Friday, April 28, 2006

Charity Begins Everywhere But Home

I've been wondering lately. Wondering a lot about why certain American celebrities, dignitaries, and political leaders care more about the people and problems of other countries than their own. Angelina Jolie, who I think is one of the most beautiful and intelligent women in the world, has decided to apparently disavow being an American, she has adopted 2 children from other countries and plans on having her biological child born somewhere other than America. Now, don't get me wrong, I have nothing but compassion, love and hope for the people, and especially the children of poverty and war stricken nations, I do. I just believe that we, as a nation, have severe problems that need to addressed as well. And since I am an American, I believe people like Angelina Jolie who have the money and means should help the people in the country that gave her the wealth she now possesses. As far I know, she grew up mostly in Los Angeles, California. Why couldn't she have adopted a child from the poverty stricken areas of that region of the U.S.? Listen, I'm not some naive, flag waving, mindless, uber-patriot who doesn't recognize the wrong America has done and my politics are very far left, so don't take me for a far right wing bigot, I'm just a believer in the old addage that charity does indeed begin at home. George Clooney, another person I admire and respect, has now apparently taken on the Darfur Refugee cause as his primary humanitarian concern. I say again, I have nothing but sympathy for those people, and I do believe something should be done, but again why doesn't George help to raise funds for the starving Americans in L.A. or Appalachia or a number of places in this country. Yes I know it's hard to believe, but there are starving, homeless, displaced people in this country. I see them begging on the streets of my hometown Atlanta all of the time, and if that doesn't convince you, ask The Refugees From Katrina, who are still displaced, in poverty, and suffering from the grief of loved ones lost in the storm. I have just been seeing these news reports lately about the aforementioned celebrities actions and it has irritated me, because it seems that their efforts are always in aiding the people of other countries. It seems to me that it's looked down upon with disdain to care about the poor in America, that Americans have some sort of subconcious subtext going on in their minds that, because those people are Americans, they should be able to help themselves. That Americans are embarrassed by their poor but not the poor of other nations. It's almost as if it's an effront to their pride to help their own countrymen, women, and children. I believe strongly in international aid, but it comes to a point where you have to let people of other countries decide their own fate, and not rely on a Bwana figure to help them out. It's an awful truth, many will die, and be killed, atrocities will happen in other countries. It's horrible and sad, but we can influence other countries through political and financial means without trying to rule other countries or adopt them as our homelands. I just hope that one day, I'll see a celebrity on the news that has adopted a baby from the Southside of Chicago, and that the people of Southern Namibia have formed their own unique government.



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