movie was raw to me.

One of the scenes in the movie that got to me was when a news reporter was talking about apathy.

People actually knew that this was taking place, but there was no intervention by the United Nations to save the people who were being killed, and as a result, thousands died.

One of the goals of the U.N. is to keep peace. Well, how can you claim to be keeping peace if there are people killing each other left and right in some places of the world?

Take the situation in Darfur for example: innocent women and children are raped every day, and nobody comes to help them.

Even with the attention that many celebrities have brought to Darfur, still nobody has come to help these innocent people. Sure organizations and individuals send aid such as food and water, but will that make any difference in people’s lives?

Speaking in the short term, yes, it will allow for suffering people to survive another day, but it doesn’t actually protect them. What the U.N. needs to do is send a peacekeeping force so that people can live without being in constant fear.

The counterargument is that we have to respect the sovereignty of other countries, but that sentiment is honestly ludicrous.

I’m not saying that the U.N. needs to invade Iran because of its nuclear program, or that the U.N. should invade countries where certain members of the population are treated as second-class citizens.

I think that the U.N. should invade and take action in situations where human rights are being violated, such as in the case of genocide. I feel that a country loses its right to sovereignty when its people are being openly killed and the government doesn’t do anything to correct the situation.

When something that extreme happens, I feel that as human beings, it is our duty to attempt to help others escape situations where they can’t live without fear of being killed.

Now, is my thinking a little idealistic? Perhaps, but the fact does remain that apathy is equivalent to death for many in places like Darfur.

I have no idea why the U.N. doesn’t rank genocide higher up on its priority list. The U.N. helped in the invasion of Iraq, so why can’t they help people
who obviously don’t have enough of a military to defend themselves?

After the earthquake in Haiti, U.N. members were there to help people who needed it, and that was great. So again, why doesn’t the U.N. feel the need to help people in situations of genocide?

I don’t think that global politics really need to play a role in situations like genocide, but it makes me angry to see that people actually decide not to help people when they are capable of saving lives. I understand that the fiscal costs may be high, but these are lives that we are talking about, and I believe that they are invaluable.

Personally, I do what I can to help people, but as an individual, there is very little that my meager donation of $20 can do to help save lives.

However, if a country gets motivated to help people who are suffering, and if the U.N. stops talking and actually decides to do something, then maybe we could have a chance to live in a world where there is actually peace.

I doubt this will happen because everyone is looking out for their own interests and nobody wants to risk anything for the sole purpose of helping others.

Still, I wish I could live in a world where the only examples of genocide are on DVDs and not in real life.