Monday, January 18, 2010

Bloggers Unite For Haiti [But We're Wasting Our Time]

When I came here to write this post, I saw that my last collection of mutterings were about Human Rights Day. Nothing wrong with that, of course; the struggle for human rights, unfortunately, is, and probably always will be ongoing, in one form or another. Still, there are many issues under a topic like that, and plenty of opportunity for a blogger worth her/his salt to fill space in a way that Could Actually Make A Difference.
That noted, WHY IN HELL ARE WE BLOGGING ABOUT A DISASTER SO CATACLYSMIC THAT IT ACTUALLY HAS MADE THE POOREST NATION IN THE WESTERN HEMISPHERE WORSE? I mean, come on, people! The news media of the world have sent their best reporters, photographers and commentators [where these people were when Haiti was running up an 80% poverty rate is a question these news organizations should ask themselves when this is all over]: stories, reports and images are across every possible information source [so much so, in fact, I'm not even taking time to add them here; if you want to know, you know - if you don't care, nothing anyone presents is going to matter].
The point is, we know. We've seen the destruction. The bodies in the streets [one Haitian official, asked early on for a death toll estimate, started at 50,000. He then went up to a half-million. Let that number roll around your brain for a minute. Then he got to what probably was the only real answer: nobody knows. And honestly, nobody probably ever will...]. The physical and societal infrastructure flattened. We know. Either we do something, or we don't.
If your answer is: we don't, thanks for reading this far. You may as well head elsewhere, though; there's nothing else for you here today. If your answer is: we do, the American Red Cross is a good place to start [if you live outside the US, your local Red Crescent/Red Cross are reliable places to donate money. And, if I understand this right, money donations are the best way to help. Apparently, relief agencies, whenever possible, purchase needed supplies as close to the site of the disaster as possible. It helps the economy of the devastated country by putting money into circulation]. In some areas, banks, stores, and other businesses are taking donations [just be careful that the location you choose is legitimate; scammed money helps no one but the scammer]. On the right side of this blog page, you'll find a link badge for the group Doctors Without Borders, a group I've personally admired and respected since I first heard of them. Please consider them at donation time.
I don't really think you needed this commentary to get you to do what's needed. But, if it was helpful, I'm glad. This is one time we need fewer bloggers and more contributors...