Enough with the “Crying Karens.” Here’s how to help Ukraine.

Jordan Reid is the founding editor of Ramshackle Glam.
Liberal Opinion

Jordan Reid

Author; Founding Editor, Ramshackle Glam
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Amidst opposing messages from Russia and Ukraine about the fighting overseas, one response echoes through the U.S. Many people are heartbroken, including the “Crying Karens” who one comedian called out for sharing their distress without doing anything about it. Straight Arrow News contributor Jordan Reid looks at the criticism and offers avenues for action.

The other day I was listening to Bill Burr. He’s one of my favorite comedians and definitely one of the speak-your-mind persuasion. And his take on the topic of so-called “Crying Karens” got me thinking.

“By the way, if I hear one more [expletive] here in America: Did you see what they did? Oh my god, it’s awful, I can’t. I just, I can’t. What is wrong with them? Are you gonna do anything about it or just stand around and talk about how awful it is?”

Your heart breaks, until the conversation shifts, and more important (to you) matters come into play: What’s for dinner? Do the kids have enough clothing for the spring season? Is The Batman really worth seeing in the theater? 

This isn’t to shade people who have genuine emotion and compassion and simultaneously have lives that have to be lived with real responsibilities. It’s just to say that all those “thoughts and prayers”–they don’t do a hell of a lot. 

I am guilty of this too! In the days and weeks after Russia invaded Ukraine, I watched the news obsessively–usually through tears–and worked myself into a state where I was practically ready to board a plane to the border. Except, I didn’t. You probably didn’t either. The sense of helplessness and frustration is palpable. We want to help these people, but how can we do so in any meaningful way when they’re half a world away from us? 

Check out these highly vetted organizations that provide direct assistance to Ukrainians in need. 

Nova Ukraine is dedicated to providing humanitarian aid to the people of Ukraine and raising awareness about Ukraine in the United States as well as in the rest of the world.

Global Giving: Ukraine Crisis Relief Fund provides shelter, food, and clean water for refugees, health and psychosocial support, and access to education and economic assistance.

World Central Kitchen provides meals in response to humanitarian, climate, and community crises. It began working at a 24-hour pedestrian border crossing in southern Poland, serving hot meals within hours of the initial invasion. WCK is now set up at multiple border crossings, preparing meals in cities across Ukraine, and establishing teams in nearby countries.

Razom for Ukraine was born out of the Revolution of Dignity in 2014 when millions of people worked together and risked their lives to build a pathway to a better future for Ukraine. Today, Razom is providing critical medical supplies for critical situations like blood loss and other tactile medicine items in Ukraine.

Compassion is a wonderful thing, and while Burr’s “Crying Karens” bit is funny, the genuine desire to help isn’t really something to be mocked. That said, compassion only takes you so far. The next step is action.

We hear it everywhere, from everyone, every time we step out the front door or pick up the phone.

My heart is breaking. Yes, all of our hearts are collectively breaking as we watch what’s unfolding in Ukraine. Putin’s brutal and relentless war on the citizens is, objectively, horrifying. 

But the other day I was listening to Bill Burr – he’s one of my favorite comedians, and definitely one of the speak-your-mind persuasion – and his take on the topic of so-called Crying Karens got me thinking.

“By the way, if I hear one more [expletive] here in America: Did you see what they did?  Oh my god, it’s awful, I can’t. I just, I can’t. What is wrong with them? Are you gonna do anything about it or just stand around and talk about how awful it is?”

Your heart breaks, until the conversation shifts, and more important (to you) matters come into play: What’s for dinner? Do the kids have enough clothing for the spring season? Is The Batman really worth seeing in the  theater? 

This isn’t to shade people who have genuine emotion and compassion, and simultaneously have lives that have to be lived with real responsibilities. It’s just to say that all those “thoughts and prayers” they don’t do a hell of a lot. 

I am guilty of this too! In the days and weeks after Russia invaded Ukraine I watched the news obsessively, usually through tears and worked myself into a state where I was practically ready to board a plane to the border. Except, I didn’t. You probably didn’t either.  The sense of helplessness and frustration is palpable.  We want to help these people, but how can we do so in any meaningful way when they’re half a world away from us? 

Well, I will tell you. 

You can give money. 

If you check out the organizations listed under this video, you can find links to ones that are highly vetted and provide direct assistance to Ukrainians in need. 

You can donate supplies. Organizations such as Nova Ukraine and Meest-America are collecting supplies at warehouses from California to New Jersey, and shipping them directly to Ukrainians who need them the most. 

You can offer shelter – AirBnb is rolling out a program where volunteers can sign up to temporarily house a Ukrainian family that has been displaced. 

You can help keep the eyes of the world focused on the crisis, so that the next big news story doesn’t divert critical attention. 

Continue sharing stories, supporting on-the-ground journalists, and advocating for peace by writing to your local lawmakers. If you’re not sure what to say in these letters, you can visit the Kyiv Declaration for suggestions. 

Compassion is a wonderful thing, and while Burr’s “Crying Karens” bit is funny, the genuine desire to help isn’t really something to be mocked. 

That said, compassion only takes you so far. The next step is action.

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