Yesterday’s rally on the National Mall organized by the Coalition for Darfur didn’t break any attendance records, but the remarkable diversity of the crowd did turn a lot of heads. As the Post’s front-page headline put it: “Divisions Cast Aside in Cry for Darfur:”
[The rally] brought together people from dozens of backgrounds and affiliations, many of whom strongly disagree politically and ideologically on many issues….Among the speakers were Rabbi David Saperstein; Al Sharpton; Joe Madison, a black liberal radio talk show hose who has been pushing the issue; Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Convention; rap and fashion mogul Russell Simmons; a former basketball star Manute Bol, who is himself Sudanese.
Perhaps most striking of all were two speakers: Nobel Peace Prize winner Elie Wiesel, the great living reminder of the Holocaust; and Paul Rusesabagina, the hero who inspired the movie Hotel Rwanda. Said Wiesel: “As I Jew, I’m here because when we needed people to helpu us, nobody came. Therefore, we’re here.” Added Rusesabagina: “As Rwanda has been abandoned, Darfur is also abandoned.”Let’s hope those holding national power within earshot of the Mall were listening.