Monday, January 03, 2005

Tragedy du jour or bias?

I just saw an amussing comic on the tsunami relief effort:

It featured a helicopter labeled, "US concern" caring a care package labeled, "relief" to Sri lanka... in the foreground stood starving Sudanese folks watching the aid package go by. It got me thinking: What's our (the world's) deal with helping Africa? Or maybe it's as simple as the fact that the Tsunami/Earthquake is so recent, while the hundreds of thousands of folks who've been slaughtered in Rwanda, Darfur and other regions in Africa, coupled with the massive AIDS pandemic is simply "yesterday's news"?

I don't know if human beings have an endless supply of sympathy or empathy for each other... i knwo at some point we have to pick our battles and help those we can, or those we seem to connect most with; but i'll be damned if Africa doesn't seem to get screwed in this whole deal year after year. Then again maybe it's just me... Maybe everyone's doing enough and there's just more suffering than relief in the world and we just have to suck it up and be grateful for not being on the receiving end as much as others have been/continue to be. I dunno.

CNN released a study in the last few days that said that America spends less than half of one percent of its budget on non-military related foreign aid. Makes us look pretty bad, don't you think? Americans spent over a billion dollars last year on fastfood alone according to the "Super Size This!" documentary (which by industry accounts was way more accurate than Michael moore on his best day.) It's weird having a president brag about $35 million in foreign aid then couple hundred million, knowing that we blow ten times that on grease alone...

Anyway, I just think we have to do more... At some point we all--the entire world--have to commit to being servants and not just consumers or conquerors. At some point we have to see that we are a part of the same human family and that our differences should strengthen us and not divide us. We just have to do more for each other...

Don't we?


hadji williams is author of "KNOCK THE HUSTLE: How to save your job and your life from Corporate America" hiphop' first success guide for business, work and life. (www.knockthehustle.com) Reach him at author@knockthehustle.com

30 Comments:

At 11:34 AM, Blogger Seth said...

Great post.

A buddy and I discussed this over lunch today. Not to lessen the impact of this tradegy or how great the response has been, but more people die in poverty, disease, war, and AIDS every YEAR. Heck, probably every week or so at its worst. The supreme social injustice of an entire continent of people being flushed down the toliet makes this tsunami look like child's play. Sadly - while it may make for sexier news coverage - nature can't hold a candle to humanity's inaction.

To answer your question, yes, we should help each other more then we do. Having a good morality isn't just about what we shouldn't do but also about what we SHOULD do. You'd think today all I needed to be moral was to make sure my wife doesn't get an abortion and be sure to not kiss dudes.

It's all much bigger then that. For example, it's also the fact that others die so that I may live as I wish. This is a much bigger moral dilemma in today's world. It is much bigger then much money we should 'pledge' (check out today's NYTimes, let's see how much of these millions actually GET to victims) to this recent disaster.

We MUST help our brothers and sisters who live in devestating poverty. Their and our futures depend on it. It is even more important then the 'war' on terrorism.

Personally I'm hardly perfect at this... in fact I downright suck. I can hardly keep myself from going out to lunch every day much less being philantropic. But this is a point to start, and I think I'm doing alright if I see the world in all its injust and pain then MOVE towards doing right, to bringing justice and mercy to the afflicted.

I encourage all of us to do that. The world sucks. We can do something about it. Bono says it great on the new U2 album, 'I heard your voice whispering 'in science and in medicine I was a stranger and you took me in.'

To close, check out organizations like DATA, The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Sojourners, and others. I really believe that the 21st Century will be defined not by things like the internet or even terrorism, but by how we responded to crushing poverty. We have the science, the money, and the means, but do we have the will? It's save the world or else.

 
At 12:48 PM, Blogger Melissa said...

Well..first I'd like to say that it makes sense we send stuff to Sri Lanka first since they were one of the hardest hit...although, technically we should send more to Indonesia, since they were THE hardest hit of all. Anyways, I would think that the 350 million would be divided and distributed with the hardest hit countries getting the largest percentage and then the rest getting smaller percentages. But who knows if anyone will get it right.

