WASHINGTON, D.C.—As the news media constantly searches for new and breaking news stories, we tend to forget the stories that are still affecting millions of Americans, who find very little support from American lawmakers or even the general public after the satellite trucks pull up and leave their small towns throughout our nation. The people in Alabama, Georgia and Joplin, Mo. who suffered catastrophic damages affecting them financially, physically and emotionally after crushing tornados earlier this spring were the least argued about in the current debt ceiling debate, the obsession over the Casey Anthony trial and now international terror attacks in Europe.
The people who were already struggling financially and many emotionally from the major recession and the high unemployment rate are the forgotten Americans that need the spotlight of the media even now, as the current news stories trending on all of the national media networks and cable news channels. How did the people in tornado and flood-ravaged regions in our country drop off our proverbial radar screens? Sure, we should always help others around the world, and that’s what makes the United States of America so great. However, to quote the Holy Bible, “charity begins at home.” This isn’t a religious piece or a political statement, it simply is meant to let the people know who are still struggling to put their lives back together that everyone has not forgotten you.
Tornado Funnel Cloud. Photo Courtesy of U.S. Weather Service
Whenever there is a natural disaster or terrorist attack outside of our borders, we are the first on the scene. Many times we travel to lands far from our shores where our soldiers are unwelcome and our way of life is reviled. Most recently we found ourselves helping friends in Japan, who suffered a historic earthquake that caused damage to major nuclear facilities in the dead of winter in north of that country, leaving its people hiding in bushes and in dire need of food, water and shelter.
Last spring here in the homeland, we watched horror as epic-sized tornadoes took out centuries-old trees, homes and other man-made structures. FEMA quickly went in and offered food aid, fresh water and the American Red Cross also did so much of the heavy lifting. However, after cars are removed from atop of homes, trees cut, water restored, we as Americans tend to go on to the next crisis, which we do better than anyone else on the planet. But what we often forget is the lull that comes not only after the storm, but the initial aid packages that are given to people who need a lot more than just a helping hand. Americans in Missouri, Alabama and in Georgia are still battling insurance companies; at least those who were lucky enough to be able to afford home owners and renters insurance. There are also small businesses trying desperately to rebuild and reemploy a workforce that was already struggling to remain viable, with none of the politicians in Washington taking any of these people into consideration when it comes to the current political battle over the debt ceiling.
Many well-to-do Americans simply don’t understand how many citizens in the wealthiest country in the history of the world oftentimes are struggling to just put food on the table. The days of a solid and dependable career in the teaching field, firefighting or law enforcement are coming to a crashing halt, with yes, even politics creeping into states and local affairs, and these middle class Americans find themselves on the front lines of wars political newcomers declare on their fiscal policies. Americans tend to side with one political party or another when it comes to what they believe is the fault of their economic plight. Though they rarely realize that the truth lies not on either side of the political system or even in the middle for that matter. The fact that we live in this great country, and we can forget others within our borders because we either don’t have to see their plight, thanks to a schizophrenic-like media that finds their news by what is trending as most popular on Google and social media sites.
The news media may personally receive an email from someone in one of these devastated regions around the country, but they tend to hit the delete button and move on to the story that is sexy, gets Americans riled up politically or racially, and we forget that we are all Americans and we are here for one another. And there are millions who need our assistance right now. We should put aside politics and cultural differences and join in helping these regions to rebuild. Because of the historic nature of the South being so segregated, it’s almost impossible for many of the residents to work together even now. Perhaps these are the people who need our help the most.
Please pray for your fellow Americans who remain in need and assistance, and if possible, make a donation to the American Red Cross or other charities that are working to aid and rebuild the tornado-ravaged and devastated regions in the South and Midwest.
Continue praying for our brave troops who fight on the frontlines on the war on terror. May they return home soon and safely.