I didn’t cry for Code Red

I didn’t cry when I read the Code Red series in the Hamilton Spectator. I live here, I see the people.

I didn’t cry when I saw the comparisons; Sub-Saharan Africa is in crisis with 15% of babies being born underweight with few prospects for improvement over their lifetime; in some of our Hamilton neighbourhoods it’s 47%.

I didn’t cry when you belittled me at the table, even though you invited me to this meeting of the Hamilton Collaboratives. Invited me to represent the people in question.

I didn’t cry when you mocked my efforts to help as self-serving, said that I was there to get connected so that I could “get out”, meanwhile you kept telling the room all about what you had done in the past, what you would do in the future. Grandstanding while small children go hungry.

I didn’t cry when you ignored me, left the table while I was talking.

I didn’t cry when I realized that all this rudeness wasn’t about me, it was about you.

But when I realized that this whole day, this whole effort, the energy of all these people was also about you and your self-interest, that there never is going to be a plan to save the lives of the people in my neighbourhood, that in all likelihood this is just a platform for your campaign, then I cried. Cause who else will all these smart, capable people turn to in directing their resources? Who else will take the lead to get us working together if not you? You’re like a tin man, good at your job but missing a heart.

I cried then and I can’t seem to stop cause I realize I was expecting too much from you. And you’re just a person. And there isn’t anybody else. And that was news to me. News I didn’t want to know.

I wanted to believe that smart people everywhere really were trying to help.