The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

June 8, 2010

Who's going to "Save Our Gulf?"

By Cindy Allen, Managing Editor
CNHI

ENID —

I’m sure those of you who participate in Facebook have seen those chain status requests that make a statement and ask you to repost it in your status if you agree.

I usually ignore those, but one I saw this morning caught my attention, and I did, indeed, post it on my status.

It says this: So, where are all the "Save the Gulf" concerts? Where are the T.V. Benefits with celebrities and musicians giving heart-felt speeches on the poor fisherman, wildlife, beaches, loss of income and sabotaged gulf economy? These people (including our own government) are so quick to help Haiti and other countries...but where are they now?

Its a good point. Hurricane Katrina was a natural disaster of major proportions exacerbated by human failures. In the wake of that event, big-money entertainers and musicians swept into the area. Some have even rebuilt parts of New Orleans.

When a major earthquake struck Haiti, that really got entertainers and musicians out. They’ve done yeoman’s work and are to be applauded for their efforts in helping that country.

This oil spill in the gulf is a man-made disaster that is wreaking havoc on a major portion of our U.S. economy and ecological system. The disaster is affecting four or five states now, and if the oil follows the expected current, will go all the way up the east coast.

In its wake, thousands of fishermen and people who depend on the eco-system and economy of the Gulf and the Coast are left without jobs.

If that doesn’t get the far-left, wealthy musicians and entertainers eyes watering, well what about those photos of wildlife drenched in oil? That’s enough to break even the steeliest of hearts, and these musicians and entertainers are supposed to be big-hearted folks, aren’t they?

In fairness, i did find one benefit organized by New Orleans musicians back in May. And a few more may pop up as this thing goes on. But we're sure not hearing much about help now.

Look, I’m not saying its the responsibility of Hollywood’s elite to sweep in with money and try to solve everyone’s problems. But, it does beg some thought, doesn’t it, that they are so choosy in their philanthropy? It does leave the impression that since this disaster has occurred under their favored president’s watch, they don’t want to appear to be too concerned. If this had happened under a Republican administration’s watch, I think the response from them would be different.

There is another way to look at this. Everyone and every country in the world has looked to the United States to be a philanthropic leader, and our country has been. It is assumed our country has the money, the intellectual knowledge and the power to make all our problems and disasters go away. And, if another country has a disaster, the United States is expected to pony up and give millions or billions to their disaster efforts because, in the past, we have always been able to do so.

In my mind, our lack of ability to first stop this leak and then our sputtered efforts to clean it up is just showing the world we are falling off our leadership pedestal. We’re showing the world we’re not that special.

That’s a message the leftist elite have been espousing for years -- that the United States shouldn’t be so arrogant, we shouldn’t think we’re so special and we should stop trying to encourage everyone else into doing things our way.

Slowly -- and unfortunately surely -- that message is becoming more and more a reality.