Thursday, November 21, 2013

Third-world problems from a First-world Penthouse

I recently ran across a post on Tumblr that had me so enraged I had to sit down in a corner and think about life for a few minutes. I just had to center my mind, body, and soul because the anger that was coursing through my body was enough to unalign my chakrahs or whatever the hippies are calling it these days. I had to get my "woosah" on. You ever been so mad you turn into Sinclair from "Living Single" and "woo woo woo" yourself? Just step outside yourself for a second and look at your life in relation to the planets and moons and galaxies before you slap someone or become a danger to yourself? 

Yeah. That was my life. And what, you ask was the post that had me so up in arms? 

Photo credit: David Margules
Now, chile...when I tell you this picture alone was enough of an affront to my everyday wellbeing...the text accompanying this visual travesty was just...well...:

"When people ask me “Why do you never where shoes?”
I say:

“What would you trust trust? 2 million years of evolution or 40 years of commercialism and podiatry.”"


BABIES wear shoes before they can even walk. They have shoes for staying at home, for the garden, for the shower, even for the ocean. AMERICANS BURY PEOPLE IN SHOES. Think about that shit. You're born, they put shoes on you. You die, they put shoes on you!

Why?! Because they can! Because God has given them the chance to. People back home are tying together plastic bottles and rubber tires to have something to make the walk to fetch water a little easier, and here people are rebelling against commercialism and sanitation by refusing to wear shoes.

They even have signs that warn people that they must wear shoes or they won't be served. When was the last time you went home and people without shirts and shoes were just milling about the stores and restaurants?! Nobody has to be told there to properly dress up before going out.

When now their feet become hardened and uncomfortable, when they cut and scrape them and have to deal with sores and wounds and infections, when it takes them multiple scrubbings to return their soles to anything resembling clean, no one can say I didn't warn them.  

Melanin-deficient Americans have this idea in their heads that a supposed "third-world" way of living is somehow rustic, exotic and desirable. They've convinced themselves that a proper penance for their privilege is donating 67 cents to an organization that will adopt, train and feed a foreign child for them (while still keeping them in their same squalor and general area, of course) and then adopting select elements of that child's background. They'll "feed the children" themselves all the way to the nearest Starbucks' and then become enraged when this vehicle of American capitalism and commercialism sends them back to their penthouse apartments to find proper footwear before entry. They'll rail against the system and denounce "the Man", tweeting furiously from their Apple devices with an anger so white-hot you might even see a bit of steam escape their ears if you look close enough. 

To say it's ironic would be a gross understatement. 

In America, barefoot is a political statement. In Africa, barefoot is a unfortunate mark of circumstance. They're running towards what we're running from, but don't have the good sense to look back and ask why we're heading in the other direction. 


1 comment:

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