Monday, January 7, 2008
"Freedom!" they cried..."freedom from tyranny!" Those were the shouts of those who founded this great country we now live in. They stood against oppression and said, "We will not tolerate it any longer." Now, over 200 years later...this great country has turned a blind eye to the tyrants of the world...and has closed its ears to the sounds of the oppressed. I was supposed to be traveling to Kenya next week, to work with Compassion International on a radio special about malaria. However, the trip has been cancelled due to the recent outbreak of violence there. I've been following the crisis for the past week, learning about the political unrest, the battles between different tribes...the riots, gunfire, church burnings, killings. It breaks my heart to think about the children who have to hear all this taking place in their neighborhoods...running for shelter as their homes are destroyed. For several days, families have been cut off from food supplies...water...the basic necessities. So, I watch the news to get the latest updates...and it's almost impossible to find any information. The Kenya crisis made headlines for a day or two...then disappeared. Not the crisis...just the news coverage. Still, there are over 100,000 people displaced from their homes. Over 300 dead. Tension still in the streets. And we've moved on. By "we", I mean the American public. We've moved on to "more pressing matters" like Britney Spears and how she's losing custody of her children. Or how the writer's strike in Hollywood means we're not going to get a new season of 24 this Spring. And that has me wondering: When did this transition take place? When did we become a country that cares more about a celebrity's personal life than the fate of children living in extreme poverty? When did we become a country that cares more about entertaining ourselves than clothing the naked and feeding the hungry? Protecting those in harm's way? This country was founded by those who were all about fighting oppression. Of all countries, we should be the ones who care most about tyranny in other parts of the world. "Freedom!" they cry. "Freedom from tyranny!" But hey...Britney looks fat, don't you think?