Saturday, August 19, 2006

The Series: Jay's Hunger Strike for Darfur, Part 5

This is the fifth and final part to this series with Mr. Jay McGinley. Today we are going to talk a little bit about Jay. It would have some information about the man who has given so much information and passion into this series. Please read Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 and Part 4 to further your education.

The questions will be in bold type, and the answers will be in plain type. Shall we jump right in to this final interview? Okay.

Good evening, Mr. McGinley. We are coming to the conclusion of this interview, and I would like to thank you for your courtesy. Oh, it was my pleasure. The press has been ignoring me, and maybe this can start the catylist necessary to wake up the people? I certainly hope so. It is definitely a worth cause. Are you ready? Yes. Let's get started.

20. How old are you? Why now? What stirred you to become an activist?
I'll be fifty-five years old in October of this year. As a youth I was introduced to Jesus and I fell in love. I was born to wealth and as my late teens and early twenties came, I moved out from the loving cacoon formed by my extraordinary biological father. I allowed myself to be seduced by the lies of the "American Dream" of independence, take care of yourself, get comfort, get safety, get sex, get power, get a career, squander it all on your biological family and abandon and exploit all others."

I never became a bad man, but I stopped viewing the teachings of Jesus, the Son of God, as something to be lived literally. About twelve years ago I experienced what was our Father's call: "I did not put you here to make rich people richer, nor to teach your biological family that only they are family. All people are your family. Go and serve them."

Within 4 years I had moved from my computer executive career path and was a Guidance Counselor in arguably the lowest performing, largest elementary school in the country, fighting for the lives and spirits of these doomed kids. That took everything I had physically and materially. A loving non-biologiclly related family that I knew very casually read of my plight on the front of the Philadelphia Inquirer and made me part of their family.

By working in their furniture business, I nursed back to health. Then I became aware of Darfur from a Nicholas Kristof article in the NY Times. That was over two years ago.

Even as a child I saw that the world should have come to a standstill if need be to stop the Holocaust. Now I saw Genocide on my watch. I would do anything and everything in my power, I would put my life on the line to stop the Genocide. I have marched on the DC mall solo 2 summers ago. Hunger striked for Darfur 20 days last summer.

Sent over 10,000 emails to faith organizations on the east coast, colleges and universities around the country.

21. Who is your inspiration to being doing this? Who is it you admire?
Jesus most of all. Gandhi, for whom Jesus was the greatest practitioner of his religion "Selfless Love," Dr. King, and Teresa of Calcutta.

22. To be fair, what kind of a job do think President Bush is doing as far as Darfur?
Every president that has faced Genocide has been atrocious. Never has one exercised his moral leadership and risked considerable political capital to get out in front and lead the people on the issue. This includes President Bush. However, Darfur comes on the heals of the [20] year slaughter of non-Arab Christians in Southern Sudan. It took these [20] years of slaughtering Christians to penetrate the consciousness of US Christians, but it finally happened. As a consequence Darfur is on the mind of these same Christians and they have mobilized to make it clear to the administration about this is Genocide and they have a desire that action be taken. Bush has happily responded.

He still has not taken substantial risks on their behalf, but neither have we "we the people". So I blame us more than I blame Bush. We are the problem. We are also the solution. We owe him a mandate, and he has given every indication that he and the Congress would happily accede to our pleas. They could and would apply all political power toward getting the 20-30,000 peace keepers on the ground. but we must speak loudly for that

23. Have you had an opportunity to speak to the Black Causes? Have they tried to speak with you? Do they know of your existence and purpose? How?
My experience with the Black Cause is limited to 3 that were here in President’s park participating in a meaningless rally conducted by Africa Action. I approached 2 of the 3 and because I was not a dignitary, someone that could help their selfish interests, only someone that had sacrificed everything for their Darfur brothers and sisters, they almost literally ran away from me. Kind of like you move away from garbage.

24. Is there anything I missed about the situation in Darfur?
I think you covered everything.

25. Feel free to add anything I have not asked for which you think is important for the people to know. Please feel free to go on and on and on. (lol).
I went on an on above. I am extremely fatigued today. After 24 days with no food really hit me for the first time. Sorry I've not done a better job. Please use your editorial license. It is sorely needed

There are a few notes I would like to add. In the first place, the number of murdered Darfurians claimed to be at 400,000 is the same number I wrote about in May of 2005! Now either I'm claravoyant (I am not) or no one else has died. Neither of these claims are true. I believe we are seeing another Rwanda. Must we wait for the movie to come out before we grieve?

Jay can be reached for comment at He also has his own website at Stand with Darfur, White House.

Category: Darfur, Sudan, News, Terrorism, Human Rights, The UN, Jay and Freedom.