Sunday, September 11, 2005

The Hurricane

A lot of people are heartened by the non-governmental response to the hurricane. People are giving generously to assist in recovery, news nets are covering the story well, and people are finally waking up to the utter incompetence of the Republicans. But here on this day of American solipsism I am telling you that this makes me lose my faith in humanity.

When occurrences like this tragedy happen, and people are so filled with generosity, it fills me with fury for all the other times a tragedy of larger scale occurs and the generosity that we now know is possible is withheld. When people pour out this kindness from a source that is ever present, but usually bottled up because the people suffering do not have the same face or passport, it reminds me of our status as glorified rats, a twisted image of holiness bound up in dirt and dust.

How self centered. How tribal. We like to congratulate ourselves for recognizing women as equals and ending segregation and racism in our country, but the same clan instincts that are present in rats (this flaw does not originate in our lizard brain, lizards aren’t even tribal) that drove us to these atrocities also stays our compassion when we are distanced from tragedy by geography and language instead of sex and race.

So on this day of American solipsism TheJew encourages you not to think about a handful of privileged Americans. Think about tragedies all over the globe which are preventable if given half the attention devoted to the hurricane, like the genocide in Sudan.


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