Sunday, September 21, 2008

hurricanes schmurricanes.

we're in another "red alert" here.

thankfully we haven't been hit hard this year - but there are still 4 weeks left of the official hurricane season... and what with the very real global warming situation, the danger of bad storms with probably last well into december. it did last year. and hundreds of people died.

i think what bothers me most about hurricane season is the "help" that comes to the islands that for the rest of the year americans forget about unless they're on vacation.

don't get me wrong. i think it's great that people want to help. it is just reminiscent of christmas in the states where everyone gets a bug in their pants to "do something" for all those poor old people in the "homes" who have no family.

and completely forget that they have no family ever. not in december, not in may.
but hey, it's christmas and those "poor poor people" are "all alone."

the real problem in the islands - dominican republic, haiti, jamaica, yes, even cuba - is a lack of infrastructure. can you really imagine homes being built on riverbeds in big cities in the states?
or driving past people living, yes living on trash dumps and landfills and not doing anything about it? can you imagine children not being allowed to go to school because their parents didn't bother to get them birth certificates? girls being legally permitted to marry and move out of their homes at 13 - just to give birth to more uneducated children with no food to eat?

sure. shit happens in the states. there are less than ideal housing situations, there are children missing the education because of governmental redtape and stupidity, there are girls having babies at earlier and earlier ages.

take that and multiply it. by thousands.

and throw in some hurricanes that wash out those less than ideal homes. blow off the roof, ruin the beds, tear apart the few clothes in the closet. knock down the schools where the kids aren't allowed anyway. babies with 13 year old moms who can't even defend themselves waiting in line for the very little governmental aid. pushing and shoving against hundreds and thousands of other victims.

it's not to say that it's the responsibility of americans, canadians and europeans to send their funds. it's not. and that's the point.

it's not your responsibility to feel bad one time in your life for people who live this poorly all year long. not just in hurricane season. it's not your responsibility to send food after a hurricane for people who don't have food ever. it's not your responsibility to send clothes, send books, send ANYTHING.

because it's not just now that it's needed.
it's always.

so, if you feel bad because of a hurricane. here, puerto rico. even louisiana.
think about whether your help might be better later. when there are no hurricanes and there are still people trying to get their shit together from the hurricane that hit 5 years ago.

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