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About Haiti


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#1    zos14

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Posted 10 February 2010 - 08:10 PM

I was listening to one of my classmates today at school talking about how we must gather donations to help the Haitian people in the difficult situation they are currently living after the 12 January catastrophe.
I personally could not help myself but to laugh upon hearing this, do not miss-understand me, i have nothing against Haiti nor its people, it is just that i find it somewhat "comical" seeing all these people from the U.S.A, Europe, and others urging to save the Haitians from their disaster and provide them with food and shelter. What is the reason behind this sudden emotional explosion in western people's hearts ? People worldwide have always been dying, and suffering from the lack of food, water,shelter, and what not. Children and women have always been massacred in Ghaza, in Lebanon, in Afghanistan, and in Irak (Including American soldiers.). Why is it now that you feel like showing your humanity and compassion to the world, organizing concerts, fund-raises, and whatever... ??? Is there anything new about this ?? People being killed, or dying from starvation ???
Maybe i cannot blame Americans for this kind of action, after all, no one truly sees what is really going on in the world in the U.S.A, they just see what the government wants them to :-). But what really disgusts me is that Arab people living in Lebanon, or any neighboring country, are actually trying to figure out a way to support Haiti which is thousands of miles away from them, instead of putting such an effort in saving the thousands of innocent children being massacred in Ghaza, and which have been for a long enough time to do something about it. Just a few thoughts. Any opinions about this ?

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#2    Torgo

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Posted 10 February 2010 - 08:47 PM

We aren't rational creatures.  Dramatic events that harm people indiscriminately pull us in a way that the boring, everyday neglect or directed human warfare/discrimination do not.

Edited by Torgo, 10 February 2010 - 08:47 PM.


#3    zos14

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Posted 10 February 2010 - 09:01 PM

Since when has human warfare been boring ? Don't you think that seeing human parts exploding in the air due to an explosion, or houses burning after they have been fire-bombed using prohibited weapons and chemicals quite entertaining ???  :rolleyes: Or isn't that enough for you people ??  :no:  You are only confirming my idea of the very wide-spread ignorance  ;)

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#4    Torgo

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Posted 10 February 2010 - 09:26 PM

Allow me to elaborate.  Warfare is EXPECTED.  After a while it becomes just another part of the status quo.

Natural disasters are unpredictable and can strike anywhere.  They engage our attention more.  I'm not trying to JUSTIFY this.  Its just the way we are.


#5    Purplos

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Posted 10 February 2010 - 09:31 PM

Perhaps because war is someone's fault. (No, I'm not saying it's the massacred children's fault.) and things like a devastating earthquake or hurricane or tsunami aren't. We have more sympathy for people who are struck down by dumb chance.

And yes, of course it is because we don't hear about it nightly on the news. The world is full of horrors and tragedies. How can people donate money to every one?

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#6    Render

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Posted 13 February 2010 - 01:41 PM

Not everybody knows as much as you do.
Not everybody knows about the wars and other catastrophy's taking place.
Until it's shown to them after for example natural disasters and big charity pop up.

And at the same time there are many ppl like you, that find a level of complaining about the fact ppl are finally doing something and haven't done it out of themselves before yet another disaster struck.
It sounds bad but disasters are an excellent oppertunity to start caring and to get acquire some knowledge about the world.

I don't mind big charity shows anymore. Of course on some level it annoys me that ppl should be helped everywhere equally, and not just temporarily cuz something "big" happened. But at the same time it's good that a lot of positive energy is focussed on one region for a certain amount of time..for then to move on to the next region where something else will happen.


I still find it odd though that Haiti supposedly had no warning of this quake.
There are only 12 points in the world where something like this can occur. Port-au-prince happens to be extremely close to one of them.
We have entire teams of scientists doing nothing else but following up on these points.
A massive shake like this doesn't just happen from 0 to 10 seconds right?
Weird to say the least.


#7    Sthenno

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Posted 13 February 2010 - 01:48 PM

I don't know for sure, but I can't imagine the American media focuses too heavily on, say for example, the civilian casualties in Iraq.
Also, lots of people are afraid of having to work out their political opinion. They know there are children dying in Gaza and Afghanistan but the situation is too complicated for a lot of people. They don't know which side they're supposed to be on. A natural disaster, however - and one presented so tear-jerkingly by the world media - is an easy issue to engage with.
It's frustrating though, because people think that they can give money and walk away and not think about it again. Haiti will need sustained aid to help it get back on its feet, not to mention the fact that it was pretty buggered before.
Just as long as Bob Geldof doesn't get involved...


#8    Render

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Posted 13 February 2010 - 02:12 PM

Well yes and no.

Ppl give money "and walk away" because there's not much else to do.

The world makes it extremely difficult to do something good and altruistic. It's way easier to just stand and watch without getting involved.