However, I would like to note that there is DEFINITELY a bias AGAINST Africa and African peoples. There's just no doubt about it. We [the world] sat back and watched as approx. 800,000 Rwandans were killed in 100 days. THEN, the U.S. has the gall to say that it would never let another Rwanda happen and yet here we are again...with genocide in Darfur. No one gives a crap. I have to say..the browner you are, then the less the world in general or the Western world, cares about you. AND..the less your country has to offer, the less the Western World cares about you. If Rwanda had tons of oil, then I'm sure we would have stepped in with the hopes of being "justly" rewarded after providing our help.

 
At 2:19 PM, Blogger Pontificate4U said...

Wow-great timing. I woke up this morning with something stuck in my craw and decided to burn one and write exactly what came to mind. Afterwards I came here and wondering if perhaps anyone else shared my sentiments, and lo and behold . . . Here is my contribution (it's a little long winded and scattered but I hope that can be excused)

Yesterday I completed a post wherein I was unable to properly articulate what I was feeling. So here goes . . . This morning I woke up, turned on the computer and proceeded to peruse the tragic headlines dominating the media outlets. After about 30 minutes of mindless drubbing, compliments of the "gifted" AP'esque writers so prevalent in journalism nowadays, (I think this owes much to the fact that scores of Americans can't handle too many compound sentences during their spoon feedings)I became incensed about something pertaining to our current global plight.

Can anyone tell me how many people die worldwide from starvation and disease daily? Well depending on who you believe that number can range anywhere from 40-70K every day! It never ceases to amaze that the singular way of convincing the general public of the severity of a situation consists of bombarding them with carefully crafted images intended to evoke the maximum visceral response. Otherwise the events(s) are scarcely noticed by Joe Fatass who can't (and by all rights doesn't want to) feel it if it doesn't invade his home. My point is this: when will we find the money to assist the 20-30K people who fall victim to curable diseases daily; or perhaps the roughly 40K people who will starve to death today. Trust me, those people are nowhere near the area currently in question. You can bet that Sweden wouldn't pony up 120 million under normal circumstances, but since so many of its own have disappeared among the ruins this "tsunami" now creates a day of mourning, special task forces, etc quite possibly to give the appearance that it is doing all it can in order to appease the voting masses. Think I'm just being cynical? - you better believe it - but I'm right!

Where are the donations and debt relief for most of sub-Saharan Africa which has been living in the eye of the storm for the last 250 years? Sec. of State Colin Powell has already gone on the record saying something to the effect that America's generosity will almost certainly elevate the standing of the US in the Muslim world. Could there be a worse reason to give? It makes me sick that we are so concerned with how we appear in the eyes of so many thugs in the Muslim world but cannot seem to do right by our own moral compasses. It is most hypocritical and laughable when one considers the supposed Judeo-Christian values that ostensibly underpin our whole society. I doubt Jesus would have wanted us to give only because Leonardo Di Caprio and Jackie Chan tell us it's the appropriate time to do so - but sadly that is cue most Americans will use to give. Where are the anthems like Boy George's "Grief Never Grows Old" outside the framework of a highly publicized tragedy? Funny I haven't heard word one from that shithead regarding genocide and starvation in Africa or human rights abuses in China!! It's amazing how the camera brings out the very best in people for precisely the wrong reasons. Think Leonardo Di Caprio's manager likes seeing his name mentioned in the same breath with Tsunami? You better believe it.

I will be the first to admit that a catastrophe on this scale cannot help but call the world's attention, but in the spirit of selfless giving let's not forget that there is an abundance of people elsewhere whose lives are tottering precariously between miserable existence and death. The media plays an increasingly important role in the priority we assign to assisting those in need. Without the horrifying images scattered across the world landscape, this tragedy simply becomes another in a serious of unfortunate events affecting poor people somewhere else. The destructiveness of this tsunami was truly astonishing in its ability to ruin lives in little more than an instant, but millions more lives are being destroyed slowly due to disease and hunger. It's difficult journalistically to present the American public with a report that showcases famine and pestilence because they are less dramatic and ask that we imagine little anonymous black girl or boy will die in the near future.

