Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Do The Right Thing

I finally took the time to watch Spike Lee’s “When the Levees Broke”. The documentary chronicles Hurricane Katrina: before, during and after. After watching almost three hours of gut wrenching footage, I realized the before, the during and the after were equally catastrophic. The way the levees were inadequately built. Condeleeza Reese’ insulting laissez-faire reaction. And today’s dismal management of the victims is dreadful and unacceptable.

It’s a difficult documentary to watch because in many ways it highlights not only America’s failures but really our failures as humans. Our priorities are not in order, and I find we are less sensitive to the less fortunate and really, we don’t take care for our own. There is no unity and not enough compassion. If there were, Canadians would be more vocal against the third-world like conditions of the Aboriginals and really, that term all together would be banish. And instead of having wannabe celebrities travel with a camera to various parts of Africa for photo ops, we would have vocal leaders denouncing the plight of Native communities. Helping Africa is essential and primordial but we can’t turn a blind eye to what’s happening in our backyards. As the U.S. gets ready to elect a new Leader and as other Industrialized countries set in new governments, it is time for all of us to re-prioritized. Democracy in Afghanistan? Democracy in Native communities, first. Rebuild Iraq? Rebuild the lower 9th ward on New Orleans and rebuild lower than low income neighbourhoods in urban centers. Re-prioritize, folks. Re-prioritize.

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