White House Hails ‘Humanitarian Day,’ Ignores American Disasters

Brittany M. Hughes | August 19, 2016
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The White House issued a press release Friday from National Security Advisor Susan E. Rice commemorating World Humanitarian Day, focusing on the plight of those suffering in foreign nations while plugging their agenda to continue admitting refugees from war-torn Syria.

Meanwhile, the ever-golfing, still-vacationing President Obama has yet to visit Louisiana to observe the devastation that’s already cost 13 people their lives and damaged at least 40,000 homes in the worst disaster since Hurricane Sandy. More than 7,000 people are currently in temporary shelters, while thousands have been rendered without electricity in the middle of a hot and humid summer.

In fact, other than signing a disaster relief order, Obama has yet to publicly acknowledge the tragedy at all.

However, the White House did take a moment Friday to reflect on the struggles of…well, just about everyone else:

On World Humanitarian Day, we honor humanitarians across the globe for their compassion and their courage.  We remember the 22 UN and relief agency staff who died in a Baghdad bombing on this day 13 years ago as well as the nearly 4,000 other aid workers who have been killed, wounded, or kidnapped in the past two decades.  Humanitarians deserve our support, respect, and praise not just for their work, but for what they represent: our capacity to help those who are suffering, regardless of where they come from, what language they speak, or how they worship. 

Humanitarian crises are not distant tragedies.  Today, there are a record 65 million people displaced inside their own countries, living as refugees or seeking asylum. More than 130 million people across 40 countries are in need of humanitarian aid. The scourges that many flee - political repression, chronic violence, and natural disasters - cannot be defeated by building barriers but only by building hope and compassion. These are global challenges that demand collective action. 

And as world leaders gather at the 71st session of the UN General Assembly, President Obama will convene a Leaders' Summit on Refugees, highlighting the United States' continued leadership on humanitarian assistance.  The Summit aims to significantly increase humanitarian funding, to double the number of refugees who benefit from resettlement or other humanitarian admissions programs, and to help empower refugees in countries of asylum - building on our commitment for a stronger, more accountable international humanitarian system capable of meeting today's unprecedented needs.

Look, war is tragic. Opressive governments are tragic. The deplorable conditions of so many nations that have for decades neglected their very own people are tragic.

But so is the suffering of the thousands of people now struggling to pick up the pieces of their broken lives in Louisiana. As are those whose homes were just destroyed by wildfire in California, or those in West Virginia still reeling from the June flash floods that killed 26 people and swept away more than 1,200 homes. All of which are tragedies that have been briefly glossed over by the media and publicly ignored by the government.

In fact, here's some of what's happening in Louisiana while the White House goes on about all the world problems we should be solving:

An aerial view of the Louisiana flooding (credit: NOAA):

Caskets floating down the flooded streets (Credit: Twitter):

Hundreds of people and their pets crammed into a temporary shelter (Credit: Facebook):

But  yes, a bombing in Baghdad 13 years ago is probably more important.

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