Yesterday, June 11, 2002, I wrote an editorial titled: “Let Them Starve”, in relationship to the millions of people who are facing starvation in “third world” countries. Mostly Africa.
My article was a result of the current United Nations conference being held in Italy, on what the world can do to aid nations where its citizenry was either starving, or in danger of starving.
As a result of what I had written, one of my long-time readers was so upset by my words, that he demanded to have his e-mail address removed from my directory. Which I complied with immediately.
This made me think. Perhaps I went too far. So I reconsidered my point of view on feeding the “third world”, and came away with the same conviction of which I wrote. Let Them Starve.
It is not that I want people to starve. And it is not that I am unfeeling. It is just that I don’t want to get involved in the lives of people who are raised on a steady diet of hatred for all things Western, and in many ways non-Moslem.
I am fed up with countries that survive on my tax dollar largesse, while their tin-pot rulers stuff their Swiss bank accounts with the hard earned fruit of my labor. Or who spend like drunken sailors on military equipment with which to subjugate their own people, or to make war on their neighbors. I am just not interested.
There are no shortages of charities and issues which I can participate in, as I do. However, I prefer to aid people who are appreciative. And given the chance, who will make the effort to better themselves. Especially underprivileged children in the country where I happen to live.
Of course it will be argued that amongst the millions of people who are either starving or at risk, most are innocents who have absolutely no concept of world politics or social issues. And like all of us, all they want is to survive. This is true. But it is also true that there are far better ways to aid these people than to throw money at them in the hope that things will get better. They will not.
Here is what I wrote to my former reader:
Allan: I have removed your address from my e-mail directory and apologize for offending you. However; the millions of people who you do not wish to starve, will do so with our help, or without our help. And until such time as these societies join the 21st century, they will continue to starve, and they can do so without my help.
I don’t feel compelled to give my money to people who think it is normal to have a dozen kids, and then sell them to the highest bidder. Or throw them into servitude. Or send their girls out to be 12 year old brides or worse.
The reasons they are starving has to do with their religious and social convictions, not with our Band-Aid “enabling” solutions.
I have seen some of the so-called third world, and I am far more concerned with “saving” the people and children within our own society. Last week, Anne and I donated $3,000 in prizes to help Generations, Sun Youth, the Special Olympics and a West Island Charitable service organization. I know that money will be put towards good use.
In the case of Generations and Sun Youth, most of that money will go to feed immigrant children, many of whom are from the third world.
Once again, I apologize for offending you. But not for what I wrote, nor for my convictions.
Best Regards . . . Howard Galganov
I generally never request a response form my readers. However; If you have an opinion on what I wrote yesterday or today; I would like to read it.