And then there were four
Day two. Two more projects I voted for, and why. But let's recap. Is Day Two too early to recap? Let's not think about it so much. in my first post, I explained (or tried to) why I chose the GrassRoots.org Toolbox and FamilyFarmed.org projects. Today, I got two more projects coming your way.
I heard an interview on the radio a while back about genocide. Some key points caught my attention: the stages that genocide goes through (there are nine, if I remember correctly), the fact that genocide can be stopped or prevented at any of the first eight steps (step nine is denial), that there are currently genocides likely taking place in the world nowin places we do not hear about, and most importantly some reasons that we don't act to stop genocide. That's right, it's "we". It's me, and it's you. Activisim, and social change, does not begin with the governments and institutions. It begins with me and you doing something that many have forgotten how to do: caring. Genocide keeps happening because you and I don't care. I was going to say we don't know, but if we don't know it is only because we do not care to know. Darfur is the big failure story. We had a chance to stop the tragedy there every step of the way. We saw it coming, and we watched it happen. We can sit here and point an accusing hypocritical finger at the Government, at Bill Clinton, at the UN. But what did you and I do to stop the attrocities?
So, now that we agree (don't we? ) that it takes me and you to care in order to act, and it takes me and you acting in order to accomplish, the question is: what do we do? Well, don't stand there. Vote for the Genocide Intervention Network, to start with. Then visit their website and learn.
Now for something closer to home. (At least I hope that we have progressed enough that we do not tolerate genocide in our back yard. But for those of us living in areas where genocide is taking place, spread the word. We're helping.) Speaking of spreading the word, the Internet seems to be where most words get spread these days. We have satelite, DSL, cable, FIOS, and a new faster service pops up every other day. Neat! That is, unless you live in an area which the Internet/Telephone/Cable companies chose not to serve. Inner city, traditionally low-income neighborhood? Rural, sparsely populated area? So sad, Joe. Enjoy your dial-up. Your telco doesn't care, and your politician is watching his campaign contributions from said telco grow.
Enter the Hear Our Pain Action Network. By pulling together all the people who are ill-served and helping them organize their complaints and issues, we can now present a voice that can be heard over the political money machine. Don't see this limited to Internet access, by the way. There are disadvantaged people living right in our neighborhoods, people the big companies do not see as worth their services, and to whom politicians pay election-year lip service. Kudos to Michael and his group for turning all these small whispers into a loudspeaker! Go vote for his project!
OK, I said I was goign to do Two for Thursday, but I couldn't pass up this seguÃ©. While Michael is working on pulling together all the voices, what do you know about how socially responsible the companies to which you give your money are? What do you know about, say, Starbucks firing employees because they tried to form a union? (Yes, the fair-trade, green, hippie Starbucks. Put down that lattÃ©!) Well, I don't know very much, either. A Post article here or a brief news story there. Large companies pay a lot of money to make sure we know only what they want us to know. Sure, occasionally a story trickles through to the newspaper, and a few of us still manage to read a paper once in a while. But the world revolves around spin and hype and ever-increasing advertising dollars. Real-people issues with companies, even real-people kudos for companies, do not get out. Until hooze.org. The Hooze people put up a wiki where you and I can read and post bits we should know about the companies we do business with. Good and Bad. Brilliant! Why didn't I think of this? Go give them your vote love!
That's it for now. If you're not done voting yet, I'll get some more out tomorrow.