Not Supposed To Say It, But…Had It With Haiti?
Call me cold-hearted, but I really
could not be sicker of the Haiti coverage that seems to
have taken over
every media source on my planet.
When I first heard about the
earthquake I was in the car and it was a brief headline
on NPR, I had charitable thoughts, like
“Maybe I should
It wasn`t until the following day
that I began to get restless—when I couldn`t find a
single other piece of news on the air,
all of my
favorite blogs were asking for my donations, and I heard
Obama`s incredibly arrogant speech dedicating $100
million (which he later referred to as an
from our bankrupt coffers. [Remarks
by the President on Recovery Efforts in Haiti,
January 14, 2010]
I`d like to take this opportunity
comment on President Obama`s speech.
First of all, he thanks the
members of his
National Security team for standing with him and
announces that the Haitian earthquake is to be "the
top priority for their departments and agencies
at war. We had an
attempted terrorist attack less than a month ago. We
can`t even sort out
airport security and yet a natural disaster in a
country that has never had any link to America is
priority” for Obama`s National Security team?
What`s wrong with this picture?
Obama went on to say that he
higher priority than the safety of American
citizens"—but I can only surmise that he
restricts his definition of citizens to American
actually in Haiti.
How else can he explain the
open of our borders to illegal Haitians already
here, and offering up
south Florida as the sacrificial lamb in some voodoo
ceremony to appease the incredible hubris of the
American political class?
humanity” as one of the main reasons for his
commitment to help. But what does that even mean?
He`s speaking on behalf of the
American government, not the American system of private
charities. He`s supposed to be thinking about the
national interest, not knee-jerk sentimentality.
Ever heart-warming, Obama
reiterates that Americans` “hearts
go out” to the Haitians, and later he says that,
despite their many struggles with slavery and
natural disasters in the past, their
Whatever happened to our
out to people in need? What good are our hearts? Is the
now synonymous with
I know, I know, you might think
that Obama`s terminology is just a cowardly way of
getting around the Political Incorrectness of America`s
But to continue by saying that
has been unwavering” lays bare a more dangerous
issue. Surely Obama doesn`t mean the Haitians` faith in
voodoo, which is what Haiti has been mostly
committed to since it
threw off the French?
He clearly doesn`t mean
education, work-ethic and planning ahead. If that
were true, the fallout in Port-au-Prince would resemble
the Bay Area in 1989 when, during the 3rd
game of the World Series, a 6.9-magnitude quake killed
only 63 people.
Talking heads could argue that the Bay Area and
Port-au-Prince are apples and oranges because of Haiti`s
whose fault is that? The Haitians have not been
victims of slavery since they
won independence from the French in 1804. San
Francisco`s first colonizing mission was established
28 years before.
The fact is, Obama isn`t referring to
faith in Christianity either.
He`s referring to
faith in America`s bullet-in-foot aid.
Finally, I come to the only clip of Obama`s speech that
I actually heard on that first day in the car. It was
this small clip which initially stunned me:
suffering so much for so long, to face this new horror
must cause some to
look up and ask
`have we somehow been forsaken?`
To the people of Haiti we say clearly and with
conviction, you will not be forsaken, you will not be
Is it just me—or is Obama equating
the American government (or really, himself) directly
Is there any other way to interpret
this? I don`t see one.
For those readers who may be
horrified by my callousness about human suffering, I
offer this final thought.
This Sunday, I attended
mass at my hometown parish. Before the collection,
our priest explained that the second collection was
dedicated to Catholic Relief Services, which was
funneling money and help to Haiti. He described a
convent which had been struck by the earthquake, much of
it turned to rubble and with many resulting casualties.
However, because the convent was a boarding school for
children, many of whom were still in the buildings or
unable to find their families, the nuns refused to
leave. Our money would be channeled to help this
particular circumstance. [Salesians
recount tragedy in Haiti, Catholic News Agency,
January 16, 2010]
I do have
some hesitations about dealing with the
Catholic Charities network. But this is the kind of
giving that I can believe in. We donate voluntarily,
from our own pockets, to people with whom we have a
common interest. [U.S.
Churches Look for Own in Haiti,
Wall Street Journal, January 17, 2010] It is a
classic example of the generosity that has always
characterized Americans: we are compassionate, we are
charitable and we give quietly—and effectively.
Obama`s embarrassment of a speech
goes against all of that. He trades compassion for
catharsis, personal charity for giving away other
people`s money, and quiet giving for grandiose public
Now who`s making a
pact with the devil?
Athena Kerry (email
recently graduated from a Catholic university somewhere in