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Thursday, January 14, 2010

Haiti

When we hear about the devastating earthquake in Haiti and the damage and loss of life particularly in Port-au-Prince, it's impossible to get our heads around it. The needs are great and I am sure most readers here have their favorite place to donate when such things happen. For us, it's Mercy Corps who we have believed gets most of its money where it needs to go and where it has information online about its purposes.

It is unfortunate that the ignorant and bigoted Pat Robertson got any coverage from the major networks for the statements he made on his own network. His words should have stayed there; but anybody who was looking at coverage, trying to understand the scope of the need, would likely have come across them.

What Robertson was saying about Haiti is bigoted because he sees everything through a black and white prism and I don't mean race. It's religion and his own view of religion. He laid this at the people's own door as he did with 9/11 and Katrina here. He knows why anything bad happens and it always comes back to his narrow-minded dogma.

As easy to understand as anything I have seen (and books have been written on this) here is the gist of why Haiti remains so poor and it's not some mythical Satan:


This is all a tragic story and while we can as individuals donate to our favorite aid agency, there is more that will have to be done to get Haiti out of the place where it currently is trapped with 80% poverty. Hopefully this will be a new start for them. The tragedy is beyond words.

(Incidentally, I am not advocating a donation to the link at the bottom of that article because I do not know anything about the group, but the facts he laid out about Haiti's history seemed to be true to what I have read other places.)

15 comments:

Kay Dennison said...

Haiti's story is the story the story of decades of keeping the populace in poverty and ignorance and terror. The legacy of "Papa Doc" Duvalier is still with them.

I never cease to be appalled by it. And you know what I think of Pat Robertson's ideas. No true Christian would ever espouse his thinking. Then again, there are a lot of false Christians out there.

Annotated Margins said...

Wouldn't it be nice if the Christian heart demanded an end to two senseless wars so that the fastest, most efficient army in the world could mobilize and provide relief efforts in Haiti?

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

This Earthquake is so Horrendous for Haiti. The magnitude of the devistation is very difficult to fathom--it is so extensive....
Pat Robertson talking about what 'the Devil' said, ,akes one wonder just how many conversations HE has with The Devil...!
I have never understood the Un-Christian way so many so-called Christians behave. I think Christ would be appalled by Pat Roberetson's behavior and words.

Ingineer66 said...

I had not heard about Pat Robertsons comments. What a tool he is. Right now it should only be about helping the people. Just like the monsoon in Burma or the earthquake in Bam, Iran or the Indian Ocean Tsunami. When devastating events happen we show up to help regardless of politics or religion or governments. After the immediate relief is completed then we can debate about the details.

AM our military is on the ground in Haiti providing assistance and China, Spain, Peru, Canada and others are on the way.

What is so shocking to me about Haiti is that the Dominican Republic has so much better of a lifestyle and economy and they each share half of an island. It is kind of like the difference between the two Korea's. Only it is more even geographically on Hispaniola.

Darlene said...

I haven't yet heard about Pat Robertson's words on the devastation that is Haiti, but I can well imagine he is blaming the victims again. Probably because they are mostly Catholic and some practice Voodoo. In Pat R's case I imagine there's racism involved, too. He is one of the worst hypocrites.

Member said...

Rain . . Isn't this supposed to be an age in time when exponential advances in computer technology make possible the solving of ancient problems?

I read of the poor people living in India, Sudan, Viet Nam, Ethiopia, Kenya, South Africa, Bangladesh, Afghanistan . . and the list just keeps going. Why does it seem to be getting longer?

Haiti is just one of many places that have inadequate infrastructure, insufficient natural resources, poor farm land, no industrial output, food shortages, a lack of basic medical and dental care, etc. etc.

I can't help thinking that a proper multi-country organization couldn't develop a PEACE CORP of people capable of addressing the problems of the very poor.

PS 1 Forget the corrupted United Nations effort altogether.

PS 2 Forget the idiot Robertson.

Rain said...

I agree, Member. Just within my lifetime, the world seems to be having more and more horrible places to live with no clear way to get it better. Anyone who reads much about what is going on in Africa is horrified by the conditions and yet what can we do about it? The UN has become a political body only interested in gaining wealth for itself. Anytime you hear about them studying world poverty while they feast on lobster, you know they don't mean to fix anything. Any hope that it would be a solution for the world seems to have long disappeared :( It is very depressing and the victims cannot help themselves out of it.

Rain said...

I would like to think Pat Robertson has no influence in the world today but he still brings in a lot of money. And although I said I wouldn't do politics here, I did see the articles about Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck which Sullivan's blog said was more like a revivalist meeting than a political discussion. I don't think we can assume the Republicans will not nominate that woman nor that she could not be elected president. Religion of the sort Robertson and Palin speak about is definitely a big part of America today. No matter how fundamentalists may feel they are being oppressed. They wield a lot of power.

Dick said...

I linked over to read that article which, while long, taught me a lot about the background of the country and her people. I hope that the efforts of some of the modern US companies in treating the people they deal with in these smaller poorer countries will pay off in benefits to their people. But the first problem is to get them through the next few days and weeks. Modern TV leaves little to the imagination and they are in a very desperate position. Even with the arrival of much aid from the countries of the world, getting that aid to those who need it is a major problem.

Once those immediate needs have been taken care of, I hope that many people will now be aware of how desperate those people are and have been and it will lead to them getting help they so need.

wally said...

During the time of Jesus a structure called the Tower of Siloam collapsed and killed 18 people. Jesus asked his disciples if they thought those 18 were the worst sinners in Jerusalem. He assured them they were not and that all people are in need of redemption. When Robertson claims that the Haiti tragedy is divine retribution it reveals his ignorance of the bible. He is simply distorting the Christian message to further his own prejudices and lust for money and power.

Paul said...

Robertson's and Limbaugh's comments are beyond the pale ! Pat Robertson needs to try to emulate Jesus' example - and keep his ignorant comments to himself. As for Limbaugh, he is a buffoon !

Parapluie said...

Thank you for the revealing link on the history of Haiti. It was written 15 years ago and was very pessimistic. Now I hear on CNN that Hiait was just making improvements when they have just been devistated by nature's hurricane and earthquake. The killings and kidnapping has been resolved and there was more foreign investment.
I am very heart warmed by the world's quick and sincere first response. I am also seeing a possitive aftermath. We will see more clearly our human responsibility as members of the world community as we go into the next phase. When we work together rebuilding an economy, we should work for a balance between the United States to our world neighbors.

Rain said...

David Brooks had a good article on the problem of places like Haiti The Underlying Tragedy Global Poverty.

Parapluie said...

David Brooks made some very good points and offers a solution that sounds good but I am not clear how to carry out the solution because Haiti is not our country. Maybe some of the Haitians here need to go back and help change their culture. Another thing would be to recognize islands have limited resources and growing more trees will take years. Another is strong leadership would accomplish more than democracy especially if the population speaks Creole and politics are in French.
It is going to be interesting how Obama faces the Haiti challenge. He might yet prove he has in himself what I voted for - the ability to put it all toether in the world for the better.

Ingineer66 said...

I am sure that Mercy Corps is a fine organization. We are donating to the Salvation Army. I feel they do a lot of good, both locally and internationally.