Thursday, November 1, 2012

Hurricane Sandy

So as I said (http://www.emilysatrium.org/2012/10/that-doesnt-go-away.html) I was pretty happy with my outcomes from Hurricane Sandy. I had a nice snow day, all my friends, family, and property are basically safe, and I got to play a lot of video games. Overall it made me pretty happy. The one thing that didn't make me happy was dinner. That made me feel all gross and icky inside.

I went to dinner and the place was filled with people. There were so many humans there to get food. Aramark, the people who make our food seemed to anticipate this, though. They had extra staff. The issue was that most of the staff at our dining halls don't make a ton of money and most of them are people of color. They had to come into work to feed me during a hurricane and that's just not cool. When I was coming in I looked at the woman and said, "How are you getting home?" because the public transportation was all turned off. When she answered, "I don't know," my heart sank because I know there is inequality in the world and I have a certain white privilege that others may not, but the glaring inequalities are usually not so obvious. I usually don't have to be confronted with the truth that rich people plan for generations forward, poor people plan for Saturday night. I hadn't even considered where my dinner would come from, but those employees had no choice. I could have turned to this woman who was serving me and offered to let her sleep on my floor, but that wouldn't have solved the problem. It would have been almost disrespectful to the complexity of the issue and the dozens of other food and sanitation employees that were feeding and catering to us rich college brats. I just couldn't solve that problem.

A lot of my friends are sociology majors that study the inequalities of the world almost full time. I just don't know if I could do that. I couldn't make the T run so those people could get home through the hurricane. I couldn't let them sleep in my room. I just had to accept that poor and rich exist and are part of the WorldSuck we have to fight. I want to forget this experience, but I felt that the least these people deserve is a blog post. That I can do. I don't want to make you feel all icky inside too. Guilty is not a super useful emotion. Awareness, charities, money... that stuff is useful. Just saying.

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