Saturday, April 3, 2010

Unlawful to be Kind

Have any of you heard about the lovely man who wants to make it unlawful to help the sick or hurt because they happen to be illegal immigrants? In case you missed it here is an article about the situation

It shouldn't be a crime to be a Good Samaritan

One photo stopped me dead in my tracks as I was going through the Newseum a few years ago. The Washington, D.C., museum is known for its display of Pulitzer Prize-winning photography. In this stunning photo, an emaciated half-naked African baby huddled facedown in the desert wilderness with no human in sight. Several feet away stood a vulture on the ground patiently waiting for the baby to die.

The picture, taken by South African photo journalist Kevin Carter, causes many to pause somberly. In 1993, Carter received permission from the Sudan government to cover the extreme famine there. But he had to agree to the government's demand that he not interfere with the events he would chronicle.

So when Carter happened upon this baby, he snapped the photo and left. He won the coveted Pulitzer Prize for it but was heavily criticized when it was discovered that he had not helped the baby in any way. If he had, however, Carter would have risked being apprehended by government officials and having the photo confiscated. That would have kept the world from witnessing the famine in its truest form, ending any possibility of worldwide outcry from the photo. A few months after winning the Pulitzer, Carter fell into a deep depression and committed suicide.

During the past 15 years, a similar human tragedy has been unfolding in America's Southwestern desert, much like Sudan. More than 5,000 men, women and children have died crossing the desert border into the United States.

In Arizona, 206 migrants died in 2009. But in this case, there are no compelling photos to create a public outcry.

Pictures of desert deaths continue to be kept from the public to spare them the trauma of seeing such graphic images of the many who have succumbed to the elements. Being deprived of this experience has warped the perception of the public and lawmakers, resulting in a failure to view this humanitarian problem in its truest form.

Senate Bill 1070, introduced by Sen. Russell Pearce, is an example of this warped perception. A provision in the bill makes it a crime for a U.S. citizen to render any type of aid to an illegal immigrant; that could be construed as harboring or transporting. Under this bill, should one happen upon a migrant child stranded in the desert, it would be unlawful to transport the child. Rendering any aid could be viewed as harboring.

If this bill goes forward and Gov. Jan Brewer signs it into law, Arizona would forbid an act of compassion by a Good Samaritan and would be acting no differently than Sudan did when it forbade Carter from helping a dying baby.

Perhaps the time has come to encourage the best photojournalists to chronicle the humanitarian tragedy that continues to play out in our desert.

Maybe then a picture will emerge that transcends hatred and creates the public outcry that shames lawmakers on both sides of the border into creating policy that finally brings an end to this human calamity.

When did it become ok as a human being to not help? Why would someone think this would be an ok law to pass?Why would you be arrested for helping someone in need of help. You are suppose to drive by someone dying on the side of the road because they don't have papers? I am all about finding a solution for the borders but not at the risk of human life. Letting children die in the desert or adults even just because they made the choice to risk EVERYTHING for a better life for their families is cruel and for someone in America to actually try to make this into law is beyond wrong. I can not support someone whose moral compass is so out of whack that they would even entertain this idea.

Helping someone in need does not mean you support their ideas. What if doctors decide to turn away someone for their support of the President...wait that is being done! It should not be allowed to happen because some things are more important...human life being one of them. Helping people should always be more important.

I was very much upset to learn that the photographer from the famine picture killed himself. This is something that is just unreal. People making him feel horrible for a situation that he could not control. Why would that be something he should be made to feel bad about. Most people know that the press is often limited in other countries in the ways that they are able to interact with the public. The fact that this man was made to feel so horrible that he actually killed himself is just horrible. Our sense of decency and tact should not just be limited to those who are in horrible situations they should extend to those who take a chance to show us that we need to worry about these situations they often risk everything to bring us back proof of how bad things are in any given place and to condemn them before we know the whole story is weak and mean.

On a whole I am just not feeling that hippie feeling I would want to feel about my fellow man...Right now I am feeling angry that this type of nastiness toward defenseless humans is not being railed against.

What do you think?

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