I'm almost certain that foreign aid would not have been so forthcoming had this disaster occurred somewhere even more remote and obscure like equatorial Africa where it's just more of the same - black folks dying in droves. Not many Swedes and Germans vacationing there eh? Had Sweden and Germany been unaffected vis a vis loss of life, then I doubt we would be witnessing generosity like anything on the scale of the 600 million Germany has promised. Do any of you out there really believe that Nigeria, the Cote d'Ivoire and Ghana would be the recipients of such largesse had there been similar circumstances resulting in catastrophic loss of life there? - shit no!! Are you kidding, catastrophic loss of life is a daily occurrence for them.

CNN and FOX News are able to dictate who gets exposure and who doesn't, and in this increasingly competitive market, horrific news translates into higher ratings, and consequently increased revenue from advertising. Sick aint it? Sick though it may be, such is the way this world works. Money is the bottom line! Anyone who thinks I am overreacting should visit one of my previous posts and look for the picture of the Sudanese girl on death's doorstep. . . That scene may play out a thousand times a day somewhere in Ethiopia but we would never know because of the inherent racism built into the media. After all who has the most disposable cash with which to purchase those pretty baubles and trinkets appearing in your home countless times every night? It's not blacks and Hispanics mind you - think you know what the answer is yet?? That's right it's white men and women between the ages of 18-35! Psychologically we are conditioned to be more sympathetic to those with whom we share the most similarities. This is not social Darwinism or something more sinister, it is just human nature. We are less likely to commiserate with suffering among blacks, Hispanics, Thai's or Indonesians because they simply don't look like us. Pictures of dead kids with blonde hair and blue eyes is far more effective in attracting viewers and soliciting aid by the rich west.


I don't expect that most people will agree with the "vitriol" I have spewed out here today, and I would certainly encourage them to inform me where I have erred, because I would love to believe that something besides pecuniary concerns and greed are driving this world. I am loath to find examples that convince me of our self acknowledged generosity and caring other than on a purely microscopic scale. Little Jenny is wonderful for having baked those cookies to raise money for something she really can't comprehend, but she has contemplated things greater than herself for the first time and that makes it pure, wonderful and hopeful. What is saddening is that the majority of us have become so dependent upon the bright lights and cause celebre to react that we forget to do the right thing when their is no media feeding frenzy and celebrity spokespersons to appeal to our philanthropic side.

 
At 7:12 AM, Blogger Seth said...

Good comment.

We are a hypocritical people. Big surprise, people have been that since day one.

I offer two positives, one is that at least we are helping... and despite our 'spoon-fed' views of the world we still can help when disaster strikes. Granted its in a way that ignores other massive problems in the world, but at least we're doing something.

Second of all, I've been talking to a lot of people, and one of their first things on their mind is the tragedy of Africa.

Maybe some more minds are changing, and that's always good. Reason is on the side of poverty relief when it comes to Africa, that should be enough to convince the world, we've just go to stick at it.

 
At 9:34 AM, Blogger Charlie said...

The tragedy of Africa is caused by bad governance there is not one African leader, apart from Nelson Mandela, who has not been part of a corrupt and self serving regime from military dictators to elected politicians.
Even Thabo Mbeki of South Africa lacks common sense. Speaking to the Sudanese assembly in Khartoum, he said that British imperialists such as Winston Churchill caused the continent to be divided by race colour, religion and culture.
There was never a time in history that the African continent was not divided by race colour, religion and culture. Until you have African leaders who are above corruption and who do not take the wealth of their nation and stick it in a Swiss Bank account then saving Africa is a waste of time and effort.

 
At 11:50 PM, Blogger The Gambler said...

you have a pretty cool blog here another one of my favorites is a site on debt that deals with personal finance stuff. I suck at it so I like to share.

 
At 2:13 AM, Blogger Billy said...

Hey, you have a great blog here! I'm definitely going to bookmark you!
I have a consumer debt consolidation
site/blog. It pretty much covers consumer debt consolidation
related stuff.

