Posted by: posthaiti | May 28, 2009

White Guilt

white guilt.

so says a friend on why i went down to Haiti to help out with the flooding. hmm.

yep. pretty much one of the most ill-informed (versus *un*-informed) and personally insulting things one could say to me. to *anyone* who’s volunteered with the program. HODR is not about volunteering *just* for brown people. it just happens that a lot of the disastrous effects of large-scale flooding, gnarly hurricanes, etc., are felt in poor countries, of which there are many whose populations are primarily comprised of brown people. (hasn’t the commenter read anything about the effects of global warming going unheeded by the Feds because, well, the majority of these effects will be felt in impoverished countries?)

granted, there were very few people of color who volunteered alongside me in Gonaives, but i think that has less to do with supposed white guilt than the idea of volunteering, in general, for other brown people by brown people. in Haiti, the context of this is plainly seen. but in order to see why that might be the case, one has to venture down and, well, see it for him- or herself.

i will interview peeps in Beantown this weekend to see just how many of the thousands of people who have volunteered for HODR in places as diverse as Haiti, Bangladesh, China, Iowa, and Biloxi had as their number one motivating factor, white guilt.

i think it’s very few. in fact, mine was that i had time, and the ability to help people. and i could, thanks to the generosity of HODR. so i did. pretty simple. and pretty simply amazing!

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