September 10, 2005
-- by Gary Boatwright
From Nathan Newman at The House of Labor over at TPM Café, It’s Politics Now
With tens of billions now flowing from the government towards Bush's business cronies for supposed reconstruction of the Gulf Coast-- stripped of any requirement to pay people decent wages -- progressives have to stop treating all this as humanitarian relief and recognize it's now about political control of the money.
The Bush administration sure recognizes that.
And the only people who will have the moral power to fight the corporate looting of reconstruction money are going to be well-established organizations on the ground, able to mobilize poor families there as well.
Newman recommends that a good place to start is ACORN, nationally based in New Orleans, which is mobilizing poor families to demand fair treatment and decent wages in the aftermath.
Southern Empowerment Project. (links to a range of worthy local groups)
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I agree with this entirely. A lot of New Yorkers decided immediately we were NOT going to donate to the Red Cross. The Salvation Army, maybe. But on the whole collection points were set up around the city for crates of food, water, other supplies, and clothing and a fleet of trucks have hauled these to the disaster area, including Mississippi, which has been terribly neglected.
But what does the American Red Cross have to do with it?
I am simply recommending worthy organizations that I believe offer long term sustainable assistance to working class Americans, as opposed to the band aid relief offered by the Red Cross. It is the difference between feeding someone fish and teaching them how to fish.
Because most people have limited money for charitable contributions, I am passing along suggestions that I agree are more productive and more rewarding options for scarce progressive resources.
It's become awfully hip to dump on the Red Cross, and I don't get it. You didn't tell people to stop giving to the San Francisco Symphony though your "limited resources" argument applies at least as well there. Why not just point out some deserving charities, explain why they are deserving and stop there? Why go out of your way to bash the Red Cross? What do they do that merits such strong disapproval?
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