Do you ever get the feeling maybe you're the crazy person? I know I do. That's how I've been feeling ever since George Clooney and his band of celebrity fundraisers embarked on their "Save Haiti" crusade.
I was watching television the other night, and a commercial for St. Jude's Hospital came on. The spokesman for this particular ad was the modern-day hero Capt. Sullenberger from the Hudson River plane crash. The ad showed many children suffering from cancer. At the end of the ad, all they asked for was $19 a month to help support St. Jude's Hospital. This money goes toward cancer research as well as the comfort and care for these terminally ill children. I started thinking: Where's George Clooney? Where's the St. Jude's telethon? They're asking for $19 a month and we just handed Haiti over $200 million! How can this be? Eleven networks aired the Haiti relief telethon, and I can count on one hand how many St. Jude's telethons I've seen in all my 24 years. We are pathetic.
Many will respond to this column as though I'm the enemy. "How dare she! The Haitians are suffering!" Yes, the Haitians are suffering, and my compassion and prayers are with them – but we have an obligation to our own people first. Where were we when Hurricane Katrina demolished New Orleans? Maybe you picked up a hammer and rebuilt some houses, or donated some money to help aid their relief, or maybe you did nothing. I don't recall a slew of celebutards going out of their way to raise millions of dollars for the people of New Orleans. Brangelina may have built houses, but in no way shape or form can their efforts compare to what's been going on for the Haitians. It seems odd that we would "band together" for the relief in Haiti when we don't do this much for our own countrymen. We definitely didn't send this much support for the Asian tsunami victims, either. If I hear one more commercial about Haiti relief, I might pull my hair out. It makes me angrier every time, particularly because groups like the Make-A-Wish Foundation need funds to help children who have life-threatening illnesses. They don't get $200 million. They don't get 10,000 commercials that depict suffering children.
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Our government alone has sent $100 million to the Haitians. How can that amount be justified when Obama just told us we're trillions of dollars in debt? We're already sending food, volunteers and supplies. Why must we contribute millions on top of that? If our "leaders" put the same compassion and thought into helping this country as they do for Haiti, they might have a leg to stand on. We're broke as a joke, yet we can afford to donate millions to the Haitians. Most of that money will be placed in the hands of the corrupt. You'd be naïve to think otherwise.
Don't misunderstand; I know that the people of Haiti need our help. I am not against supporting their recovery. I'm upset because we're choosing to put Haiti above all other aid in our own country. I'm upset at the celebrities who have turned this tragedy into a soap box for their "good deed" spotlight. The amount we have given to Haiti is nauseating compared to how little we've giving to our own. We're falling all over ourselves to see who can contribute the most.
Before the Haiti quake, most of America was in a time of dire straits; it is safe to say we could have used our own help long before the victims in Haiti. Suffering Americans have needed our help for quite some time, yet as soon as this earthquake hit Haiti everyone came together to help. We should be focused on helping Americans, especially those who are truly innocent: our children. We have a responsibility to them. Why are the victims in Haiti more deserving of support than the victims in the United States?
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Don't even get me started on the "We are the World" remake. It sickens me that those "artists" decided that the relief in Haiti should trump all other causes. It is a huge disappointment, and I feel embarrassed for them. I'd like to see those celebrities look a dying American child in the face and explain why they've chosen to help Haiti over them.
I should be happy that Haiti is getting what they need, but is $200 million a reasonable amount to fulfill those needs when so many of our own are in pain? St. Jude's, the Make-A-Wish Foundation, the victims of Katrina and thousands of other Americans need our help every day. They need what we've been giving the Haitians – love, compassion, support and recognition. Maybe if a celebrity gets wind of this article, he or she will speak up for those in the U.S. who deserve more than $19 a month. Maybe they will have what it takes to stand up and say, "Let's help our own, before all else." That's my dose of honesty for this week; take it or leave it.