Another reason I’m pissed off.

This is a brief little article about a story on ‘Good Morning America’ about the children-victims of the tsunamis. All of the children featured were WHITE EUROPEANS. Those brown-skinned kids don’t count, I guess. Probably a 1/3-1/2 of those affected by this disaster are children. But only the white ones count.

When will people get over their insular little selves? I’ve realised that over the past four years, I have had many many lines of thought that begin with the words, ‘If I were president…’. It finally this morning started to piss me off. I don’t want to have to think about what I would do if I were president because the US should be able to elect a reasonable person to hold the job. A horrible disaster like this ought to bring the world together. I don’t know exactly what’s going on locally in Sri Lanka but I know that the president (of Sri Lanka) has called upon the nation to come together, for the rebels to lay down their arms for the moment, and help to rebuild the nation. Even if the rebels pick up their guns again after the rebuilding is done, it would be a powerful message that they came together to help to rebuild.

This is what the world ought to be doing. Coming together. Obviously nations cannot give unreservedly–it’s fair that they need to take care of their own populations first. But the US contribution currently stands at $35 million. Likely a drop in the bucket. The US currently has a population of 293,027,571. 35,000,000 divided by 293,027,571 equals 12¢/person. TWELVE CENTS. Even if it were increased to fifty cents/person, they would then be sending $145.5 million. The annual US government budget is measured in the trillions of dollars. One would think that they could divert some money from less important things like, say, missile defence (whose budget is measured in the billions) to something that actually matters, like human life.

On the topic of presidents, Kennedy once gave a speech in which he pointed out that no matter what our differences, we are all human, we all share the same basic goals and desires. Most simply, we are all mortal. Each life is as precious and valuable as the next. Our own mortality is staring us in the face right now. Not simply because of human stupidity but because of an act of nature. Human stupidity is a painful thing to witness, but acts of nature ought necessarily to be humbling. They should reminds us all just how delicate the entire planet is, how lucky we are to be here at all.

Sadly, in the old guns versus butter debate, guns always seem to win out. I have no reason to believe that 2005 will be any different, but I can always hope. As Harvey Milk once said, without hope, life is not worth living.


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