Can We Be Donating To Something Other Than The Notre Dame Fire?

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Can We Be Donating To Something Other Than The Notre Dame Fire?

This is the Notre Dame cathedral with most of its roof and famous spiral in flames.

This is the Notre Dame cathedral with most of its roof and famous spiral in flames.

This is the Notre Dame cathedral with most of its roof and famous spiral in flames.

This is the Notre Dame cathedral with most of its roof and famous spiral in flames.

Aytana Martinez, Editor-in-Chief

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On April 15, 2019, a structure fire broke out right below the roof of the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. By the time the fire was extinguished, the cathedral’s spire and most of its roof were burned beyond repair, with its most of the roof’s remains in ashes. President Emmanuel Macron launched a fundraising campaign soon after he learned about the damage to one of Paris’ most wonderful structures.

The Notre Dame fire has been a very popular cause, with more than 1 billion dollars donated to  fund the rebuilding of the iconic building. But this got some people thinking, if we can get that much money to go to this cause, how come other [and arguably more important] causes have never seen this. Some may argue that it’s gotten to the point where news channels are talking about it so often that it people wondering whether there are other important topics happening in the world.

While we were busy worrying about the Notre Dame fire, we overlooked the Yellow Vest protests  happening in France deaths of 15 people.

The yellow vest protests are a movement that focuses on economic justice. These protests have been very violent and at sometimes protesters had tear gas thrown at them. These workers are protesting against the price of gas, which eventually escalated to a larger movement that includes members of the working and middle classes who are expressing their frustration about slipping standards of the living conditions and diesel taxes. The protests, which began on November 17 of this past year, have reportedly widened into an uprising against President Emmanuel Macron’s policies and become his biggest challenge in all of his presidency.

    The Notre Dame fire has raised more than 1 billion dollars within a few weeks. After processing how much money that is, think about how the workers who are protesting on the streets feel. “Can you imagine, 100 million, 200 million in one click!” Philippe Martinez, the head of the militant CGT labor union, told The New York Times.” Protesters wondered about the hundreds of billionaires who were donating large, large sums to the cathedral’s restoration, sprouting mild anger for some of them. “You’re there, looking at all these millions accumulating, after spending five months in the streets fighting social and fiscal injustice,” Ingrid Levavasseur, a founding leader of the movement, told The Associated Press. “It’s breaking my heart.”

She added, “What happened at Notre Dame is obviously a deplorable tragedy. But nobody died. I’ve heard someone speaking of national mourning. Are they out of their minds?”

It took the French president less than 24 hours to address the nation to speak about the fire, instead of laying out his response to the social crisis that had fueled their protests since last November, leaving many people feeling unheard. “It took him less than 24 hours to speak about the fire, while he made us wait for three weeks before addressing our issues,” Levavasseur said.

Social media has also taken note of this crisis and noticing the fact that people are donating millions of dollars to rebuilding a cathedral instead of funding another, and arguably more important, organizations. These are some memes that showcase just how messed up our priorities are in our modern society.

After the news, people begun to realized how much money was being donated to rebuilding the Notre Dame cathedral, it’s become pretty clear about how little those who hold the majority of the world’s money care about the poor. Yes, the cathedral is a historic landmark but does it really take priority over human lives?

Apart from this, the Notre Dame cathedral doesn’t need this much money to fund the repairs, and some reports are saying that too much money has been raised. An estimate for the work was put at $600 million, at the most. When Untec president Pascal Asselin spoke to BBC he said, “The cost is [a minimum of] around €300 million and the high level is around €600 million but we need to have two or three months to have the right cost.”

 

When it comes to getting the small number of people to donate millions of dollars, the health and wellness of people doesn’t seem to pull at their heartstrings. Tell those people that an old church that has some history has just burned down, t doesn’t seem that hard for them to open their wallets. It makes absolutely no sense but hopefully, the Notre Dame cathedral will do something that actually makes an impact on people in this world after their renovations are complete.

In effect, I understand that the Notre Dame is a beautiful historic building that is beloved by everyone, but if we can seriously donate an enormous amount of money to the rebuilding of something that doesn’t affect our everyday lives, then that just proves that we’re able to also donate to bigger causes such as the yellow vest protests and other organizations that affect even more people.

 

About the Writer
Aytana Martinez, Editor-In-Chief

Aytana Martinez is an 8th grader in the STEAM Magnet program at Dana middle School. Aytana has one sister that goes to Dana. Aytana’s hobbies are to...

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