Yesterday, I heard a talk radio show host say that now that President Obama has finally produced his long-form birth certificate, Jerry Seinfeld has been vindicated for refusing to appear at a September 13th fundraiser for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. The event is being put on by the Eric Trump Foundation. Eric is the son of Donald Trump, and Jerry’s real beef is with “the Donald.”
After agreeing to do the event in January, Jerry had grown uncomfortable in recent months with Donald bringing the question of Obama’s birthplace front and center in the media. It’s a question that was first raised by Hillary Clinton’s supporters during the 2008 primary and was never put to rest, even after a Certification of Live Birth was produced. Skeptics, mostly all Republicans since Obama’s election, insisted on “the best evidence” – the original long form birth certificate, and there is a difference.
So, is Jerry really vindicated now? For canceling on the kids? For putting his petty political differences ahead of their life or death struggle with cancer? For not being a man of his word? How does the opinion of Donald Trump, who may or may not even be a candidate for the 2012 Presidential election, have anything to do with fighting for a cause we should all agree deserves our attention? Yes, Jerry has made a donation to both the Eric Trump Foundation and to St. Jude, but was he not going to make one anyway? Or, does he believe as many celebrities do, that “merely showing up” counts as their contribution, so the cash donation was made in lieu of his appearance?
I was appalled to hear of Jerry’s cancellation, and the events of yesterday do nothing to change my disappointment in his actions.
Politics should never “trump” philanthropy.
If any good has come out of this scandal, it’s that more attention has been brought to such a great organization as St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. St. Jude’s mission is to find a cure and save children with cancer and other catastrophic childhood diseases. It is the only pediatric cancer research center where families never pay for treatment not covered by insurance and no child is denied treatment because of the family’s inability to pay.
Tomorrow, my four-year-old daughter is proud to be riding in the St. Jude Trike-A-Thon for her second year in a row. She and the thousands of other children who will be participating in Trike-A-Thons across the country will be raising money for sick kids, who like them, don’t care about politics, but just want to be kids.
If you would like to be a part of finding the cure for cancer and saving kids lives, please consider making a small donation to St. Jude’s through Reagan’s online sponsorship page.