The Final Tally (with Late Donations): $3,700
Some late donations came in, boosting the total even higher. The updated numbers are below. Once again, thanks to all who made one silly haircut into such a successful fundraiser for a multitude of worthwhile humanitarian charities.
Though The Hair Project is complete, there is still plenty more work left to do. Those of you who live in DC as well as other cities across the country will have the opportunity to make your voices heard this Sunday with the Rally to Stop Genocide. A list of speakers is here. Events in other cities can be found here.
It's important to show up in order to ensure that elected officials realize that there is a groundswell of support for intervention to stop this horrific genocide. The higher the turnout, the better chance there is for the international community to step up and meet its moral obligation. Once again, I'd like to remind you all of what former Senator Paul Simon (D-IL) had to say in retrospect with regards to the genocide in Rwanda: "If every member of the House and Senate had received 100 letters from people back home saying we have to do something about Rwanda, when the crisis was first developing, then I think the response would have been different."
Fortunately, some members of Congress do care. Now the key is getting them all to care and press for more international action. President Bush has now spoken strong words as well:
"The genocide in Sudan is unacceptable," Bush said. "There will be rallies across our country to send a message to the Sudanese government that the genocide must stop. ... I want the Sudanese government to understand the United States of America is serious about solving this problem."Finally, one last thing. As some folks have asked about what actions can actually be taken by the international community, I direct you to Nicholas Kristof's column from last Tuesday, as well as two sites he mentions: savedarfur.org and genocideintervention.net. For those of you who lack access to TimesSelect, I've excepted some of the column below:
The first step to stop the killing is to dispatch a robust U.N. peacekeeping force of at least 20,000 well-equipped and mobile troops. But because of precisely the nationalistic sensitivities that Osama is trying to stir, it shouldn't have U.S. ground troops. Instead, it should be made up mostly of Turks, Jordanians, Bangladeshis, Pakistanis and other Muslims, and smaller numbers of European and Asian troops. The U.S. can supply airlifts, and NATO can provide a short-term bridging force if necessary.
Second, the U.S. and France should enforce a no-fly zone from the French air base in Abéché, Chad. American military planners say this is practicable, particularly if it simply involves destroying Sudanese aircraft on the ground after they have attacked civilians.
Granted, these approaches carry real risks. After we shoot up a Sudanese military plane, Sudan may orchestrate a "spontaneous" popular riot that will involve lynching a few U.S. aid workers — or journalists.. . .
A no-fly zone and a U.N. force are among the ways we can apply pressure, but another essential element is public diplomacy. We should respond to Osama by shining a spotlight on the Muslim victims of Darfur (many Arabs have instinctively sided with Sudan's rulers and have no idea that nearly all of the victims of the genocide are Muslim).
The White House can invite survivors for a photo-op so they themselves can recount, in Arabic, how their children were beheaded and their mosques destroyed. We can release atrocity photos, like one I have from an African Union archive of the body of a 2-year-old boy whose face was beaten into mush. President Bush can make a major speech about Darfur, while sending Condi Rice and a planeload of television journalists to a refugee camp in Chad to meet orphans.
Madeleine Albright helped end the horrors of Sierra Leone simply by going there and being photographed with maimed children. Those searing photos put Sierra Leone on the global agenda, and policy makers hammered out solutions. Granted, it's the fault of the "CBS Evening News" that it gave Darfur's genocide only 2 minutes of coverage in all of last year (compared with the 36 minutes that it gave the Michael Jackson trial), but the administration can help when we in the media world drop the ball.
The U.S. could organize a summit meeting in Europe or the Arab world to call attention to Darfur, we could appoint a presidential envoy like Colin Powell, and we could make the issue much more prominent in our relations with countries like Egypt, Qatar, Jordan and China.
And here are our final numbers:
Total Donations: $3,700
Doctors Without Borders: $2,724
Save Darfur.org: $225
Environmental Working Group: $200
Oxfam America: $196
Amnesty International: $100
International Rescue Committee: $50
Humane Society (of the US): $25
Human Rights Watch: $20
UN World Food Programme: $10
And lastly, if you were wondering what happens once 22 months of hair growth is completely eliminated, here's one answer (and there are more pics of the hair-cutting process here):