By: Omowale Lithuli-Allen
In the tract, Generosity to Justice, the story is told about the nobility of the human spirit in the wake of a disaster- Hurricane Katrina. Thousands of black residents of New Orleans revealed an open sore in the land of the plenty. A superpower was paralyzed to mount an effective relief effort despite the heroic efforts of thousands of first responders.
200 women in Uganda earning $1.20 per day breaking rocks into gravel donated $900. Hurricane Katrina revealed a soft underbelly of boats that were stuck on the bottom in the Big Easy. Nevertheless, the women in the under- developed world parked their dissatisfaction with the world to assist brothers and sisters across the ocean to recover.
If you are in the dumps, one of the best medications is to help someone caught in a cross. Helping someone caught in a cross decreases anxiety and relieves depression. The women of Uganda canceled their pity party and got in the fight. This is not a swipe against righteous use of mind candy to restore equilibrium and health.
Part of running the unforgiving race is giving more than what is practical and advisable.
False and fake benevolence is not the answer. We advance justice by attacking systemic issues, not just their symptoms. Ernest McMillan, legendary SNCC organizer and co-founder of the Fifth Ward Enrichment Program taught us that if we are fishing children out of the river year after year, it behooves us to go upstream and find out why. Perhaps there is a structural problem that can be addressed.
Kindness downstream is good. We are commanded by the divine to do good, love justice and walk humbly. Bicycles and dolls at Xmas are not a substitute for livable wage jobs. Turkeys and hams donated by politicians, preachers and do-gooders temporarily plug the leak and provide a salve for guilty consciences.
Why can’t people afford healthy food and why can’t people afford housing without a subsidy. Why does 3 billionaires in the United States have more wealth than the bottom half?
China has lifted hundreds of millions of people out of extreme poverty. Africa is beginning to lift millions out of poverty. Stevie Wonder caught the wave and started conquering river blindness and malaria. Catch the Wonder wave and stop rubbing and licking your wound.
The tan canary Johnnie Adams says that refusing to see is worse than being blind.
Are we satisfied with devolving into an oligarchy and rule by pinheads and elites? I am not against having money but superfluous, stupid wealth while others are dirt poverty is unconscionable. This is not an argument for paying for college education for the children of ultra-rich parents.
Now the society must begin to discuss root causes and solutions, not just bandages. Might the formula be KINDNESS MERCY JUSTICE.