When I posted about the hunger strike last week, I did not expect that anyone would try to talk me out of it. But some people actually did. Some think it is not a worthy cause; some think it is pointless and would have no effect; and some told me they have been intimidated by what they described as “aggressive campaigning” online. To those I say: forget the hoopla; forget the banners; and forget all the coverage.
You think I’m doing this to get media attention? I don’t need media attention. I already have the media attention. I see the hunger strike as my little personal gesture to the detainees. I don’t know what it would mean to them or if they even know about it, but it certainly means something to me. It means that I do not accept injustice. It means that as much as I’m proud of this country, I’m disappointed by how it repeatedly fails to live up to its highest standards. It means that I believe we are better than this and we deserve better than this.
“What about 75 Saudis detained in Guantánamo Bay? They don’t deserve to be supported?” one of the hunger strike opponents asked. I never said they don’t. Nobody did. And if their lawyers and families started a campaign tomorrow I would not hesitate to join and support them. However, I believe that our government is responsible before us more than any other government. We frequently criticize the US for their double standards and failing to respect the principles they preach. That’s fair. But charity begins at home, and it is our moral obligation to our nation that we remind it with the great ideals that it stands for.
If you think this hunger strike will achieve nothing and therefor don’t want to participate that’s okay, but please don’t try to make of it what it is simply not. If you decided to participate, then think why you are doing it; don’t just follow the crowd blindly, and be sure that you can make the case for this. It will be more meaningful and far more rewarding.