Saturday, January 16, 2010
Help From the Inside, Out
**Disclaimer: I am in support of helping Haiti and I proudly made my text message donation**
Ok with that out the way, why exactly has America risen to the occasion and charged full force in the direction of supporting Haiti financially and physically when the last time I checked, we ARE in a recession, the economy is in the biggest deficit America has ever seen, the homeless are still without shelter, the hungry still have no meals, our kids are dropouts, our dads are absent, our moms are emotional wrecks; our futures bland, our present is miserly, our history a blur. Did we magically Optimus Prime into a position where we can provide aid only to return home with America's pockets like rabbit ears (inside out)? Are we using credit cards to charge the 115Mill P dot Obama has committed to??
OK that was me playing DEVIL's advocate and expounding on the point this good Facebook friend made in his status; in short he said, "No Disrespect but I find it quite Amazing how everyone is sooooo eager to help Haiti send money, donate clothes, pay for meals, etc.. Yet we have homeless families in our community we don't help as fast find shelter, clothes, etc....I'm just saying...Marinate on that 1please..."
I immediately wanted to add my Penny with her sister Penny to this discussion of 31 responses and 19 thumbs up... but I figured the point I wanted to make had already been addressed. And indeed it was. Here's a tip of the iceberg comment: "...The ppl in Haiti likely lost hundreds of thousands of ppl in 2 minutes due to a natural disaster and that situation is really not comparable to homelessness in America...." She also alluded to the fact that homeless Americans have the resources readily available to them, however, they just don't maximize on the opportunity due to the lackadaisical nature they have grown accustomed to. My good Facebook friend also touched on Oprah's efforts to educate children in Africa while the school systems in Louisiana, Philly, Alabama, etc are crappy. Following that was the Gold Star comment of the entire thread:
"I saw the Oprah where she talked about why she built a school in Africa and not America. 1. You can't compare the poverty of American children and African children. When you're hungry in America there are food stamps. When you are hungry in Africa you die of starvation. 2. American children get a free education from K-12 and many of them choose to drop out-- that's with the laws mandating that children go to school. In Africa you have to pay for your education and children work all year to get the money to buy one uniform. In the Maryland foster care system they give kids who are transitioning out of the system their own apartment and free tuition to any state college, plus a monthly stipend. Most of the kids don't care enough to go to college for free. In America you have a chance. Sure there is poverty, homelessness, and other sad circumstances, but at least in America you have a chance to change your situation. I think by building a school in Africa Oprah was providing children who wouldn't have any other chance to better themselves a chance. I think it's similar with the crisis in Haiti. I'm eager to help people who were already poor and suffering and through no fault of their own were further traumatized by a natural disaster. Do we really think being homeless in America is the same as being trapped under the rubble of your shack in Haiti? There are no hospitals, water, or food at all. Shoot in Philly if you're homeless you can go to any church for a meal. Forget about welfare, shelters, and other programs... There really is no comparison and we should all be eager to help lest someone take that attitude in our time of need..."
WHEW!! Guess she told my good Facebook friend!! What's that devil, say what... got it... OK, so imagine America didn't help every country in need with Iraq sitting comfortably at the top of that list. The political slaughter and criticism alone would be enough for Obama to drive by the Federal Reserve leaving behind a sheet of paper inscribed with the letters I O U. So what choice is there, really, except to step inside the booth, remove the tie and the Clark Kents, slick back the doo leaving the lock of hair in front so dramatically out of place and go save the day. What's sad is that the hype will simmer down to a light boil and the bulk of help Haiti is going to get will fade out directly proportionate to the attention the media focuses on it... and America can go back to stepping over the guy outside Starbucks.
SB: My good Facebook friend's thesis: We should help from the inside out and not from the outside in....