Come and check it out if you get time :-)

 
At 11:29 PM, Blogger David said...

Hey, you have a great blog here! I'm definitely going to bookmark you! I have a debt consolidation help Site. It pretty much covers debt consolidation help related stuff.

 
At 9:37 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Debt consolidation can get you out of debt forever! Debt Consolidation You can also work at home or credit repair and you can still consolidate debt consolidation and you will also like work at home

 
At 3:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice site. Check mine out if you can. need cash

 
At 8:53 PM, Blogger Google Page Rank 6 said...

Want more clicks to your Adsense Ads on your Blog?

Then you have to check out my blog. I have found a FREE and Legitimate way that will increase your earnings.

Come Check us out. How to Boost Your AdSense Revenue

 
At 9:00 PM, Blogger Natwho said...

super deals

For 23 years we have been the number one business opportunity for individuals wanting to gain financial freedom and realize the American dream of owning their own business.

NWC, Inc can get you started in a name brand electronics business of your own, without the usual large upfront investment associated with starting a business. We supply everything you need including full color catalogs that can be customized with your name and address, a fully stocked Ecommerce powered web site, 61,000 name brand products that can be drop shipped right to your customers door, large unsecured credit lines to help finance your customers, and much more.

Check out all the exciting details at www.profitbig.com today.

 
At 7:25 PM, Blogger Goodman441 said...

Hello, this is a great blog on military loan, Please visit my site when you get a chance at http://www.loanofficial.com

 
At 3:03 AM, Blogger Living in Thailand said...

We have a website that was created during the Tsunami please let us know if any people there is found and we will delete themAfter the Tsunami

 
At 1:18 AM, Blogger editor said...

Superb Blog, well done.
Here an interesting Site regarding:
Debt Consolidation, Debt Consolidation information, Personal Debt Consolidation, Debt Settlement

 
At 9:26 PM, Blogger job opportunitya said...

Astonshing blog. I relished in the site and you
know I will be going to it again! Surfing the internet
hepls me to find blogs that arfe just as good.
Look into my plastic surgery houston blog.

 
At 9:15 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

With personal debt in the US at an unprecidented level, the good news is that help is at hand for those carrying the burden, in the form of the US Debt Help Manual, produced by the (PRWEB) October 2005__The US Debt Help Manual, produced by The Debt Counsellors. is a free, no_nonsense guide.
overspending
Debt Resources Services.

 
At 6:15 AM, Anonymous joel said...

If you struggle with bad credit, credit card debt, or are facing bankruptcy, our bankruptcy/dect counselling resources can help you understand your finances better and help you improve your financial standing.
overspending
Debt Resources Services.

 
At 9:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you struggle with bad credit, credit card debt, or are facing bankruptcy, our bankruptcy/dect counselling resources can help you understand your finances better and help you improve your financial standing.
overspending
Debt Resources Services.

 
At 10:19 PM, Anonymous joel said...

With personal debt in the US at an unprecidented level, the good news is that help is at hand for those carrying the burden, in the form of the US Debt Help Manual, produced by the (PRWEB) October 2005__The US Debt Help Manual, produced by The Debt Counsellors. is a free, no_nonsense guide.
business debt help
Debt Resources Services.

 
At 4:47 AM, Anonymous Debt Resources Services said...

Debt elimination services can help consumers who have more debt than they can manage look into options of reducing or negating that debt. When searching for debt elimination, consumers should seek an agency that offers debt counselling and guidance based on an individual's unique circumstance.
If your site is of similar interest contact me and link sites.
Debt Resources Services.

 
At 4:57 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was just searching blogs,and I found your site, Friend! I like it!
Please accept my compliments and wishes for your happiness and success.
If you have a moment, please take a look at my site:
home equity loan best rates
It pretty much covers home equity loan best rates related issues.
All the best!

 
At 6:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am out searching for the latest information on and
found your site. Although it wasn't exactly what I was looking for, it
certainly got my attention and interest. I see now why I found your page when I
was looking for related information, and I'm glad I stopped by even
though this isn't a perfect match. Great post, thanks for the read!

