Americans to Pakistan: Drown

Posted on 19 Aug 2010 at 5:36pm

There’s little LGBT about this. I’m writing it because I haven’t seen anyone else in the media say it. It’s not my recommendation. It’s my observation.

Americans don’t sit by when people are in desperate need. The LGBT community doesn’t just let others suffer. Or so it seems, until now.

The LGBT community locally and nationally is usually very responsive to crises. We got little help with the AIDS crisis but have taken the lead in helping others affected by the disease.

When the earthquake hit Haiti, fundraising events spontaneously popped up all over the U.S. What had Haiti ever done for us? Nothing. They’re the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere and needed our help. Most of us gave and felt guilty for not giving more.

The LGBT community in Dallas got together and produced an eight-hour fundraising event with performers from within and from outside our community to raise money for Haitians. Thousands of dollars were sent to the Clinton-Bush Haiti fund. The only wish in the community was that we could have done more.

When the tsunami swept the Pacific, donations poured in to help a dozen or more poor countries recover. Some of those countries were allies. Others, not so much. But desperate people needed our help.

Dallas Voice reported at the time that Cathedral of Hope and White Rock Community Church joined forces and raised more than $20,000 for that relief effort.

Today, floods have displaced 8.5 million people in Pakistan. As the crisis continues, homes have been destroyed and people are consumed by illness and hunger. The reaction is quite different.

Words of support have come from those same officials who rallied Americans to help Haiti. The U.S. government today pledged $150 million.

But the response from the general public is deafening silence. And you know what? We don’t really care. Drown.

We’ve heard nothing about local groups collecting funds for the current humanitarian disaster.

The Rainbow World Fund still features Haiti on its homepage. The only reference to Pakistan is a brief mention of earthquake relief for the country in the past.

While I’ve seen lots of stories about the lack of response, no one is saying why.

So here it is and it’s ugly. The people in need are not the ones responsible, but we really don’t care.

Since Osama bin Laden was last seen in Afghanistan in 2002, he has been hiding in Pakistan. We assume that country has been actively sheltering him. At the very least they are doing nothing to help us catch him and have even blocked our attempts to ferret him out of his hiding places.

In addition, against international treaties, Pakistan developed and tested nuclear weapons.

So now you need our help because of flooding?

The American public’s response: Drown.

Americans are very giving people. We never ask how much you’ve done for us. Haiti has done little. And we’ve asked little of Haiti. But when they needed our assistance, we were there.

But the floods in Pakistan this month have served as little more than a reminder that Haitians still need our help rather than as a call to do something for Pakistan.

When Americans think of Pakistan, they think of a country that continues to shelter someone responsible for one of the most evil acts in American history — the murder of 3,000 Americans.

No one else is saying it, so I thought I would.

Americans would just as soon see Pakistanis drown, starve and die of disease.

Money’s coming from the American government with aid delivered by the American military, and we resent our country even doing that.

But private efforts?

Turn over bin Laden and we’ll talk about helping.

Until then, there’s going to be very little sympathy — or aid — coming from the American people.

Again. Not what I’m advocating. Just my observation.

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