Charity Begins at Home

          As a resident of Houston, the memory of Hurricane Katrina will forever remain on my mind.

          With the majority of my family members scattered throughout the great state of Louisiana, including New Orleans, those American residents who struggled to cling to life could have easily been my grandmother, aunts, uncles, cousins or college classmates.

          However, when many New Orleans residents began arriving in Houston, even before the buses brought them to live temporarily in the Astrodome, many Houston hotels refused service or increased the prices of their rooms so much that it became impossible for many to find shelter.

          I can vividly remember a hotel employee stating that they raised the prices so excessively so that they could keep the “riff raff” out.

          Former President George W. Bush even went so far as to call residents of New Orleans, which the last time I checked was in America, refugees because they drove five hours west on Interstate 10 to Houston.

          Bush’s response was so slow after Hurricane Katrina that the situation became mightily worse.

          However, nine years later President Obama is asking for $3.7 billion dollars to aid in the process of determining the right home for illegal immigrants, when many American children suffer from the same fate as the children from Latin America.

        According to FOX 36 News in Chicago, “More than 52,000 unaccompanied children and 39,000 women with children have been apprehended trying to cross the United States’ southern border this year.

          “Many of them were fleeing gangs and drug violence in El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras.  That has created chaos at detention facilities unable to handle the human flood.”

          While I wholeheartedly sympathize with the chaos these children and women have had to endure in their home countries, we have many poor Americans dealing with the same chaos in their neighborhoods and often politicians turn a blind eye to their plight.

          If President Obama is so interested in foreign children to spend $3.7 billion dollars in taxpayer money to assist him, he should at least spend three times that much to eradicate gang violence, poverty and chaos in inner city America.

          The president only has to look at his adopted hometown of Chicago to see how chaotic American ghettoes have become for many young Black children growing up in the midst of disorder and chaos.

          Often poor Black children and adults are criticized for asking and receiving help from the government, but it is somehow now OK for us to turn them down sometimes, while giving it to others.

          Over the Independence Day weekend, 82 people in Chicago were shot, 14 of those people were wounded fatally according to the Chicago Tribune.

          Just imagine what $3.7 billion could do to revitalize the streets on the west side and south side of the “Windy City.”  That amount of money funds a lot of after school programs, job training facilities and law enforcement improvements.

          I am not advocating being callous or cold towards our brothers and sisters from other countries, but you cannot be a blessing to others unless you are blessed yourself.

          President Obama should use that money to be a blessing to the same people that helped him get elected and are still struggling with the same predicaments that they endured during his predecessor’s tenure in the White House.

          Michael Jackson was known internationally for his philanthropy.  And although his father Joseph Jackson is often maligned in the media for his child-rearing tactics, he said one thing to Michael that he should say to the president.

          He said that charity begins at home.

          It is time for the president, and all politicians to realize that although it is good PR to help those from other countries, make sure your house is in order before you welcome any houseguests.

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