Wednesday, October 3

Crumbs from Your Table

"How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb" is the album that fuelled my study for my BA dissertation. There are a few songs off the album that are significant to me for a number of reasons,"Crumbs from Your Table" being the most significant. Released in 2004 at a time of great fervour over the "Make Poverty History" campaign and a general high of media coverage and public interest, and action, with regards to social justice issues, it treats on the subject of social disproportions. One of my favourite lines reads 'where you live should not decide on whether you live or whether you die'. I am often criticised because I desire to work as a medical doctor amongst the most destitute in the so-called "Developing world". They say, "why do you want to go so far when there is evident need and poverty virtually at your door step". The observation is realistic, nonetheless inaccurate. Indeed there is a lot of poverty in the south of Italy. Some of the areas where I minister are oozing with undereducated children who live on the street with little or no care from a parental authority. Often abused, mistreated, malnourished, unloved. However, the beauty of our assistentialist state is that their basic needs are, theoretically, catered for. The level of disparity and injustice that I observe in the developing world is, in my opinion, of colossal proportions. Just this morning I was reading that in Sierra Leone there is one surgeon for every 1.000.000 people - one million.
Although 'colonialism' in the most degrading and terrible connotation of the word is officially over, exploitation ain't. In order to cure disease in our countries, the pharmaceutical industry experiments, or worse freely administers faulty drugs which will necessitate the purchase of further medicinals, onto human test animals in the southern hemisphere. Because we have polluted most of our environment, we go growing OGM corn crops in Africa's most fertile fields to produce eco-friendly biofuels, pay the residents a misery and force them to relocate to worse, less salubrious marshland infested by parasites responsible for the transmission of malaria onto humans. Malaria alone kills over 150.000 children a month, the same number of victims killed by the South East Asia Tsunami in 2004. The Italian government pays for its members of Parliament to be flown on a personal jet to the F1 races, pays their restaurant bills and private medical care when an anti-malaria pill costs less than $0.60 a dose. Despite the embargo on the 'blood diamonds', Lebanon still manages to ship them at more reasonable prices to the West. Think.

1 comment:

john heasley said...

I am really challenged, and rightfully, biblically as a christian challenged to strive more and more for social justice, keep pushing, keep asking the questions that people want to ignore, it may be uncomfortable, but its what Jesus would be doing, that is where we should be. Thanks Yvonne.