Thursday, January 21, 2010

Philanthropically Speaking

It seems like every year or two there is a devastating natural disaster that calls on those who have to open their hearts and, if they can and want, give to those who have not.

And I don't say that to trivialize any of the recent events that have taken hundreds of thousands of lives and created who knows how many orphans and homeless families. I just want you to re-read that first sentence again, especially the part that says "if they can and want."

Why do I call that part out? Because I've noticed a particularly distasteful trend on Twitter, FB and blogland of guilting or shaming people into donating money to various charities aiding the Haitian people.

I am absolutely of the belief that once I "make it" I should give back and pull up my brothers and sisters still in the struggle. Sometimes you'll hear me say that when my media empire blows up I'm bringing you with me, and I mean that. And I also have a list of charities near and dear to my heart that will receive annual donations, grants and/or endowments from me and the media empire, above and beyond whatever it is I do, or don't do for them now.

You won't see me list them or call them out, though, because I am also of the belief that philanthropy is a personal, private matter. Whom I give to and how much I give is none of anybody's business, except maybe Uncle Sam (that nosy, greedy motherfucker!) and my Mami (who will be in charge of my loot) and my lawyers/estate planners/beneficiaries.

The rest of you can STEP w/the guilt trips and obnoxious GIVE NOW tweets and status messages. If you gave, that's awesome. Beautiful. Haiti needs more people like you right now and from now on. Does that mean you can rub it in others' faces, like those somma-time Catholics that LIVE for Ash Wednesday so that they can flaunt their "faith" to the outside world? Please. I hope not.

Last week while on the phone with Nina I said I wouldn't write about this tragedy in Ayiti because it's a personal matter, and I didn't feel that I had to share anything about it with you. Especially what, if anything, I've done to help my people across that 193 mile border. You don't know me like that. Yeah, you read this blog and I pour about 85% of my real life onto this site for your reading pleasure, but please don't ever mistake it for KNOWING. ME. LIKE. THAT. I would never presume the same about you.

But the reason for this rant (because you know I always have a reason) is that yesterday someone made a snide comment asking why was Oprah Winfrey concerned w/what Wyclef Jean was donating to Haiti when she has enough money and should be giving, too. It struck a nerve because what AUDACITY to tell someone what to do with their own hard-earned money. How do we know what Ms. Winfrey has or hasn't done for Haitian relief efforts, and why does she have to, AND why is it our business, just because she isn't screaming it from the mountaintops? Fall back, SON!

YES what happened, and its aftermath, is HORRIBLE, and this country, these people, those BABIES, need help from wherever it may come. But getting all high and mighty, holier-than-thou with other people's wallets? Who the fuck are you?

Listen, give, don't give. Help, don't help. Just do what your conscious is comfortable with, not what a somma-timer says you should do. Chances are in a month, many of these same people will forget that Haiti even exists. Just like they forgot about Louisiana, and just like they forgot about those areas near the Indian Ocean.

*hops off soapbox and throws it at Twitter*

And another thing: don't EVER, IN YOUR LIFE, tell me what to do. EVER.

*smooches...especially after the tongue lashing I just gave you*
only a small part of this was directed at one person so don't try to start no online's something that has been bothering me since the 13th and I've tried to hold it in but yesterday, man, a spark was lit and I couldn't find my fire extinguisher...