Thursday, January 14, 2010

VIDEO:Compassion and Hate Toward Haiti

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The images and information relentlessly arriving from Haiti are simply incomprehensible. How to grasp the sheer magnitude of the trauma suffered by that small island nation? The loss of life and physical destruction is too terrible for those not in the midst of it to really understand.

But we try. Because we are human beings. And it is impossible to see the images of death and devastation without feeling immense sorrow and a natural desire to help.

Or so we thought.

While it's true that decent people, which we believe is most people, experienced the feelings described above, there are bottom feeders among us who look at the tragedy and feel derision, or see opportunity.

Leading the pack this time was Pat Robertson. This "man of God" surveyed the crushed people of Haiti and swiftly determined that their suffering was their own damn fault. It seems that long ago in the cosmos Robertson inhabits, the Haitians made a pact with the devil, who has come calling.

It's tempting to write Robertson off as a lone crackpot, but the sad truth is he is but the latest in a long line of "men of God" spouting such filth. See: "Fallwell, 9/11" and "Hagee, Katrina."

To try to understand the goings on inside their heads would mean peering into a void we want no part of. Suffice it to say these "men of God" are really men of themselves.

Which brings us to that other pillar of compassion: Rush. Not only did Mr. Limbaugh rail against sending aid to Haiti, the only real use he had for the Biblically proportioned anguish was to package it as yet another piece of ammo to fire at President Obama. The president, Limbaugh said, "could not wait to get out there" to exploit the tragedy with his show of compassion and to boost his standing with the "light-skinned and dark-skinned black community in this country."

It's hard to comment on that. The only words that could adequately describe Rush and his comments are ones we can't print in the newspaper. To those who agree with him: Consider your reaction if someone said President Bush only visited the devastated World Trade Center site for the photo op.

There are thousands of Haitian immigrants living in Fairfield County. Each one is in agony right now, devastated by what they are seeing, and desperate to make contact with loved ones back home. It's hard to believe it's possible for someone to make them feel any worse, but it looks like Messrs. Robertson and Limbaugh have found a way. It is unconscionable.

But considering our Haitian neighbors makes us realize we allowed our focus to get distracted by momentary rage.

Churches are filled with Haitian immigrants and other people of good will, praying their hearts out for those suffering and turning to each other for solace.

Doing whatever we can to alleviate their pain and the horrible situation in Haiti is all that's important now.

To that end, many, many, local organizations, municipalities and citizens already have relief efforts underway.

Looking to the legion who've instantly sprung into action makes us realize that the good greatly outnumber the repugnant.

In this paper's news section and on our Web site you will find some of the many opportunities there are locally to help.

The earthquake in Haiti is a disaster on a massive scale. It will take an equally massive effort by the entire world to bring about any measure of healing. Our collective humanity calls on each of us to do whatever we can to help.

Haitian Ambassador Responds To Pat Robertson on The Rachel Maddow Show
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Haitian Ambassador Raymond Joseph is speaking out to defend his country following the despicable comments made by televangelist Pat Robertson.
As previously reported Robertson claims that Haiti made a “pact with the devil” causing Tuesday's disaster.

Ambassador Joseph is vehemently refuting those claims and is also providing a very much needed history lesson.

During an appearance on “The Rachel Maddow Show” Joseph made it clear that no such “pact” existed and in fact America should be grateful for the Haitian slave revolt that made the Louisiana purchase possible.
Well said, sir.

Source: StamfordAdvocate, HipHopWired and MiamiHerald

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