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The Voice of the Black Community


1 church, 2 days and $1 billion in donations show prejudice
Real crises get little to no attention
Published Monday, May 27, 2019
by Gianna Pendergrass

More than $1 billion in donations poured in to repair Notre Dame Cathedral after fire damaged the historic building in Paris.

April 15 – A tragic day in Paris, France as thousands of people witnessed the historically significant Cathedral of Notre Dame being torn apart by a violent, ever-raging fire.

April 17 – Just two days later, $1 billion had been donated in order to aid the efforts to rebuild and restore the church. Donors varied from everyday common people from around the world, to wealthy French families, and many large international companies.

This is undoubtedly a great accomplishment. However, when viewed in light of so many other tragedies, many of which have been on-going without nearly any response, it is also serves as a disturbing glimpse into widespread prejudice.

Despite France’s wealth, homelessness has increased by 21 percent in the past year. Additionally, over 8 million of France’s population are currently living below the poverty line. Consider how many people would benefit if even a fraction of the cathedral donations went to helping French citizens.

Beyond France, there are a myriad of crises around the world that have scarcely received attention:

1. World hunger – Sorry to be Captain Obvious, but this is still an ongoing global crisis

2. Clean water in Flint, Michigan – It has been half a decade since this crisis, and those living in Flint still cannot trust the water quality. Furthermore, last year, the state ceased its free bottled water distribution program.

3. Flooding in Mozambique – Cyclone Kenneth tore through this country in April, with the most updated totals of damage: 50 casualties, 276 injuries, 40,800 people displaced, 56,800 houses destroyed, and over 109 cases of cholera due to an outbreak. The saddest part is...hardly anyone is aware of this terrible occurrence.

4. Lasting damage in Puerto Rico from Hurricane Maria – Two years have passed since this disaster, and there are still regions of PR that are without power and/or virtually inaccessible. Additionally, the death toll has reached to about 3,000 people, and civilians continue to live under blue tarps due their houses being destroyed.

5. The garbage patch in the Pacific Ocean – Ironically, it is three times the size of France and contains 1.8 trillion pieces of plastic. That being said, the patch is the largest accumulation of plastic in the world and is the reason why the lives of over a million marine animals are lost each year.

6. The burning down of three predominantly black Baptist churches in Louisiana – These fires occured on March 26, April 2 and April 4, but in semi-good news, donations spiked after backfire from the Notre Dame donations. What I still wonder is, what would have happened if the Notre Dame fiasco did not occur?

In conclusion, this list can definitely be added to, but this is just a small taste of a few of the problems going on in our world. For example, another tragedy that hits close to home is the recent UNC Charlotte shooting. As demonstrated by how fast the Notre Dame donations appeared, the money to completely fix or at least help those affected by these problems obviously exists, but now it just needs to be allocated to the right causes. Now, I am not saying that Notre Dame does not deserve any money, all I am saying is that $1 billion just seems a bit excessive for just one church. I understand that it is seen as important due to being a UNESCO World Heritage site, but so are sick, starving, and suffering humans and animals around the world.

We inhabit Mother Earth, and it is our duty to take care of her and the people that inhabit her. We are all in this together, and we must learn how to help the right causes, rather than turning a blind eye to them.

Gianna Pendergrass is a freshman at New York University in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. She is a 2018 graduate of Providence Day School and was awarded a full academic scholarship to study abroad.


Norte Dame is a World treasure, and we are it?s Guardians. I believe that we need historical reminders of the past, so we can honor those who created them, remembering their passion, hopes and dreams.
Posted on June 19, 2019
Always need to find a way to complain I see. A way . The real tragedy is all the Muslims destroying Churches all around Europe, because real Europeans don't have the will to defend themselves. Hopefully it won't take another 400 years for the people to rise up and kick out the Muslims, like it did last time....because that's A LOT of Rape.
Posted on May 27, 2019

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