...it's going to be of the "band" variety. In particular, the "outrage" bandwagon.
I'm not a self-hating American. I am a bleeding-heart liberal Bush-basher. It's different.
I am having a real hard time with the reporters and commentators who, upon viewing the aftermath of a hurricane and the very human reaction people are having to being homeless and hungry, proclaim with a touch of horror in their voices that they cannot believe they are seeing this on American soil. This, of course, encompasing the natural disaster, the destruction of a beloved city, and the frightening chaos of human desperation in the aftermath. This happens to darker, poorer countries that have no infrastructures anyway, right? This affects exotic faraway lands, and probably is a direct result of those people not speaking English. Didn't everyone get the memo? This is too base...to common for Americans to have to endure. This happens to Indonesians and Chinese and Africans, not us.
We are Paris Hilton at a Supreme Court ruling, stamping our stiletto in protest; "What do you mean I don't get to vote? Don't you know who I am?!?"
There is a great line from Terry Pratchet or someone that goes, "civilization is only 24 hours and two meals away from utter barbarism." I believe that the average American has no idea what we are supposed to do in times of crisis, or what a relief effort even looks like up close, because for most of us, a crisis involves Starbucks running out of caramel drizzel for our machiattos. I am not surprised that relief efforts have been slow and disorganized. We have resources, but a massive disaster is still a massive disaster, even if it happens on the sacred soil of our forefathers. Imagine how slow and futile relief efforts must be in places without mighty American resources.
We can't just give some lip service to UNICEF, donate five bucks to some unfortunate foreign tragedy and go about our business with this one; we have to actually do something, a lot of continuous something. I think the sensation of actual responsibility is shocking to the American system. Responsibility compounded with the reality that for so many, even our best efforts would not be enough.
3 days ago