(who has really been on a roll lately) again:
I was watching ABC News and every picture had a white person in it. They talked to white people. The fact that entire provinces were wiped from the earth, people had lost their homes and their families and the economies of several countries were torn to shit with no warning, all I'm hearing about is how tourists had vacations ruined.
The fact that they will all go home to clean water and standing homes, and that only the richest Westerners can even visit these places, seems to have escaped the news, except as horrible pictures. The idea of talking to wogs and finding out how they feel about losing everything is not nearly as important finding out how Oprah's designer buddy and his boyfriend survived in their luxury hotel most locals can't even enter.
It doesn't seem to occur that the important story is not the tourists, who need to go the fuck home, but the people who live there. The people who live there only exist as tragic figures, not fellow humans. We'll get plenty of pictures of the poor unfortunate nig nogs, but we will not be allowed to relate to them as people, with families, who grieve at the horror of their losss and ruined lives. Only white tourists get to tell their stories, despite the large number of English speakers in the region. Tragedy only counts when the skin is white and a vacation ruined.
I have to give props to my local paper, the Hackensack, NJ Record
for bucking this media trend of what Gilliard calls "Tsunami kills tourists, other people affected as well". Perhaps it's just that this area has a great many Asian immigrants, but its coverage of the anguished wait for news of family and friends has outweighed its brief mention of tourist inconvenience. Again, I'm reminded of the UN-assisted evacuation of European tourists as depicted in Hotel Rwanda
: "Get the White People To Safety First!"
Perhaps most heartbreaking is the nonstop parade of photographs of parents anguishing over their dead children. With a death toll of 44,000 already and climbing, and some estimates indicate that at least one-third of the casualties are children
, this is tantamount to the destruction of the better part of a generation.
Meanwhile, the Administration, on the heels of George W. Bush's admonition of already-strapped-for-time Americans to go out and volunteer to help out those citizens whose lives his policies have adversely affected (while he didn't even show up for his customary soup-kitchen photo-op to rub the heads of African-American children), promised $15 million for relief aid. $15 million. Think about that. Sounds like a lot of money, doesn't it? Perhaps, until you take into account that $15 million represents about two hours worth of Iraq war costs (according to the Iraq War Clock in New York City
44,000 people dead, homes, lives, livelihoods ruined, and the richest nation on earth can only afford $15 million to help people rebuild their lives, while we are willing to give the government a blank check to kill people indiscriminately in Iraq? And we're unwilling to ask the richest Americans to forego a new Ferrari this year by rescinding some of their tax cuts so that we can perhaps repair some of the damage to our world reputation that this Administration has done? What the fuck is wrong with these people? What the fuck is wrong with us as a country?
In the face of the biggest natural disaster of many of our lifetimes, The White House has issued only a terse statement
via some press flack, presumably Scotty McLellan:
On behalf of the American people, the President expresses his sincere condolences for the terrible loss of life and suffering caused by the earthquake and subsequent tsunamis in the region of the Bay of Bengal.
The United States stands ready to offer all appropriate assistance to those nations most affected including Sri Lanka, the Maldives, Thailand, and Indonesia, as well as the other countries impacted. Already relief is flowing to Sri Lanka and the Maldives. We will work with the affected governments, the United Nations, non-governmental organizations, and other concerned states and organizations to support the relief and response to this terrible tragedy.
Again, we extend our sincere condolences to all the people of the region at this time of suffering.
"Condolences" -- yeah, that's gonna help people bury their dead and rebuild their lives. Typical Bushit. Let Them Eat Sewage.
Meanwhile, Colin Powell, in perhaps his last bid to salvage something of his reputation, is walking out the door by promising an additional $20 million in aid
, saying "The United States is not stingy." Swell. So now we're up to $35 million. That's just under FIVE hours of Iraq war costs, and less than the cost of C-Plus Caligula's inauguration next month.
That tells you how much Bush values human life that isn't rich, white, and American.
Are you willing to let this Administration, who seems to think that saving people overseas is less important than killing them, speak for you? I'm not.
Here's how you can help:
ACTION AGAINST HUNGER
247 West 37th Street, Suite 1201
New York, N.Y. 10018
AMERICAN JEWISH WORLD SERVICE
45 West 36th Street, 10th Floor
New York, N.Y. 10018
AMERICAN FRIENDS SERVICE COMMITTEE
AFSC Crisis Fund
1501 Cherry Street
Philadelphia, Pa. 19102
AMERICAN RED CROSS
International Response Fund
P.O. Box 37243
Washington, D.C. 20013
CATHOLIC RELIEF SERVICES
P.O. Box 17090
Baltimore, Md. 21203-7090
DIRECT RELIEF INTERNATIONAL
27 South La Patera Lane
Santa Barbara, Calif. 93117
DOCTORS WITHOUT BORDERS
P.O. Box 1856
Merrifield, Va. 22116-8056
INTERNATIONAL MEDICAL CORPS
1919 Santa Monica Boulevard, Suite 300
Santa Monica, Calif. 90404
AMERICAN JEWISH JOINT DISTRIBUTION COMMITTEE
South Asia Tsunami Relief
847A Second Avenue
New York, N.Y. 10017
212-687-6200 ext. 851
Southeast Asia Earthquake Response
P.O. Box 2669
Portland, Ore. 97208
8320 Melrose Avenue, Suite 200 Los Angles, Calif. 90069
SAVE THE CHILDREN
Asia Earthquake/Tidal Wave Relief Fund
54 Wilton Road
Westport, Conn. 06880
ISLAMIC RELIEF USA
Southeast Asia Earthquake Emergency
P.O. Box 6098
Burbank, Calif. 91510
And to all my little cybertrolls who visit here, and you know who you are, yes, I have already donated. I chose Doctors Without Borders.
Note to Secret Service/FBI: I got this list from the New York Times
. So if you have a problem with Islamic Relief USA, go talk to the Times
. I'm just passing on the information they provided to the public.