Sunday, February 7, 2010

Hartford, Haiti, and Help

Reports are that there're mass casualties, that it felt like an earthquake.


My prayers and condolences go out to the families involved. This is just horrific. An explosion at a plant that was just under construction. It's just heartrending.

I don't want anyone to misunderstand me. I really do feel for the families. But I gotta get some stuff off my chest.
And maybe this'll help (pun intended) us start giving better aid and assistance to people who're in need.

First, I wonder who's gonna go in and save the orphans? Our regular orphan-rescuers are stuck in Haiti, afraid for their lives. :eyeroll:

Second, I wonder what the explosion would've been like had the plant been completed or if it had been a nuclear plant.

Third, I wonder what it would've been like had it been a 7.0 earthquake.

Dang! Americans can be conceded!

Don't get me wrong. I don't begrudge anyone who wants to go up to Hartford or down to Haiti to help rebuild. Or down to New Orleans, for that matter. But don't ever, ever think "it can't happen to you." And give others the support and help you would want if it were you.

If something like that were to happen to me, I would not refuse help getting back on my feet. What I would refuse, however, and vehemently so, is someone who'd dare to stand for me rather than with me. You know the cliche: a hand up, not a hand out. When we go to help people, we have to be sure not to take their dignity and pride. Right? Cause that may be all they have left. But so often, America has a tendency of arrogance. We think our way is the right and only way. We think we know better than the people we're supposedly helping.

But it's not just with the US, I admit. It's with the entire West. The IMF. The World Bank. Forced restructuring of economies and neoliberal policies that destroy rather than build. And when it comes to helping people of color and nations governed by people of color, the contemptuousness gets even worse. It even comes packaged in Christian charity and love.

Which is odd when you think about it. Cause sometimes, as an institution, the Church can get real self-righteous and bossy. But whenever the conversation is about Eve being Adam's helper, suddenly help means submissiveness and "yes dears." Odd that misogynists and sexists who rely on biblical text never take that under advisement. Women can't be ordained; but somehow, it's okay to shut down social service programs if a same-sex marriage bill passes. Yeah. Not only is God okay with us taking kids from their parents without government permission or even the papers to be sure they can get back to their parents; He's perfectly okay with us denying shelter to the homeless if gay couples can marry. Yeah. And so long as it's between a man and his wife, "help" means taking orders. But when it comes to helping others, "help" means giving orders. Having babies; taking babies.

So . . . I hope you get me point. Help others the way you'd want them to help you. That's the golden rule I know.

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But Don't Jack My Genuis