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plary, but more must be done. We just have to do what we can to sensitize the leaders of this Nation.” From a hearing on the causes and consequences of hunger in Houston, the Select Committee on Hunger, in Houston on June 6, 1986. “Congressman Leland. I will never forget the first Congressional trip that 1 took in 1983 when we visited so many different African nations. I believe we spent about 21 days on the continent of Africa and it was one of the most grueling experiences I have ever had. I must say though it was also the most eye-opening experience and it gave me a rededication to working for the humanity of people everywhere. We find ourselves related and trying to do something hopefully to open not only the eyes of the Congress but the eyes of the American people about the horror of what is going on in Sudan. Hopefully, we will come to some resolve about what we need to do .. . We are here today to look at a grave situation which threatens the lives of hundreds of thousands of Sudanese civilians caught in a vise between opposing forces and a struggle not of their making. Civil war, religious and ethnic strife, the reckless arming of mercenaries and bandits, and a disregard for the concept of safe passage of relief convoys have created a desperate situation. Since the conflict first erupted in 1983, perhaps 1 million civilians have perished. Last year, the estimates are that some 250,000 or more Sudanese escaping the conflict starved to death. These victims were largely children.” From a joint hearing on the politics of hunger in the Sudan, the Select Committee on Hunger and the Foreign Affairs Committee Subcommittee on Africa, Washington, D.C. March 2, 1989. The following is excepted from a statement made by Congressman Leland and on file at the Select Committee on Hunger in Washington: Let me just testify, if I can. Though I am not Hispanic, though I don’t come from a rural community, though I have not been a migrant worker, I come from a very poor family. My mother was kicked out of her house by her husband, my father, carried two children with her when I was three years old and my brother was two. And we came to Houston from Mobile, Alabama. My brother was born in Houston, I was born in Lubbock. We went to be with my father in Mobile for a year to two, and then we came to Houston. My mother raised two boys by herself. She had quit college to marry my father. But when I was about four, my brother was three, my mother worked as a short-order cook in a drugstore at night full-time, and went to school during the day, full-time. She graduated from college. She got two masters degrees. She became a special educator. She, too, has an education background. She became a teacher and a special-ed educator when these programs were there in place. She was a reading specialist. She then became an area supervisor. And then she became a principal, which is what she is doing now. She is a principal at Montgomery Elementary School in the barrio of the black community in Houston, Texas. She reared two pharmacists. My brother and me are both pharmacists. One is a Member of the Congress of the United States of America. And we grew up in the same most adverse conditions in the urban community, yet my mother had the drive to set an example for my brother and me and to rear us .. . I mentioned earlier that I traveled around the world as Chairman of the House Select Committee on Hunger. [Others] and I went to Vietnam where there were 12 million people that lived through starvation in North Vietnam just last year. I just returned from Sudan where more than 250,000 people died of hunger and malnutrition, not because of the natural climate, not because the rains didn’t come, but because there is a civil war and people are afraid to go into the agricultural fields and grow crops in order that they can feed their family, their community, and their nation. More than many people have died in the last six years from hunger and malnutrition in that country. In this world every day 40,000 people 40,000 people every day die of hunger and malnutrition, some of whom live in this community and will die in this community. Some in my community in the Fifth Ward, the barrios where I grew up. Forty thousand people a day. And let me put that in perspective. That is 28 people per minute 28 people per minute die of hunger and malnutrition. Twenty-one of them are children. Twentyone of those 28 people are children. And that is why we have a special charge .. . I saw in 1984 in Ethiopia more people died of hunger and malnutrition, from starvation, before my very eyes than most physicians who work in an emergency room in a charity hospital so-called charity or a county hospital in a year in just a few days, as a matter of fact. I have seen so much human tragedy that sometimes I wonder if my psyche had been affected adversely . Though it may be, we are all dedicated for what we have seen and what we hope for, dedicated to do all that we can to make sure that particularly the children, but all of the people of our country experience what the great American dream is all about, and that is that only are we to survive comfortably and to have a secure and healthy nation, but also that we provide the leadership for the rest of the world .. . I remember in 1978 I was a Catholic in a black Baptist district, for all practical purposes, running for Congress .. . I went throughout the churches in my district, Baptist churches in particular, black Baptist churches and I told those black Baptist people that I wanted them to support me. And many of them said, “Well, we don’t know about you. You are Catholic,” [In one black Baptist Church] the Pastor talked about how Jesus Christ received his disciples at the great feast and recognized that their feet were sully from their travel. They were filthy from their travel far and near. And he wanted to, by his example, teach his flock, if you will, teach his disciples. And so Jesus took his robe off and cast it aside. He grabbed an apron and wrapped it around his waist, got down on his knees, and washed the feet of his disciples. And Peter, being from a place like Fifth Ward, from the barrios, Robstown, he was disgruntled. He said, “Wait a minute, Jesus. You are not supposed to wash our feet.” And Jesus said, “Oh, no, Peter. I asked you not to do anymore or less than I am willing to do myself.” Many times we politicians and so-called leaders of our community think that we are so high and mighty that we sometimes exult ourselves from the humanities of the people we purport to serve. Sometimes we have to remember and be reminded that if Jesus Christ himself, the Son of God, was willing to reduce himself to the server of humanity when, in fact, he could be all glorious and things otherwise and beyond the humanity of the people that he served, we, too, have to be followers of that example. We hope that we are disciples in that example to serve the humanity of the people and not to be better than them. !BRAVO! State Representative Lena Guerrero Not Printed at State Expense TEXAS WOMEN’S POLITICAL CAUCUS salutes the Texas Observer for its dedication to equal participation for all men and women! 20 DECEMBER 29, 1989