There’s plenty of “difference between sending food to the people, and sending people to the food.” Sending people out of a food-poor area to a food-rich area relieves the famine in the food-poor area and ends the suffering of those who are moved.

You ask, “Isn’t the result the same?” Of course it is—this is exactly Ishmael’s point. Note that he isn’t recommending moving people as a course of action. He’s pointing out the hypocrisy hidden beneath our generosity. We could save all the starving people of the world by bringing them to America, but of course we don’t care to do that—we want them to stay where they are. We’ll send them handouts, but we don’t want them camping in our backyards!

ID: 423
posted: 08 Jul 1999
updated: 08 Jul 1999