Yesterday a “journalist” named Paul Shirley wrote a column where he said that he would not donate to the Haiti relief effort and wondered why anyone would.
I invite you to read the entire article and form your own opinion, but essentially, he said that he cannot understand why no one has admonished Haiti the country for being structured in such a way that it would be destroyed completely by this earthquake.
One of the most hurtful passages from Shirley’s column:
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
I’ve heard some people question the Haitian government and its lack of effort to help its country improve. It is the poorest country in the hemisphere and has been so for quite some time.
That said, at this time that issue is completely irrelevant. That is something that should and will be dealt with down the line when the country and its citizens are back on their collective feet. Currently we have over 100,000 people dead and 10s of thousands missing. What we should do, what we always do and what we have done as Americans is step up.
The outpour of support has truly made me proud to be an American. It doesn’t matter how much you make, what you believe, or how you identify yourself; everyone has stepped up in some way to help. This has led to hundreds of millions of dollars in donations, volunteerism, and meaningful and necessary deployment of our military personnel.
Now is not the time to stand on some imaginary pedestal and point out Haiti’s flaws. Now is the time to help. Sometimes we forget just how lucky we are to live in the United States, a country that allows us every opportunity to elect our officials, make our way in the world and determine our own fate.
As an American I am very proud of our country and so proud that in times like this we have shown to be the most caring and generous nation in the world. The way we have answered the bell, yet again, is another reason to be proud of this country.
Mr. Shirley, I live by the creed that if you can give to someone in pain, someone in need, or someone who is suffering; you should do so. No questions asked and no recognition sought. Many others share this viewpoint. For whatever reason, you don’t seem to feel the same way.
We don’t need columns admonishing Haiti and the Haitian people.
We need to help save lives.