Proper Perspective

"Victim" is a loaded word in our society. Most of the time it's used by whining, white liberals who spilled hot coffee on their lap. In reality, those who have actually earned the right to be called a victim are so busy trying to survive that they don't run around scheduling slots on Air America to talk about their victim-hood. Either way, if one truly is a "helpless victim" or if one really tries to be, a victim's mentality is a crippling worldview to hold.

Most Americans don't really experience what it is to truly be a victim. Notice I didn't say "all" Americans. We certainly have true victims; Hurricane Katrina has left her fair share of victims in her wake. But most Americans, if they ever are victims, are so by consequence of past behavior or personal decision. This is not the case in most other countries.

Yesterday I saw a VH1 special on the AIDS crisis in Africa. It profiled Ashley Judd (whose complete involvement and fluency in French was quite impressive), who traveled to Madagascar and India Arie who traveled to Kenya. Judd went to help prevent the spread of AIDS. India went to help treat it and prevent it from spreading further. Madagascar, according to the documentary does not have a high rate of HIV/AIDS yet, but a tremendously large amount of it's female population has been forced into prostitution to feed their families. Thus, the susceptibility is certainly there. Kenya, on the other hand, has a tragically high rate of the disease wreaking havoc on it's inhabitants.

I don't normally trust channels like MTV and VH1, but this documentary was very well done, for what it was. It simply highlighted the problem. Viewers were shown real victims. Children who had been orphaned because their father slept around and gave their mother AIDS. Women who had been infected by their husbands. Children who were infected through their mother. It was a devastating display of the consequences of sin and injustice.

Cindy Sheehan, Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, Al Franken, and the rest of the sorry group of whiners that are liberals need to be shipped off to Africa to witness what it truly means to be a victim of social, political, biological circumstances. Children never deserve to be abandoned, especially due to irresponsible parents who die needless deaths, leaving them with other relatives who too are infected and will soon die. Men and women awaiting treatment for deadly diseases only to have the treatment stolen or taken from their health clinic by their tribal leader or witch doctor who sell it for profit--those are victims. Not soldiers in the U.S. Army who volunteered to serve, protect and defend our great nation.

I don't know why it's so chic to highlight the AIDS crisis in Africa. I'm glad there is awareness of it, but there is suffering all over the globe. It is absolutely worth the attention, though. What people need to be careful of, especially those who watch VH1 as their primary news source, is not becoming so emotionally involved that they feel that just throwing money at the problem will solve it. Giving money to charities that are directly involved in medical treatment and education are the best. I'll give names of those later. But giving money to huge charities by no means guarantees the betterment of African villages.

This is where I will end this post. I'll talk about sources of the problem and solutions for the AIDS crisis in a later post. For now, my props to VH1. They didn't get too deep into the problem, but it was enough to raise eyebrows and bring a few tears.

Posted by Portia at August 30, 2005 12:06 PM | TrackBack