It's practially impossible to take a plane and go to Haiti and offer your help personally.
To get the papers ready, administration, health issues, credentials, etc costs a lot of money and time.
Not to mention the fact that a lot of Haitians resent the rest of the world now for not helping enough and some are expressing this in harsh agressive ways. For example the human corpses road blockage they made. To make a point, but at the same time only making it worse for themselves. Not only obstructing the roads but also touching corpses which could be a severe health risk for themselves.

Even if you really want to help..to actually get it done, you have to go through a series of administration BS, and even then it's not guaranteed you'll actually be able to help, cuz the locals might not even want you there anymore.


The best and only thing most can do is to "just" send money.


And of course this isn't only with Haiti, it's the same with all those other "problem" regions also.

Edited by Triade, 13 February 2010 - 02:13 PM.


#9    Sthenno

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Posted 13 February 2010 - 02:20 PM

View PostTriade, on 13 February 2010 - 02:12 PM, said:

Well yes and no.

Ppl give money "and walk away" because there's not much else to do.

The world makes it extremely difficult to do something good and altruistic. It's way easier to just stand and watch without getting involved.

It's practially impossible to take a plane and go to Haiti and offer your help personally.
To get the papers ready, administration, health issues, credentials, etc costs a lot of money and time.
Not to mention the fact that a lot of Haitians resent the rest of the world now for not helping enough and some are expressing this in harsh agressive ways. For example the human corpses road blockage they made. To make a point, but at the same time only making it worse for themselves. Not only obstructing the roads but also touching corpses which could be a severe health risk for themselves.

Even if you really want to help..to actually get it done, you have to go through a series of administration BS, and even then it's not guaranteed you'll actually be able to help, cuz the locals might not even want you there anymore.


The best and only thing most can do is to "just" send money.


And of course this isn't only with Haiti, it's the same with all those other "problem" regions also.

Of course, I didn't mean that people should go over in person to help, although obviously if they have special skills that could help they should at least consider it.
I'm talking about what happens when the aid peters out. People, particularly in the US, need to keep pressure on their government to help the country back on its feet without taking over. There's a huge danger that the powers that be will try and enforce privatisation and neoliberalism on Haiti in the guise of aid. But by then, people will have lost interest and moved onto the next thing.


#10    little_dreamer

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Posted 14 February 2010 - 10:42 PM

It's not enough to give, I think.  The nation's people must determine what kind of country they want.
Infrastructure is what they really need.

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#11    stevewinn

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Posted 15 February 2010 - 07:05 PM

the media. its all media driven. westerners are mesmerised by the media. its got to the point where the media has the biggest influence on our lives, more than anything else. if the media focuses on Haiti then the focus of the people and government will also be on Haiti. give it a few months and the focus of the media will be on something else, and so will that of the people / government.

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#12    Marby

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Posted 16 February 2010 - 01:14 AM

The OP has come dangerously close to USA bashing, UK bashing, and media bashing in general, so I have to weigh in. Are there issues with the way media outlets manipulate the general public? Yes. But, in countries like the USA and the UK, there is no excuse to be uninformed about the things going on in the world because there is an entire internet, politically unbiased publications, and other ways to access information if you really want it. Unlike places like China, for example, where the government REALLy controls what people see and don't see, a person that is interested enough can go beyond the big media manipulation tactics and find more objective takes on just about anything in the world.

That's out of the way now - others have touched upon this, but I don't know how to shut up.  :D The wars, poverty, and all those bad things happening on a daily basis in the world get less attention than a natural disaster because they are normal. These are the things that many people try to change or make better on a daily basis. You don't hear about it because it's been ongoing ever since we've created communities and it's a neverending struggle. People give to charity all the time, whether it's a tax deductible amount that comes in the form of a check, or a coin dropped in a can at the grocery store till. Others are risking their lives each day to save people from certain death.They don't have time to talk to CNN.

A natural disaster and its consequences are events that pitch people out of this normal state of being. This is immediate and shocking. The Haiti earthquake is all the more tragic because it is a country that has suffered bad governments as well as widespread poverty on a very consistent basis. An earthquake of this magnitude is the absolute last thing they needed.

An emergency situation such as this requires immediate aid. It's a spanner in the works that needs to be taken care of. I don't know how anyone can find it comical that people would feel a genuine need to help, honestly. I think it's a wonderful thing, and having gone through Hurricane Andrew and experienced that explosion of goodwill in a city that thinks goodwill is just a thrift store, having felt as though I contributed toward helping my community, I find it beautiful. I would never wish a natural disaster on anyone, but sometimes, things like this help to put things in perspective.

What happens to Haiti after all the aid is gone? That is up to Haiti and up to the people who were already active in organizations geared at helping Haitians. No other country is responsible for them, and chances are, they wouldn't want another country coming in and telling them how to fix their problems. The international help is there for earthquake relief, not long term hand holding. And there's nothing wrong with that.

Edited by Marby, 16 February 2010 - 01:18 AM.





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