Column: Helping people is now a sin?

Javen Oswald, Opinions Editor

The world has officially flipped upside down. We are scrutinizing people for helping others now. Apparently, we just want to spread suffering everywhere.

Popular YouTuber Mr. Beast has been under harsh criticism for his past two videos in which he cured 1,000 people’s blindness and gave 20,000 shoes to African kids. People claim he is playing God or a white, abled savior. 

He did a good thing. What is there to be disputed? Objectively, curing 1,000 people’s blindness and giving shoes to 20,000 African kids is amazing. Nobody would be batting an eye if this wasn’t posted on his YouTube. 

And therein lies the underlying issue. People can’t understand that posting to YouTube is his source of income. His whole schtick is that he helps and gives things to people. By posting the reactions of people when their blindness is cured to YouTube, he gets to continue making these videos and in turn helping people.

The true villain in this story is the world. It’s capitalism. It’s the world leaders. It’s everything.

How do we live in a time where people with curable blindness —  through a simple procedure — can’t have access to the fix? Why are there students in Africa forced to walk through hazardous areas without shoes on? Why aren’t these problems solved?

But hey, let’s blame the guy trying to do something about the problem. I can guarantee those 1,000 people who were cured are happier with their lives now. 

It’s also important to remember that Mr. Beast did not force anyone to go through with the procedure. If they had come to terms with being blind and liked it better, more power to them. But he didn’t. He gave people a life changing opportunity. 

This situation is not very different to TLC shows like “My 600-Lb Life” where showrunners in some ways exploit these people in order to get views. However, in many of these episodes people get weight loss surgery paid for by the show. However in this situation, Mr. Beast does not continue to exploit these people through their recovery.

So I ask this, what makes this any different than what Mr. Beast is doing? Is it because he is doing it on an infinitely larger scale? Is it jealousy?

I can’t say exactly why people are angry with Mr. Beast. But it seems the common thread between both his YouTube videos and shows like “My 600-Lb Life” are they sensationalize this idea of saving people and recovery. 

This is an uncomfortable idea to watch as throughout these mediums many can’t help but think to themselves about all of the other suffering yet to be solved. 

But every issue needs to be addressed. Mr. Beast isn’t able to give shoes to every kid in Africa. He can’t cure the world’s blindness. He is starting somewhere. And that is admirable.

In a world where people are increasingly becoming distant and cruel, kindness is important. We mustn’t berate Mr. Beast for being a good person. Rather we should celebrate him and others like him and look to the systems that create issues which Mr. Beast has to solve.