Thursday, January 06, 2005
if you don't know where you came from
you can't get the way you're trying to go
there ain't denying so, it's true
I got some big shoes to fill
But if I don't lead the movement, then who will?
-"Same Cry" by Jin
Witnessing the horror of the tsunami these past couple of weeks has been both a surreal and eye-opening experience... the thought of so many lives lost in SE Asia is mindboggling. It's also been an interesting observation of the American public.
While the hopeful person in me is gladdened by all the donations and outpouring of support to the victims of the tsunami, the cynic in me notices how easily public opinion is swayed by the mass media - while in this case, the mass media should be applauded for it's attention to the tsunami disaster, there are plenty of other instances where the tragedies of this region have been ignored.
Take Indonesia for example - the country the hardest hit by tsunami has rightfully received a large majority of the American public's sympathy. But what about back in 1975 to the present? Does East Timor sound familar to anybody out there in cyberspace?
Respected intellectual Noam Chomsky tried to ring the bell to wake up Americans, but nobody listened... which brings me to my point:
If the American public is so altruistic and has sympathy for the victims of disasters created by nature, where is the compassion for the disasters that are created by America?
The Vietnam war.
Carpet bombings of SE Asia.
South American puppet regimes.
Don't get me wrong... altruism is great thing. The American people should practice more of it on a practical level (i.e. giving money), especially Christians who claim to live a faith-centered life like myself. In fact, authentic Christians (hey, you out there still?) should be the ones raising the call first to give aid - as well as pointing the hypocrisy of giving generous aid to this disaster while our countrymen choose to ignore all other instances the USA has screwed things up.
I only wish that the altruism of the American people wasn't filled with misguided (and sometimes completely racist) sentiments. A secular worldview assumes that every nation acting in its best interests (AKA selfishly) should be the norm. Thankfully, I'm not normal. Fellow writers Dave and Akito have made similar observations. About the tsunami. Not my lack of normalacy.
I really do think many Americans do have good intentions, though. But you know what they say about good intentions... the road to you-know-where is paved with 'em.
On an unrelated note, the movement is stirring again. Is there gonna be a CoHi in 2005? Hrmmm...
noam is incredible. i spent an hour reading his debate transcripts on chomsky.info today. is it possible to be infatuated with someone's brain?Post a Comment