Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Dear:

Roommate and previous Internet Friend (IF) - more specifically the latter. Though I have debated over being the bubble popper for a while I feel that if I'm going to keep my mouth closed I have to vent somewhere...

IF you recently returned from South Africa, spreading your health and wealth doctrine no less I'm sure. When people do any form of humanitarian aid the hope is they realize that this isn't about the people it's rather an opportunity for us/you to realize one how unbelievably backwards or social beliefs never mind our religious ones are. Apparently that didn't happen. So I would like to know what did you learn? Did you come home to your nice bed and say wow, I'm glad I don't have that life and continued on, not thinking about the clean water, your education, your status as a white educated male? Did you for once think about what you represented to the children in the townships? You represented the oppressor, you represented whether you realized it or not everything wrong with Western society and not everything beneficial. I personally don't believe missions trips/humanitarian aid trips are really that great an idea. Your air fair (approx $1000 USD) could have been used to immunize children, provide clean drinking water, educated mothers and their children about AIDS and/or Hygiene, rather in some way or another you used it to turn a nation ravaged by white men into some sort of point and shoot freak show. My father says it's called the pornography of need, and I agree - somewhere your love of Joel Osteen missed the part where diamonds and racism pillaged a country, further ripped apart and destroyed generations with AIDS, illiteracy and fighting. We (Europe/Industrialized Nations/N.America) destroyed native tongues, native lands and all for what? A tourist destination for under social educated young adults to go and gawk at?

To my roommate - you claim you're liberal and yet you sat stone faced and shocked when your '"friend" ranted on about queer history - you knew "him" well enough to come stay with us, but you missed that? I've talked to you about social history, immigrant rights, humanitarian aid, wars, dams, India, post colonialism and you've stuttered along. I've asked about Australia's immigrant rights and their policies around the "Aborigines" as you call them, and all you can say is how good they're treated? Really? Hmm, not so sure. So get sure, I know you loathe "uni" - your life and your knowledge of the world is not determined by a classroom, so pick up a book, read, inform yourself before you claim to love Obama's foreign policies.

I will not profess to know everything or a lot on one thing, but I will say I know humanitarian aid when offered by the West comes best in skills training, small business loans and one more hand out of their nations resources.

I will say that yes I have been to Russia twice - they were trips beneficial in my understanding that the foreign perspective on the "developed" nation of the Motherland is horribly misguided. The second time, I could see more that my money was of more value then my hands.

2 comments:

Psyconym said...

It makes some sense. There can be such a distance between peopel who love each other over belief, like between my parent and I, even my friends. In the end I stand for what I stand for. I am still as human as the next person whatever I believe in. I hope.

benneer said...

Have you read any Derrick Jensen? I just finished Endgame vol 1: The Problem of Civilization. I have a feeling you would find it illuminating on many different levels. Jensen does a good job of tying personal issues he's had to deal with (abusive father) with the violent society we live in and its penchant toward genocide, ecocide, etc.