You Need To Care About The Crisis In Sudan, Especially If You’re Black

There is a war going on right now in South Sudan and you should know about it, especially if you’re Black. Not because Black Americans have some moral obligation to empathy that the rest of the world doesn’t, but because this conflict demonstrates from a global perspective how the global Black experience is truly one in the same.

From the abuse and rape of Black women to the calloused disregard for Black male life to the political oppression of majority Black communities, the war on Black life is happening and it’s happening everywhere. The world is standing by and watching, just like they stood by and watched Black American men, women and children endure state-sanctioned violence and genocide, so maybe it’s time we advocate for ourselves. Last week we broke down 5 Things You Need To Know About The Crisis In Sudan. Here’s why you need to care about it.

It’s A 30-Year War In The Making

Sudan, a country in North Africa, has had a dictator for the last 30 years. His name is Omar Hassan al-Bashir. Al-Bashir was forcibly removed from the office of President back in April of 2019, after protestors demanded his immediate removal when the price of bread and other household staples more than tripled in price. After a military coup brought al-Bashir’s reign to an abrupt end, a longtime enforcer of his, Lt. Gen. Mohamed Hamdanas, claimed to have abandoned his former post and announced that he was now on the side of the people of Sudan and the democracy they sought. But when protestors refused to accept Hamdanas’ less than urgent transitional plan which called for a three-year window, protestors refused to disperse, resulting in Hamdanas calling in reinforcements in the form of his personal military unit, the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces.

As military forces and protestors clashed on June 3rd, the result was nothing short of devastating.

Reports surfaced of the brutal rape of men, women and children, the killing and burning of Sudanese protestors and the dumping of people in the Nile river. Sudanese doctors put the toll at 118 dead as Hamdanas dismissed the incidences from his office in Khartoum, claiming recent events were brought on by the provocations of the protestors and referring to news coverage of the events as “fake news”.

The Revolution Will Be Female

Non-Arab Sudanese women are leading the charge in the protests against political oppression in Sudan.

Unfortunately, this has made women and children a huge target in the ongoing war crimes and atrocities taking place. There’s something about patriarchy that no matter what color it is, no matter what name is behind it, it presents the same way when challenged, and the war in Sudan is proof positive of that. Female physicians, in particular, have been targeted for rapes and brutal beatings, reporting that paramilitary Rapid Support Forces would intentionally use their military issued batons to beat the women in their genitalia. These intentional attempts to use violence, aggression and intimidation to coax women into obedience are nothing new and have been used by men in positions of power since the beginning of time.

Sandra Bland and countless other black women have demonstrated for us what lengths men will go to when challenged by women, and unfortunately, that commonality extends beyond American borders.

Young Black and Brown Men Are Dying

The hashtag #BlueforSudan started in honor of Mohamed Maltar. He was 26 and had traveled to the capital of Sudan, Khartoum, from London where he was studying engineering. Blue was his favorite color. During a protest of former Sudanese dictator, al-Bashir, Mohamed was killed by members of the Rapid Support Forces while attempting to shield two women from an attack. He was unarmed. He was martyred. Not by his own choosing. Mattar is one of the many young men who have lost their lives attempting to protect women. Men have reported being attacked when attempting to interfere with vicious gang rapes and other attacks on women and children, and others have reported being raped themselves. The internet has been shut down at the demand of leader Hamdanas in an attempt to smother “fake news”, but these slayings are a harrowing tale of just how little value Black and Brown bodies hold in comparison to the systems that abuse them.

People Are Profiting From Black Deaths

As with all tragedies, there’s always someone looking to use others pain to turn a profit. The war in Sudan is no different. As details of the horrors in Sudan began to circulate social media timelines, philanthropic accounts began popping up left and right. “For every STORY REPOST this post gets, we will provide one meal to Sudanese children, and you will help spread awareness on what’s happening in Sudan,” read the caption under one post made by instagram user @SudanMealProject. After some probing by a few investigative journalists, it was revealed that the user had no actual plans to carry out any of the promises made in exchange for the support requested.