Journal 6/ pgs. 219-261
I recently attended the Frank Church Institute Conference on “Afghanistan after America” for my government class. Whilst there, Ryan Crocker, (former Ambassador to Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Syria, Kuwait, and Lebanon) made the notion that “It is far easier to be involved in a war than to extricate one’s self from it.” While reading Grace Land, I found Crocker’s assertion to be unequivocally true.
The novel takes place in Nigeria during the 80’s. At this time, Elvis is confronted with injustice daily. At one point, Elvis watched a man who had been wrongfully accused of thievery, stoned, then doused with petrol, and set ablaze. While watching, Elvis looked around and asked, “Why doesn’t anybody help?’ This was just like the time that man had jumped into the fire and the time the youths had chased that thief in Bridge City. In both instances he did nothing. Now, again, he did nothing. ‘Because dey will stone you too.’ Elvis’s question had been rhetorical, and he glared at Redemption” (Abani 226). I found the situation Elvis was in to be remarkably similar to what occurred during World War II, when bystanders could have stopped the genocide of innocent people, but didn’t. The reason why I think this quote supports Crocker’s assertion is that I see no difference in these situations: Fear is fear. It is much harder to stand up for what is right, than to go along with what is wrong. Hence, such a huge Nazi following during World War II,