Over 17 million people on Earth are refugees,
or internally displaced, or
otherwise uprooted from their homes.
Things being what they are these days, those of us surrounded by white porcelain and Pizza Huts think of them, and of the relief workers. How many people around the world are digging a latrine in this moment? Handing a water jug to someone? Taking the water jug, transferring it to the stronger hand, and reaching out for a bar of soap? Opening a tent flap, missing a loved one?
The latest figure for U.S. Tsunami aid is $350 million. Each month, the U.S. spends $6 billion to continue the war on Iraq. Noam Chomsky's notion of worthy and unworthy victims has never been more to the point. We are too compassionate to allow this save-one-here, kill-one-there practice, yet we do.
According to its website, Oxfam distributes a pamphlet to its relief workers called "Stepping Safely." It's a how-to manual on identifying and avoiding landmines. Everywhere, rescue and murder, millimeters apart. The whole planet needs to follow a primer on Stepping Safely, expanded to include, point by point, what must be done so that all of us endangered species survive.
Not One Damn Dime!