Speaking truth with power.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Team Haiti

Last week things in Haiti went from bad to worse when a 7.3 magnitude earthquake rocked the nation. It is estimated that the death toll might reach 200,000. Secretary Clinton has traveled to the nation to survey the damage herself and President Obama has promised swift action.

Many Americans responded to the news of unimaginable tragedy (in an already tragic nation) by sending text messages to their service providers, pledging a few dollars. However, corruption and fiscal inefficiency have plagued these efforts (not to mention the corrupt pipelines already on the ground in Haiti). Even Wyclef Jean's foundation has been scandalized recently for skimming off the top and paying himself handsome administrative fees.

Noted douchebag Rush Limbaugh has taken to the airwaves citing the earthquake as a great opportunity for President Obama to court 'light-skinned and dark-skinned' African Americans. And Pat Robertson even suggested that the Haitians deserved this for the pact with Satan the Haitians made 200 years ago in exchange for ridding themselves of imperialist French rule. Yeah, no, hey, that makes sense.

Unfortunately, it doesn't end there. The presumably religious organization Faith Comes By Hearing has pledged 3,000(!) audio books of the Bible for the relief effort. Because who needs access to clean water when you've got Paul's Letter to the Thessalonians?

The situation in Haiti is awful. Despite the honest outpouring of goodwill, aid and supplies remain bottle necked due to rampant national corruption and lack of infrastructure. And as the already impoverished nation deals with the onslaught of impending disease and tremendous loss of human life, many are wondering how best to help. The inclination is to throw money at the problem. However, the problems in Haiti may be deeper than that, and very well may have existed long before the earthquake.


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