Sunday, September 18, 2005

Red Cross Whitewashes for Bush

On Friday night, I went to the Richmond debut of Cry Wolf, a surprisingly good, independent horror/suspense movie that was filmed here in Richmond. (Thanks to my Virginia blogging colleague Waldo Jaquith for the heads up on the film.) The trailers for the film included an ad that showed warm and fuzzy pictures of people, in a strategically-chosen range of skin-tones and ages, with the following voiceover:
There is a place where a total stranger will give you their blood.
A place where someone you never knew, will save your child from drowning.
Where a person, who doesn't look like you, talk like you, or dress like you, will give you shelter, after a flood.
That place is called America
...where we look out for each other.
When you help the American Red Cross, you help America.
It is a nice fairy tale where everyone in America holds hands and lives happily ever after. It is also a pack of lies.

I am DISGUSTED that the Red Cross is using donor-dollars to aid and abet the White House's whitewash job on the death and destruction the government has perpetuated in New Orleans and the rest of Katrina's target zone.

Because there is a place, where a corrupt Republican government will cut the Army Corps of Engineer's budget so they can't repair the levees in advance and keep a city safe; where a corrupt Republican government will fill critical emergency management positions with inept political hacks and frat boy buddies who can't do their jobs in a crisis when real people are depending on them; where RED CROSS can't even get in to help because because a corrupt Republican government's broke-back version of FEMA announces a Red Cross presence will make people "want to stay" in the toxic flood waters, without electricity, food, potable water, or safe shelter; where if you're poor and especially if you're poor and African American you can watch your child drown, or your baby starve, or your grandma die from a lack of medical attention, because a corrupt Republican government is blocking aid workers and supplies from entering the disaster area, while failing to evacuate car-less residents, and preventing at gun-point you and your family from walking out. THIS is America.

When you swallow and regurgitate the lies, you help Bush and his Republican cronies propagate the same corruption of the government, destruction of the country, and assault on American citizens.

Shame on the Red Cross for doing Karl Rove and Ed Gillespie's dirty work.

You can view the ad yourself here. Scroll down to the 30-second version of the ad entitled: "There is a Place."
If you watch the ad, you'll notice that the juxtaposition of the images with the voiceover are worthy of their own deconstruction (people of colour = "others," white children = "the kind of children that we save", African-American children = "need looking out for," middle-class/affluent Caucasian = "people who do the saving"). Time permitting, I'm planning on a scene-by-scene image analysis later in the week.
I hope you'll also send your feedback on the Red Cross joining the propaganda arm of the RNC:

Red Cross Advertising Department
Marin Graney - (202) 303-4426;
Andrea Bigner - (202) 303-4220;

American Red Cross National Headquarters
Marsha J. Evans, President and CEO
Bonnie McElveen-Hunter, Chairman
2025 E Street, NW
Washington, DC 20006
Phone: (202) 303-4498
online contact form

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