Roswell Park’s heart is bigger than mine, but…

I hate to say this – seriously.  This hurts.  I follow someone on twitter who helped create this and her enthusiasm made me smile.

This hurts so much I just gave a donation to Roswell Park for saying it.

The people at Roswell Park and their supporters who devoted hundreds of man hours creating this “How Big is Your Heart” campaign and this video are better people that I am.   I mean that.

I’ve tried volunteer work (after dropping a religion I had devoted myself to for 27 years, which may be but didn’t feel like the same thing) and so far volunteer work just isn’t the thing for me.

And I feel like I’m one of those bitter curmudgeons who sits in his ratty Barcalounger and laughs at the human fumblings of sincere people making a difference, while offering no alternative, without lifting my own hand to help – the kind of spineless spoiler who made The Buffalo News choose to shut down its ‘Everybody’s Column’ comments.

Roswell Park Cancer Institute – “How Big is Your Heart” commercial

“Making of” video –

But I cannot be the only one noticing that in this entire video, what looks like approaching 100 kids…

Only 1 is African-American.

No Asians.

No one wearing anything other than white, suburban, jeans, khakis, tees, the occasional scarf.

Now, I am sure Roswell Park accepted, and accepted graciously, happily, help from those who produced this.  Hundreds of hours of work. Everyone involved is commendable.  And cancer survivors and cancer battlers are among the dancers.

And maybe this is laden with a cultural or age-specific meme or reference I don’t get.

But in a city where white youth are the minority

I worked briefly at Roswell Park.  One thing that stood out is the diversity – people of all colors and expectations, clothes, turbans, accessories, jewelry and makeup and hair and beard styles that have instant cultural significance that I know I do not know, lilting accents and fast clipped conversations I was not privy to.  The cafeteria has a selection of pre-packaged foreign foods.  Roswell Park is BIG in so many ways

And I don’t even see my very white teenage self – chubby, nerdy, awkward – among the bright slender kids.

Perhaps there is more to come, which will prove me to be a fuming idiot.

Note : I am not going to let this daily blog devolve into the snarky solutionless schadenfreude that is so easy and seductive online.  But I felt this should have been said.


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