With Regards to Brown People Killing Other Brown People

[Satire]

Originally @ Stanford Daily

Dear People of Africa (ATTN: Sudan),

Re: Application for United States humanitarian aid,

Please stop requesting humanitarian intervention in your civil wars, armed conflicts and miscellaneous ethnic skirmishes.

While we empathize with your situation, we are not currently in a position where we feel it is appropriate to lend assistance to mediate your internal armed conflicts. As a reminder, please note that the United States is not a global policeman with infinite expendable resources that can be easily deployed to any international theater.

The United States recognizes that, for the most part, it is a grave misfortune to be born African. Living in a country with scarce and unequally distributed resources, a corrupt government with no transparency and a dearth of opportunities to improve your position is an admittedly unfortunate position. Regardless, the lottery of birth is structured in such a manner that, given your geographic origin, you do not merit the same protections and opportunities afforded to Americans. We hope that you can keep this in mind when decrying the “unfairness” of an international structure that permits armed strife to occur in certain countries or areas.

We would also like to request that you please refrain from classifying these events as genocides–it is most likely that you are mistaken. While we can appreciate that this particular conflict may consist of armed militias systematically gunning down civilians of a given tribe or ethnic group, please understand that it is extremely inconvenient for us when people insist on categorizing these clashes as “genocides.”

Due to the United States’ various contractual obligations, we are compelled to intervene with military assistance when any armed conflict is labeled as genocide. In light of this, we hope that you can respect how problematic it is for us that you insist on doing so. We’d like to implore you to remember the moral of the story of “The Boy Who Cried Wolf.”

We would furthermore like to take this opportunity to remind you of the ratio of American to African lives that we traditionally appeal to when determining our foreign policy decisions. Using Rwanda as an appropriate yardstick, our current measurements indicate that one American life is worth approximately 850,000 African lives. With regards to this metric, please refrain from contacting us to request intervention unless your projections and analysis show conclusive evidence that over 850,000 lives will be lost. We are mildly irritated at your implications that African lives <em>are</em> worth as much as the lives of our citizens. Not only do minimal deaths make it difficult for us to incentivize Congress to approve intervention, you blatantly disregard the fact that American lives have more strategic value for us than those of your ethnic minorities.

In the event of a civil war or struggle that is estimated to result in the deaths of the requisite minimum 850,000 civilians, you are welcome to resubmit your application to the United States government for humanitarian aid. Please be patient when waiting for a response, as it may take up to four weeks to process the situation and weigh the potential options for intervention. If our analysts determine that it is in United States’ interests to assist, there will likely be an administrative lag of three to twelve months for our Congress to approve action. While we respect that this time lapse between your request and our response may be inconvenient while your people are being slaughtered on a daily basis, it is a necessary feature of a carefully executed foreign policy initiative.

In order to more effectively structure your appeal for directed military intervention, please include any potential benefits to the United States of humanitarian assistance. For instance, if your country is the fortunate proprietor of vast oil deposits, if your geographic location provides a strategic position for American military outposts or if this conflict has the potential to spill beyond your borders in a way that may affect our strategic interests, please be sure to include this information. We expect that you recognize our need to be compensated for lending our services to mediate your internal disputes. After all, collaboration on humanitarian crises is a two-way street: if you expect our attention, we would like to remind you that the United States requires a self-regarding incentive in return.

Thank you again for submitting your application for humanitarian intervention to the United States. There were, unfortunately, many qualified applicants this year and as such it will not be possible to aid you at the present time. We appreciate your continued interest in our services and hope you will keep us in mind for future collaborations. All the best.

Sincerely,

The United States Government

P.S.: You still owe the IMF like, $300 million. When you are done killing each other, please get on that.

<em>(note: this column generated a lot of negative feedback when originally published. To clarify, it is a satire, meant to indict the US for their failure to respond to genocide and human rights violations in Africa. The 'rejection letter' format is to epitomize the US' apathetic response to the plight of Africans, much like an employer's apathy to the rejected applicant.)</em>

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