Jan 27, 2010

A former bench warmer of the NBA, Paul Shirley, is causing quite a stir on the internet with his recent open-letter about the people of Haiti.  Here are some of my favorite parts of the letter:
I haven't donated to the Haitian relief effort for the same reason that I don't give money to homeless men on the street. Based on past experiences, I don't think the guy with the sign that reads "Need You're Help" is going to do anything constructive with the dollar I might give him. If I use history as my guide, I don't think the people of Haiti will do much with my money either.
Ooh and this part:

My wariness has much to do with the fact that the sympathy deployed to Haiti has been done so unconditionally. Very few have said, written, or even intimated the slightest admonishment of Haiti, the country, for putting itself into a position where so many would be killed by an earthquake.

I can't help but wonder why questions have not been raised in the face of this outpouring of support. Questions like this one:

Shouldn't much of the responsibility for the disaster lie with the victims of that disaster?

Oh, but by far this is my favorite:

Dear Haitians –

First of all, kudos on developing the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. Your commitment to human rights, infrastructure, and birth control should be applauded.

As we prepare to assist you in this difficult time, a polite request: If it's possible, could you not re-build your island home in the image of its predecessor? Could you not resort to the creation of flimsy shanty- and shack-towns? And could some of you maybe use a condom once in a while?


The Rest of the World

Basically he says that it is the people of Haiti's fault that they are having to deal with a tragedy of this magnitude.  If they would have only used condoms and not built shanty-like structures then maybe all of this despair could have been avoided.  He also goes on to compare the people of Haiti to the homeless on the street.  Wow!!!!  I always love when people who don't know the backstory of a situation (non-readers) try to give advice as to what one should do about a situation.  It's amazing that people have such a revisionist view of history.  I don't know if Paul Shirley is ignorant to the trials of Haiti because ignorance is bliss or could it be something more sinister to the fact that he just doesn't give a damn and wish to spew his ignorance to the world.  But the sad part about the whole thing is the fact that the majority of the people don't know the history of Haiti and thus go along with this foolishness because they choose not to read.  
Initially, I wasn't going to give his viewpoint any creedance by responding to it on this site, but then I realize that he isn't the only person who feels this way when it comes to countries like Haiti and other developing countries throughout the world.  I mean take ignorant a$$ Pat Robertson and the asinine comment he made about Haiti being "cursed" because of a Voodoo ritual.  If he knew anything about Voodoo he would know that there is nothing sinister about the religion; all that sinister propaganda about the religion was stuff trumped up by Hollywood as a means to dismiss something they did not understand as something that must be evil. 
Until we educate ourselves to what is really going on in the world we are always going to be slaves to people like Paul Shirley who think they know what's going on, but don't have a clue.
R.I.F. = Reading Is Fundamental
Learn the truth for yourself!!!!!

1 comment:

  1. I don't agree with everything this man said, but in a way it does bother me to see so many Americans quick to give money to Haiti and yet our charities here in America are struggling and our food kitchens are lacking food. All these celebs were quick to donate thousands for Hatians, but what about the Americans who don't know where their next paycheck is coming from? Last time I read the Bible it said that charity/love begins at home. How can we show so much love to the Haitians but when we see Americans struggling we say they need to suck it up, or they got themselves in this mess so they need to fix it? Where is the love for your own people? We have so many homeless people sleeping on the cold ground who are mentally ill because we "don't have enough money to take care of them" but we can donate over $50 million in one night to Haiti?!? WTF? Something is very wrong with that picture. I am not saying that Haiti doesn't deserve help-but what about us?