oldmanyellsatcloud asked: So, I’ve got a concern that I’m hoping you guys can address. I’ve been helpfully directed here, not just by your own reports, but a few fellow news groups. Heres the chunk of my concern, here. Now, I have actually found a nonblog/reblogging source, since posting that, but it wasn’t well cited or documented. I was hoping maybe you folks have done a bit more digging since then. Since money and donations are traveling about, it’d be nice to get some feedback, due to the rather confusingly low level of converage… -even- in a mentality that adopts ‘BP lawsuits’ or ‘government gags’.
» We say: First off, I’d like to point out a couple of things in your responses. Jennifer has kept pretty open about her whole situation and is also on Twitter and Tumblr, so if you had any questions, you could easily ask her questions. I’m sure she would answer them. Also, have you watched the videos — like, more than one of them? They’re not exactly the easiest things in the world to watch. In a few of them, she’s on the phone for a full half-hour. No edits. Raw as you can get. Why would a scammer go to that much trouble to show us an entire half-hour of phone calls in excruciating detail? By the way, in case you were wondering, the organization she mentions, P2S, is real and actually did help with the cleanup.
The first mention I’ve seen about Jennifer’s condition online was way back in December — in a comment on a local news site where she noted she didn’t want to show pictures of her situation because she was trying to get her situation settled. (It’s confirmed via her Facebook profile.) Beyond the al-Jazeera report, she recently linked to a news story from a German television network that actually reported out of Panama City. The footage shows Rexford with dozens of bottles of pills. She’s about two-thirds of the way through the video. (Note: It’s in German, though the interviews are in English with German dubbing.)
Ultimately, here’s our feeling: If you’re wondering why the local news hasn’t covered Jennifer’s plight, why don’t you ask them? Clearly, she’s trying to get some media attention for her story. We’ll even help. We spent a week screaming from the mountaintops about this story. And we want more people to know about it.
This is a rule I tumbl by now. You don’t guilt trip or bully people into supporting a cause. Martin Luther King Jr. didn’t run around saying, “Hey, give me my civil rights and respect or you’re an asshole!” That’s not how activism works, my children.
Is this all about that video about the BP oil spill? I’m not a huge fan of the “reblog or you’re a terrible person” crowd, but I’ll ignore it if the content is compelling.
(And I’m kinda hoping someone out there will see the video and be able to confirm it as true or debunk it as a hoax. Anyone?)
I agree with Cara, what if the content is compelling?
Furthermore, Martin Luther King Jr. didn’t have to use the word asshole because he evoked God. If he was, in his words, simply doing God’s will, then what were those opposed to Martin doing? What are the consequences of opposing God’s will? Did they get candy?
I’m not a fan of guilt tripping or bullying people into caring but I’m not a fan of a subtler version of it either. In fact, I’m not even a fan, I’m a human being.
My take, as someone who posted a different version of the video with less grr-must-reblog text and more “holy crap, how did this happen” text: Look, it’s a terrible story, and Jennifer has had some very rough health problems most of us couldn’t imagine. But I’m not going to twist your arm to get you to care about it.
I will, however, tell people about it and try to get in touch with the subject to see if there is anything the larger community can do to help. (I did, by the way.) I think people who corner you with emotions all for the sake of a campaign are lame. Important stories should stand on their own — without having to resort to “you’re not human if you don’t care”-type language.
I agree with you guys. I appreciate activism. I don’t appreciate guilt trips. Me and my fellow writers will try our best to avoid them. It’s not fair to those reading. It makes her story no better than a chain letter. People deserve better than that when it comes to activism.
But considering the painstaking nature of some of the videos — she posted an epic four-parter today featuring a phone call over one of her claims, and Al Jazeera has (but few other outlets have) mentioned her story — I can pretty safely say she’s a real person dealt a bad hand, and not a hoax. — Ernie @ SFB
ousia-deactivated20111223 asks: re: Jennifer Rexford
What are your suggestions? How best can we help? This is awful. I honestly had no idea.
» We say: Honestly, this is a situation that needs media exposure. The health problems that Rexford has are getting swept under the rug because nobody’s heard about them. Our best suggestion is to get her story out there so that it can’t be ignored.