I hope you all had a great 4th of July! I’ve been so busy with a new job that I haven’t had a second to sit down in front of my computer. It feels good to be back.
Mitch and I watched a harrowing documentary last week that made me feel so fortunate to be an American citizen—But it’s a bittersweet feeling.
The Devil Came on Horseback is a 2007 documentary that exposes the genocide in Darfur, Sudan. Former U.S. Marine Captain Brian Steidle entered the country to monitor a ceasefire, and photographed horrifying events in parts of the country that no journalists have ever penetrated. He returned to the U.S. to share his photos and stories of the abhorrent deaths he witnessed.
The most difficult part for me to watch was toward the end of the film, when Steidle returned to Africa with his sister and visited refugees who’d fled Sudan to neighboring country Chad. One refugee, who spoke English very well, was so grateful for the basic necessities that Americans had provided his family. Food, medicine, clean water. I couldn’t help but cry, and think that we could do so much more. They think of us as their saviors, and we think of them rarely.
It’s been five years since Brian Steidle revealed his gruesome pictures to the world, and yet Darfuris continue to suffer. According to UN estimates, 2.7 million Darfuris are still living in internally displaced persons camps, and more than 4.7 million rely on humanitarian aid.
I went into college thinking I’d be a business major, but my freshman year I was required to spend the semester studying, in detail, a conflict of my choice. I chose to study blood diamonds and their effect on the people of Sierra Leone. I left business for journalism soon after, and I still hope I can someday be a voice for those who cannot be heard.
If you haven’t seen The Devil Came on Horseback, I highly recommend you watch it. If you have a favorite documentary, please share in the comments below. I’d love to see them.