I just read this op-ed in the NY Times that pointed me to this report from Refugees International. Both talk of how Haitian groups have not been involved in UN and international rebuilding efforts. The Refugee International report says:
“Local organizations have a hard time accessing meetings at the UN compound in Port-au-Prince, where UN agencies and international NGOs have established task-specific cluster groups to improve communication across operating agencies, discuss specific needs, and coordinate activities in order to avoid overlap and maximize outreach and coverage of a response. Haitian groups are either unaware of the meetings, do not have proper photo-ID passes for entry, or do not have the staff capacity to spend long hours at the compound.”
I know the Haitian groups are stretched thin, but they cannot be shut out of the rebuilding process. According to an action alert I received last week from Oxfam, Haitian leaders haven’t even been invited to an international meeting on rebuilding to be held in New York. The US and the international community ought to be there for Haiti to help. But it is disgustedly paternalistic to not include Haitians in important decisions regarding their own future.
I’m not a health freak nor a vegetarian. I like the idea of buying organic and local and all that; but don’t have the money, time and energy to do so successfully. But this stuff scares me.
I’m going to come off as heartless…
The Hamilton Journal-News had a heartwarming story this morning about a developmentally disabled woman who works in the prosecutor’s office. She loves sports, she says she does her job well because she wears black Reebocks. She has had this job for 18 years and loves it. She can live on her own, but is unable to go grocery shopping on her own. Heartwarming. Sweet.
But here is where I get snarky. Her dad was a judge. Remember this is the prosecutor’s office. According to the article, she got the job because she went to all the political events with her dad. Clearly, this is an example of preferential hiring — not of an affirmative action type; but old-fashioned patronage variety.
In this sweet story, there was no criticism of the prosecutor doing the judge a favor by hiring his daughter. The article was written as an apolitical, human interest type. However, if the woman in question did not have a developmental disability, it wouldn’t be heartwarming. It would be a story about patronage.
For those who know me, you will know that I am a big fan of meritocracy. When people are hired because of who their parents are, society further solidifies its hierarchical structures. White folks of means tend to appoint other white folks of means. This story is a little different since the recipient of favoritism was developmentally disabled — but she was still the daughter of a white person of means (her brother is a lawyer too).
It is bad enough that our education system tends to maintain the status quo (kids of parents with money go to better schools which leads to better opportunities). It is frustrating when private businesses hire without positing positions so they can hire the friend’s family member or the friend. But when the government does it, it seems even worse. Really, is it too much to ask to post a job and pick a qualified applicant from the pool — maybe even the most qualified applicant?
(Note, the most qualified applicant is not necessarily the one with the most education. The woman in the story is qualified to do her job, but so were others with and without developmental disabilities who never had the opportunity to have a job created on their behalf.)
So, the box on my Lean Cuisine meal had the following “wellness tip”, “Enjoying your meals on a plate and eating more slowly can lead to a more satisfying meal experience.”
I believe that translates to: “If you put this on a plate, you might forget how pathetic you are for eating Lean Cuisine.” How can doing more dishes make the food taste better?
Just learned the author Joe Hill is the son of Stephen and Tabitha King. His middle name is Hillstrom. I’m not a big genre fan; yet I’ve long respected the Kings for their political and charitable activities. But my esteem just rose further upon learning that they would name their son Joe Hillstrom after my favorite union organizer ever — ok favorite martyred union organizer. Love the IWW!
And kudos to author Joe Hill for making it on his own rather than relying on his dad’s name.
What is funny about all of this is I had just recently put Joe Hill’s latest book on my “to-read” list, even though it is not the type of book I would normally read, because I saw a strong review.
I’m just wading through here on tumblr. Let’s see how it goes.