It is a distinction all to familiar for memebers of the Vincentian Family who are often first responders in major disasters. Megan Clark, Moral Theology Professor at St. John’s University unpacks what is often felt but not articulated. He own experience of the disaster led her to reflect a bit deeper than the usual headlines.
She writes… “I am displaced, but I have family with whom to stay. I am not at the mercy of temporary housing or shelters. I am displaced, but I have stable employment where I am not worried about lost wages from the storm. I am displaced, but I was not abandoned or forgotten. And here we begin to see the crucial ethical distinctions in the aftermath of Super Storm Sandy. We are all victims of a profound tragedy; we are not all victims of injustice. The capacity to suffer is universal, but not all suffering is equivalent. The overwhelming devastation and pain of natural disasters can lead to glossing over the distinction between tragedy and injustice.
“Structural inequality and injustice within our society determines who will be able to weather the storm. Sandy’s devastation made the situation of the poor more dire and pushed the poverty and misery detailed onto the front page, but it did not create it. And that structural poverty will cry out for justice, cry out for our attention long after the debris is cleared.”
Be sure to read the rest of the article in America Magazine