Sunday, September 04, 2005

"Let us have faith that right makes might, and in that faith, let us, to the end, dare to do our duty as we understand it." Abraham Lincoln

We haven't had access to a television in our apartment for a while, so on Friday afternoon, I got on to to watch coverage on Hurrican Katrina, and to find out what things were like out there and what people were doing about it. Listening to New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin call for someone, ANYONE, to get in there and help people, I was filled with frustration. In his interview with WWL Radio, Mayor Nagin showed himself a good man, in my opinion. I share his thoughts that when people are dying, you don't have time to go through beaurocratic processes, you don't have time to care about politics. PEOPLE ARE DYING, SEND SOME HELP.
I didn't really have much of an idea about how much damage there was, what was being done in that area until Friday, several days after the initial damage. I sat in Jen's room for an hour, looking at the footage, hearing about the situation, and getting more and more frustrated because I couldn't figure out a way to do anything that would help. Biking to work later that afternoon, I watched the town of Rexburg carrying on around me and I couldn't help but feel...well, let me give you a brief transcipt of my thought process that afternoon, it seems the best way to communicate my feelings.
"Everything seems so normal around here. It shouldn't. Here, the only water around is the campus pool, when on only the other side of our own country, people's lungs are filling with it. Rexburg's population keeps moving around in its normal patterns, maybe glancing at the news and thanking their lucky stars it isn't them, and then continuing their errands to the grocery store and the post office. A part of me realizes that you can't put your life on hold to mourn every time there's a sadness in the world. If that were the case, no one would ever get anything done. But nothing seems to feel any different. I feel different, and I can't see that feeling reflected anywhere around me. Shouldn't the whole world stop for a moment? Shouldn't the banks be crammed with people sending money? Shouldn't community center programs be halted to make room for those volunteer crews setting up donation centers? Shouldn't there be jars in every business with signs that say 'For victims of Hurricane Katrina'?"
I felt so full of this sense of injustice, although the logical side of me knew that Hurricane Katrina is certainly not the only catastrophe in our world right now.
Compare for a moment this current tragedy with the U.S.'s most recent one, that of 9/11. When the two towers in NYC went down, America went crazy to do something about it. The federal government, in particular, was quick to take rather aggresive action to avenge those who had suffered. (And history has clearly shown that revenge is ALWAYS the best course of action...) In this case, there's no one to blame. There are no people to be angry with for causing this devastation. No country hiding more weapons to destroy America to invade. Only nature, fate, Diety, karma...some force that America as a whole can't identify and take revenge against. America has a completely different attitude toward this disaster. Here's my rant:
PEOPLE ARE STILL DYING!!!!!!!!! Was it death that tugged at everyone's heartstrings on Sept 11, 2001? Or just the fact that it was another country's fault? Since this was nature, did the people in the path of Hurricane Katrina somehow got what they deserved? I SAY IT DOESN'T MATTER WHAT OR WHO CAUSED IT, DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT. I'm so angry I don't know how to express it. There are children without mothers, hospitals filled with patients needing medicine, drug addicts on the loose, homes destroyed, firemen and police officers that held that city together for 4 days and nights straight. There are rescue worker's committing suicide because of what they've gone through. Like Mayor Nagin, I want to see action! I have no reason or worldly title to give me the right to call for action, except for the fact that I'm a human being.
Below are some resources for giving to the relief effort. LDS Humanitarian Services has asked for financial donations as opposed to food, clothing, etc. so as not to pull labor from the feild. Also please look to your local community and governement to see what efforts are being made for relief and how you can help.

Church Humanitarian Services
American Red Cross
Salvation Army
Direct Relief International

For those of you who are religious, your prayers and fasts are also powerful. Please keep the victims, their families, and those helping with the relief effort in your prayers.

PS: I've discovered that the link to Church Humanitarian Services doesn't work. Just go to google and enter "Church Humanitarian Services" and its the first site that comes up.

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