Tag Archives: tragedy

#BLOTUS at the UN

Leadership comes in many shapes and sizes. None of them is a fit for the #BLOTUS. He is an egotistical, racist bully that brings shame and disgrace to the office he holds and to all that our nation represents. Some might even call him a war monger.

In reality, however, he is just a tiny little man, a spoiled brat who has never been made to grow up and face the consequences of his tantrums. Now, the entire world is being made to suffer from his hunger for power.

an uncertain future

Photo published for A Record 65.6 Million People Displaced Worldwide: UNHCR

The United Nations High Commission on Refugees (UNHCR) has just announced that there are over 65,000,000 refugees that have fled their homeland. That’s the highest number in history. Over 12,000,000 of these refugees are from one country, Syria.

At issue is not only their future, but the future of the world. How this part of our human family is received, how they are treated, and how they are accepted will determine not only what will ultimately happen to them, but exactly who we are and the values we truly espouse.

I have watched families fleeing their burning homes while dodging sniper fire. I have had the privilege to visit dozens of refugee camps and camps for the internally displaced, and have seen firsthand the fear, the anguish and the heartbreak of those driven from their homes.

In the end, it boils down to opening our arms to others in need, even as we would hope arms would be opened to our families if in the same tragic circumstances. We cannot go too far wrong just hewing as closely as possible to the Golden Rule.

swamp monster

If he isn’t on the golf course he’s in front of his mirror, only pausing long enough to tweet sophomoric statements demonstrating an ego in search of a brain. The #BLOTUS is more than a national embarrassment. He’s a true threat to the safety of the entire world.

South Sudan at the breaking point

This piece by William Lambers is the latest story on the unfolding famine threat in South Sudan. Stop Hunger Now is urging all it’s friends and supporters to help raise awareness of this unfolding tragedy, and to support the relief efforts though the charity of your choice. Three million of our family at risk of starvation is simply not acceptable.

Oxfam warns about South Sudan crisis

The charity Oxfam is warning that South Sudan has reached a breaking point as conflict and a collapsed economy take their toll. A severe hunger crisis could threaten over 3 million people by June.

The war between the government and opposition forces has led to major food shortages. The already impoverished nation has been plunged deeper into despair.

Families are becoming increasingly desperate. Without a peace deal, things are likely to get worse. Emma Drew, Head of Humanitarian Programs for Oxfam in South Sudan, says,

What we’re seeing now is families that have spent the past year and a half living on the edge – many have exhausted their food stocks, been displaced from their homes, missed opportunities to plant and farm, and now the economy is showing the strain of a year and a half of conflict.”

The UN World Food Programme (WFP) has been leading the hunger response. The relief mission is one of the most dangerous in the world with the ongoing violence and lack of security. WFP reports three of its aid workers in South Sudan are missing. The three staff members were traveling to a food distribution on April 1st, but WFP has not been able to contact them since.

WFP has to move food around a conflict-torn country with poor roads. Airlifts are used to bring food to some areas. This is difficult and costly. The mission for South Sudan is already low on funding.

Oxfam is urging governments to step up funding for South Sudan. Most of all a peace deal must be achieved. The violence must stop and humanitarian workers must be allowed safe access. Until this happens, hunger will continue to escalate, leaving South Sudan at risk of famine.

a long and lonely hunt

I do not know John Taylor Gatto. Recently, however, I came across a quote on prayer attributed to him that resonates with me. It is a fitting reflection as we begin the new year. I would love to know what you think of Gatto’s words.

I pray for strength to accept that lives most often end in tragedy, that quests don’t always work, that understanding is a long and lonely hunt, that I can’t reason my way to love, eat gold, or live forever. And that none of this matters. I pray to understand that I am here to find my way back to God, whatever that takes, and all the rest, save love and duty, is an illusion.

 

if it doesn’t bleed…

What is newsworthy? It’s far more than a philosophical question for me.

I took Journalism 101 before the turn of the century, and I have been working with journalists and reporters most of my adult life. I am also always actively seeking publicity for the various nonprofit organizations I work with and of which I am a part. I am comfortable with the media. I know a little about what is news and what isn’t.

One of the first adages we were taught in my journalism class was that “if it doesn’t bleed it doesn’t lead.” Some things never change.

Every since the collapse last month of the garment factory in Bangladesh, the news of this particular tragedy has been close to  continuous. It is newsworthy. Over 1125 people lost their lives. That is definitely news.

What bothers me is that the media coverage of that singular event continues after almost a full month. Over 1125 people died in a tragic accident. That’s news. I understand that.

But, during this media feeding frenzy and shark-like ripping at the carcass of that story, over 25,000 of our family have been needlessly dying from hunger related causes every single day. That’s over 750,000 unnecessary deaths in the month since the Bangladesh building collapse. Yet, I can find no coverage of these deaths.

Where is the media coverage for the victims of hunger? Why isn’t the unnecessary deaths of these innocents newsworthy?

“If it doesn’t bleed it doesn’t lead.” Maybe the victims of hunger are dying too quietly. They just need to bleed more.  Or maybe the world just doesn’t give a damn about the poorest of the poor. It’s obvious that the media doesn’t. The hungry just are not newsworthy, even in death.

If we ever get serious about ending the moral obscenity of hunger in a world of plenty this will have to change.