I got a lot of people all worked up with this post yesterday. They got their righteous indignation worked out and are probably very proud of the various names they called me, with "scum" being the most popular. I even got listed in Chrenkoff's list of inconsiderate liberals, which is pretty cool considering I just started blogging two days ago! Unprecedented success!
Now I have a confession to make. I STILL won't contribute to Katrina, despite the fact that all y'all hate me. However, my last post was purposely provocative — George Bush isn't really the reason I won't contribute (although I despise him just as much today as yesterday and have plenty of things I DO blame him for).
I won't contribute because it's been shown over and over again that in a crisis, people heap on the love, giving millions of dollars or whatever aid is needed, but then forget as life rushes back in. The Red Cross will get a ton of money this week, but what will they get 4, 5, 6 months down the road, while people still need help? Very little. Because people will have moved on.
Both 9/11 and the tsunami relief efforts show this to be true — people were giving blood after 9/11 like crazy, until the Red Cross asked them to stop because it was too much. How many people gave on March 11, 2002? (Granted, money is good any time, as it won't go bad like blood.) The rush of help after the tsunami subsided while millons were still suffering away from news headlines.
I do my giving in a planned way, not giving in times of crisis because I know the crisis money will show up. The suffering of New Orleans isn't going to be transformed in a day even if the Red Cross gave a $100 bill to everyone that asked for one. My dollar today, while symbolic, will do only so much. So I will hold on to it for a while, and give when the inevitable shortage occurs. I might even give $1.50. (That was just to be provocative, too; don't get yourself in a snit.)