Marie Antoinette said, “Let them eat cake.” And Teresa Heinz Kerry says, “Let them go naked.” Is America’s most opinionated billionairess shooting for First Ladyship or an entry in the Oxford Dictionary of Quotations?
“Mother” Teresa was visiting an aid center in Brooklyn where Haitian-American volunteers were busily packing donated food, clothing, and other relief supplies for Caribbean victims of Hurricane Ivan. Charactertistically, she immediately butted in to inform the volunteers that their priorities were out of order: What the victims really needed were water and electric generators. “Clothing is wonderful, but let them go naked for a while, at least the kids,” said Teresa, according to Yahoo News (thanks, Drudge, for the kicker).
I don’t know where to start on this one. The likelihood that most Brooklyners, like most Americans, don’t have a spare generator or two in the attic to donate to the victims? The fact that bottled water weighs a ton, so it might make more sense to freight it from someplace a little closer to Haiti than New York? Or maybe there’s Teresa’s blithe assumption that Caribbean folk are noble savages who really don’t mind walking around with no clothes on.
I know one thing: If I were one of those volunteers contributing my unpaid spare time to packing up the stuff that my neighbors had generously given to help out unfortunates hit by a disaster that has swept away everything they owned, I sure as heck wouldn’t appreciate some grande dame sweeping down from the chateau to tell me that I was doing everything wrong.