 
At 11:38 AM, Blogger YourSimplerLife said...

A life without credit cards and Debt consolidation service would be a much simpler life indeed.

 
At 4:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Debt
Debt can help you reduce your interest burden by charging an interest rate lower than the rate on your existing loans. Debt consolidation loan can also allow you to make small monthly payments by extending the loan period
http://www.debt1consolidation.com

 
At 11:09 PM, Anonymous selling stock photography said...

Hey Fellow, you have a top-notch blog here!
If you have a moment, please have a look at my selling stock photography site.
Good luck!

 
At 7:12 PM, Anonymous Scott Arthur Edwards said...

Hey, you have a great blog here! You really are very talented and deserve an honest compliment, congratulations! I'm definitely going to bookmark you!

I have a home business network marketing site/blog. It successfully covers home business network marketing related stuff.

Come and check it out when you get time, as I would be honored to help a hard-working person like you become successful in this business. Scott.

 
At 12:18 PM, Anonymous bad credit mortgage in florida said...

This is an excellent blog. Keep it going.You are providing
a great resource on the Internet here!
If you have a moment, please take a look at my bad credit mortgage in florida site.
Have a great week!

 
At 11:50 AM, Blogger Debt Consolidation Refinance said...

Your blog rocks. You've done a great job. If you want to offer something helpful to your readers, http:\\thedebtconsolidationfaq.com can help anyone who owns a home and is looking for a home mortgage refinance regardless of their credit standing. Poor credit home loan offers credit repair to help get you on the right path. You can even get a bad credit debt consolidation mortgage refinance. The best part is you don't have to feel obligated because it's a no cost no obligation process unless you want to close your loan!

 
At 11:56 PM, Anonymous Free Poker Money said...

Looks like i found what i searching last few days. Spuerb blog i love it.
----------------------

Bonusy bez depozytu
Texas Holdem Free
Immediately after the lay-flop followed by a second auction in hand. This time it starts with the first player left of the dealer and going clockwise rotation.
Players have three options in this situation:
Waiting (English: CHECK) - transmission queue to the next player without boost, wait out the play, which is a form of passive play or attempt to pry into what others are doing. This play is only possible when no one in front of us did not raise rates.
Raise (BET) - propose a game on a higher rate. If someone has already done it before us, and we want to play for big money at this point, we are talking about the piercing (RAISE). Set in the time of a new "price" for further participation in the pot for the other players.
Check (CALL) - alignment to conquer made by the previous player, accept to continue the game after the proposed higher rates, but without the piercing. The game can not go on, if all the other players do not check to top the last boost (or breakdown).
Of course, at any time, if it gets hot on the table and our cards in combination with the flop is not the strongest, remains safely withdraw from the game by ...
The fitting ... (FOLD) - that is, leave the game and lose all raised to date facilities and blinds.
Jake Smith
Dario Lutze
After the "burn" cards from the top deck, leading the game teaches at the center of the table fourth community card for all that, like the previous three can be used to assemble the strongest poker. This card is called in English "turn" (there is actually Polish names, the players remain with the original terminology in English).
After the liner followed by a third auction in a similar way as before. The only difference is that the minimum raise, which previously was the big blind now be doubled. Texas Holdem - River
Finally a fifth community card is lined up on the table and all remaining players assess its impact on the final system they can create with the disposal of a total of seven cards (5 per table plus two added).
Followed by the last betting round (unless all players przeczekają it without boost) and participants who have not yet folded pass to compare systems. Texas Holdem - Showdown
Showdown or presentation (comparison) systems starts with the final conquering rate at the last auction (the player tested). He must show his two hole cards and thus betray the people what is the final system. Subsequent players who tested his conquest assess the strength of your hand, and if it is stronger naturally also show him to take the pot, but if you have a weaker system, they can just throw their cards without showing them, thereby recognizing his defeat.
Free Poker Holdem
Darek Sałata

 

Post a Comment

<< Home