Our View: Walling off reality

Editorial Staff

President Donald Trump has not yet delivered on his promise to build a physical wall between the United States and Mexico, but his political fervor and Twitter tirades have managed to build a wall between the collective conscience of the nation and the sad, horrible truth:

Millions of people worldwide need help.

On April 25, 2014, Flint, Michigan switched from Detroit’s water system and began using the Flint River, marking the beginning of the on-going water crisis. Dangerously high levels of lead in the water caused rashes, sickness and developmental disabilities for residents of Flint.

Flint still doesn’t have clean water.

As of February, 13.5 million Syrians need humanitarian assistance, according to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Five million people have left Syria since the crisis began, and 6.3 million Syrians have been displaced by violence. The organization’s Humanitarian Response Plan requires $3.4 billion, but current funding for the plan is only $110.3 million.

Syrian refugees still need help.

The Standing Rock protest camp was demolished in February. Protesters fought to halt the pipeline, citing concerns over the environment and the fact that the planned pipeline would run directly through Native American burial grounds. The US Army Corps of Engineers eventually halted the project but announced a plan in February to continue building the pipeline.

Native Americans are still fighting to save their history. In the name of money, an already oppressed population will have more taken from them.

When we as a people look away from those who need — when we do not support those who are struggling to survive — we fail. We cannot allow the noise of social media, politics and our own notions of comfort to obscure our view of reality.

We owe our attention and help to those who need it.

We owe it to them because it’s the right thing to do.