Today’s Headline: David Koch, Billionaire, Dies at 79
For those of you who do not know the name David Koch, he was a billionaire philanthropist whose list of contributions to society is long indeed. Just some of his philanthropy is listed at the end of my blog. However, despite all the good he may have done, Koch was a hated man because he had the audacity to be conservative.
Today, I watched in horror as Hollywood and political creeps cheered his death. Bill Maher gleefully proclaimed, “I’m glad he’s dead” and even praised the cancer that took his life. The nastiness was beyond comprehension.
Cruelty and viciousness take many forms. I think that Maher would probably denounce violent machete attacks in London, gun violence in Baltimore or other forms of physical hate crimes. But in a society that considers itself above that sort of reprehensible behavior, words can be just as cruel. Ask any person who has suffered mental and emotional abuse at the hands of a spouse.
Words and comments, especially delivered by those who believe their opinions matter, should be considered just as vicious as a physical attack. If someone has died that you didn’t particular like or may have even hated, why comment at all? Is it because you feel you need one last stab at the body? Does it make you a better person? Or do you simply crave your audience’s laughter or affirmation? How brave you are when you have the mob’s approval.
I believe in freedom of speech but I also believe it comes with the responsibility of being delivered with respect. I find it appalling that societal standards disguised as entertainment and news have fallen so far it is acceptable to metaphorically throw acid in the face of those who disagree with us.
It is becoming apparent to many that American society is quickly crumbling into urban decay as American journalist, activist and author Jane Jacobs warned. The elite in their ivory towers, cities overflowing with abject poverty, and the working class stuck in the middle with no where to go. I would beg to ask how philanthropic are those that throw stones from those lofty towers.
This blog is not so much about David Koch but a statement on how we treat each other. Disagreeing should warrant healthy debate, not make us enemies. If the simple concept of “kindness”, which most of us learned as children, abandons us, where do we go from here?
But the one thing that frightens me more than anything else is that these self-righteous, outspoken, “pay attention to me!” people are unaware or simply do not care about the influence they have on the next generation. More and more we see young adults and children with no empathy and compassion for their fellow human being. Gee, I wonder why?
David Koch’s philanthropy
- $185 million to Massachusetts Institute of Technology to fund cancer research, a childcare center, biology building and the David H. Koch School of Chemical Engineering.
- $150 million to Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. The money went to build an outpatient medical facility.
- $100 million to New York-Presbyterian Hospital to help build an ambulatory care center in his honor. Another $28 million went to other needs for the hospital.
- $100 million to New York State Theater at Lincoln Center
- $66.7 million to Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center to assist the center with additional research funds.
- $65 million to The Metropolitan Museum of Art to have the plaza renovated.
- $35 million to Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History for renovating the museum’s dinosaur hall and $15 million went toward the David H. Koch Hall of Human Origins.
- $26.5 million to M.D. Anderson Cancer Center to assist with the research of genitourinary cancers.
- $26.2 million The Hospital for Special Surgery in New York.
- $20 million to Johns Hopkins University for cancer research.
- $10 million to Jaffe Food Allergy Institute at the Mount Sinai Medical Center to create the Research Program in Food Allergy Therapeutics