Savages in this town and other thoughts

One of the best lines from Kevin Smith’s classic movie Clerks is when Randal says “Bunch of savages in this town”. Sadly after reading some of the recent coverage of the situation in Haiti, it seems that many Americans who are sitting in the comfort of their homes are thinking this about the folks in Haiti.

I am not the only Black blogger nor will I be the last to note that when a crisis hits an area where the victims are Black, that it never seems to fail, that at a certain point the media coverage will start to show the victims in a negative light. We saw it with the Katrina hurricane, after several days folks started getting a tad pissed and hungry that help was not coming in a timely fashion and well some folks decided to take matters into their own hands. The result was folks started to take what they needed and yes taking a big ass tv might be a dumb act but perhaps at the moment the thought is this tv might represent access to my basic needs being met.

There have been reports of looting in Haiti where its safe to say things are fucked up. After all, there is basically only one way to land the goods and its taking a while for food and water to actually get to the folks who need it.

I always wonder how come when tragedy hits and the victims are white, they aren’t looting? No, they scavenge or forage but never loot. See, foraging for your needs is a lot less scary sounding than folks who are looting.

However I wonder what would those same people talking shit do if they were in need and help was not getting to them? I don’t know about you but if my tummy was rumbling after several days and most certainly if my kids were hungry and thirsty, I would do any and everything to rectify that situation and laws and civility be damned. I suspect that most of us when faced with what seems like the likelihood of death due to a lack of basics such as food and water would do the same thing.

Yet because of the power of language its easy to paint those people in a negative light and blame it on bad genes…see those people are predisposed to bad shit. But when we do it, well its the right thing. Think about the would be bomber on that Christmas Day flight…he was thwarted by a big white man who not only leaped over several rows to put the fire out but I recall an interview with the “hero” who after making sure the suspect was not going to blow up the plane preceded to put the suspect in a headlock and dragged him to the front of the plane where the crew handcuffed him. Quite heroic but I wonder what would have happened if Jasper the hero would have been a Ray-Ray the black man from Detroit? See, where I am going with this?

Anyway one man’s savage is another man’s person striving to survive.

Get off your butt

It’s Wednesday, I have at least 10 balls in the air between work and home. Funding season is in full swing which translates into writing grants and in person begging to keep the doors to my center open. I have a wee one with a cold and feel the rumblings of a cold brewing myself but none of that matters.

Unless you have lived under a rock for the past 24 hours, you are aware that a 7.0 earthquake hit Haiti. Haiti needs you, they need me and more importantly they need some money. Last night as I channel surfed myself to sleep, I was amazed that only one of the cable news networks had any coverage about what was happening in Haiti. As a buddy of mine on Facebook mentioned, the previous night it was breaking news that Simon was leaving American Idol…but let a country of poor folks of color get hit with a major catastrophe and well we will cover that when we get to it.

Now I realize that my readership has grown from the days when only Black folks read me, but this message is to the brothers and sisters that read me…get off your ass and do something to help our folks. I have never been to Haiti, I have no direct connection to Haiti but those folks are part of the diaspora and they need us. Yes, the American Red Cross will be there and other countries will send some relief but dammit we need to help our own.

Black folks, we spend a lot of money on fly hairdo’s, eating tasty lunches, getting our nails done and the list goes on. I am asking you to give that up at least for a day. I am forgoing my almost daily Peppermint Mocha and sending the cash to the Red Cross. I have seen a slew of organizations where you can send a text message and your cell will be billed so if you don’t want to be ole school like me and write a check, that’s cool. Point is we need to do something. Those folks are us and they need our help so forgo whatever you were going to spend money on today that you really don’t need and do some good.

Oh yeah and if you are white, you can help out too, the more the merrier the key thing is to do more than write a cute status update on your social media of choice, that’s not activism and change…no they need money. So just do it.