Back during my second run at college I wrote for the Daily Texan. Here’s a piece worth revisiting:

Free Tibet, stop Darfur, save Congo!
The Daily Texan
April 11, 2007

While dodging flyers for the cause d’jour, I chuckle a bit at the student lobbyists who ask me if I’d like to “help free Tibet today,” “stop the genocide in Darfur” or “bring peace to the Congo” while walking through the West Mall. Sure, let me get right on that in between classes.

I wonder if pre-med students are similarly amused when presented with the opportunity to “end AIDS” or “win the war on cancer?” Without cancer, what reason would we have to wear those cool yellow wristbands?

One day, a particularly determined activist asked me, “Don’t you want to stop the killing in Darfur?” I couldn’t help but pause to talk to him. Maybe he was secretly a genie testing my character before giving me the opportunity to blink away the Tibetan occupation and infant HIV. Of course I wanted to stop the killing.

I eventually realized that he was not a magical wish-granting creature, and I asked him how he intended to stop the slaughter. His answer? “Raising awareness.”

OK. I pushed further – maybe he had a letter-writing campaign in mind, a petition, some sort of lobbying attempt to focus government attention? Perhaps a similar initiative directed at the U.N.? No, no, this particular fellow didn’t really believe in appealing to authorities. Evidently he was a self-described “anarchist, of sorts.”

This intrigued me. Perhaps I had just uncovered a reservoir of good ol’ American vigilantism, Ross Perot style. Was the Darfur group recruiting for a paramilitary force of college students, a posse if you will, ready to gear up and mosey on over to the Sudan to protect the peaceful farmers from the banditos?