Sunday, September 04, 2005

What is going on over there???? 

Literally, we are all just stunned here to see the land of freedom and opportunity turned into a cespool of death and destruction for its most vulnerable citizens. I know that much has been written over the past few days on how incredulous the government's response to the crisis has been. However, I feel compelled to add my voice as a sort of therapy to myself. Because man I am feeling angry right now.

I am mostly angry that it has to take our own citizens being left to rot in the streets for the press and half this country to realize that the current administration is taking us back to being a developing country. Let's look at the facts: widespread corruption and deception, crazy pre-emptive war, 40 million people uninsured, and now massive famine and a refugee problem.

I am also embarrassed. Mostly, I'm embarrassed because I have to witness the world's reaction to our disaster. And people here honestly had no idea that the world's richest country has so many people that are so dirt poor. It's as if the water rushed in and our hidden poverty and race problems couldn't help but float to the top for all the world to see. (Sorry for the crude analogy but it seemed fitting.)

But please, let's let the administration keep cutting the social programs that FDR and others put in place to provide our citizens with basic humanity in favor of tax cuts to the rich.

So apparently almost everyone is appalled by the Government's response to the crisis. But then there are some people that are giving the Government the benefit of the doubt and saying that the lack of action was not because of race but because of socioeconomic status.

What a joke.

Yes, I'm sure class was the determining factor of whether people evacuated to safe areas, but you can't fool us into thinking the Government wouldn't have reacted much, much faster to scenes of sick white babies and white couples waving flags off the roof. I was personally disgusted to see reporters pan an entire scene of suffering African Americans over and over just to single out the one little white boy or a young white women in the crowd and reflect specifically on their misery.

We have seen this phenomenon many times before. It's the same reason American's empathized so strongly with the pretty white Bosnian victims and ignored the slaughter of Rwandans. It's also a contributing factor to why the story of 1,000 innocent people being trampled to death in Baghdad wasn't even front page news. It's time to acknowledge that this tragic bias exists and to figure out a way to make sure it never rears its ugly head again at least our own soil (and ideally the world but let's be realistic here).

Make no mistake, the entire world is glued to this crisis in the U.S. Even the channels that seem to purposely avoid reporting on the U.S. are showing this crisis round the clock. Why? Well, someone poignantly remarked how humbling it was to see the world's superpower humbled. That probably has a lot to do with it.

I was personally very humbled to see nations affected by the Tsunami offering to send the U.S. disaster relief.... and admittedly amused to see Cuba's offer of aid. The only teeny weeny silver lining in this great big cloud is that Karl Rove's master plan to finally win over the African American vote may be set back a few years. Did I just write that?! On a serious note, my heart goes out to all the people that have suffered so much. I can't imagine what it must be like to lose everything you have in one night. I hope as the richest country in the world, we can figure out a way to help all these people pick up and move on.


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