MOSAIC NOLA:The Gentilly Project

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Where is Mother Theresa when we need her?

The New York Times, in an article entitled, "Liberal Hopes Ebb in Post-Storm Poverty Debate" is a perfect illustration of the shell game going on among the nation's leadership. Jason DeParle gets all the sound bites I have been hearing too:
"We can't raise taxes now when the economy is hit so hard by Katrina."
"The programs we would cut to pay for Katrina are broken anyway." Then he goes on to list the various responses from helpless Democratic leaders. We are in a morass again.
Is it really so political to help the poor? I did not know that I had to be liberal to be compassionate. I thought economic prosperity was a conservative value, too.
I am not convinced we as a nation have to divide over this issue. Perhaps it is not an issue that can be solved at the federal level.
Maybe this is a "Mother Theresa" problem. By that I mean that the possible solution is to start with our own voices speaking about what we see that disturbs us, articulating what we feel is wrong, and inviting others to conversation. Then with those thoughts articulated, act on them in local, tangible and personal ways. Instead of getting caught up in the politics, offer one person help. People locally can start to organize around individual people, acting out of a spiritual personal connection to people in need -- like Macy Gray or Michael Moore did in their way -- by just listening to someone's story, by helping someone network to find a job, by feeding someone physically and spiritually.
I think the liberal are losing the war because they don't know how to fight the battle. There is still time left before daylight to change the plan of attack. It's poverty and hopelessness and isolation the liberals need to fight. Not the conservatives in Congress.
I have reached out to the Rebirth Brass Band and the New Birth Brass Band, both from New Orleans. Both from the areas of the city most affected. I have asked them how we might help them and help their communities. One story. One song at a time. No federal funding necessary.


  • I participated in Dartmouth College's teach in this evening, and the politics of all this came up.

    I'm personally most focused on people: what we can do as people for other people. This includes people acting as independent volunteers alongside government efforts, and more people speaking up to get government to do what they want.

    Everyday people can do a lot, as this crisis has shown. You don't need to an expert, government official, or a professional first responder or activist to make a meaningful difference.

    I received an email about someone up here in New Hampshire who raised $127,000 and had 135 families who had volunteered to take in a Katrina family and provide food and shelter for 6-12 months. Neither FEMA nor the American Cross would accept the offer...

    By Blogger Quintus Jett, at 6:22 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home