I realize a good share of you nice folks turn to this space looking for something that will make you laugh. I also realize a good share turn to it and wonder why I still have a job, but that’s a topic for another time.
Today I’d like to set the comedy aside and talk about something I saw on an Internet that just infuriated me, and still does.
The subject was Haiti. A person on a social network site was appealing to friends to contribute whatever they could to the relief effort. For all intents and purposes, she was preaching to the choir. Most everyone answered that they had already given money and planned to donate more.
And then came the entry that lit my fuse.
Someone said that instead of Haiti we had a moral obligation to help people at home, and then asked, “What did Haiti do for us after 9/11?”
I put that exact question to the Mr. Google and found another entry from another site saying:
“They’re making such a big deal about how everyone should send money down to Haiti to help them out because of the earthquake. Has everyone forgotten that Haiti hates us? Have they ever tried to help us during any of our disasters?”
Like I said, I was steamed. Ignorance and selfishness do that to me.
Haiti, as we have all learned because it is said on every news program, is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. Average income — measured back before the earthquake, when they still had places to eke out a living — is $20 a day.
What, exactly, was Haiti supposed to offer after 9/11 or Hurricane Katrina? Certainly not money. The place exports coffee and sisal. Coffee we have. Sisal is used to make dartboards. I don’t recall anyone mentioning a dartboard shortage.
And you know what? Neither do I remember anyone mentioning Haitian hatred of America. I have found people who want that to be true so it fits their narrative for how we’re wasting our money and manpower on those they assure us are ingrates. They don’t have any proof. They’ve never even met anyone from Haiti. They just “know.”
My experience is that most people in this world don’t hate America. They are wary of our government, and in some cases rightfully so. They’re not exactly alone in that sentiment, you know. Plenty of people right here are wary of our government, too.
I’m going to go out on a limb and bet that some of the people who said these things are among the 76 percent of Americans who identify themselves as Christian.
I’m no Bible scholar, but I don’t remember Jesus ever saying anything about mercy having a residency requirement. Charity begins at home, I agree, but nobody said anything about it stopping there.
And even if the Haitians DID hate us, what about Matthew 5:44? “But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you.”
Pope John Paul II once said, “Anything done for another is done for oneself.” Viewed that way, charity abroad IS charity at home. But I doubt I could get the Moron-American community to understand, because they are not paying attention to another saying by that same wise man:
“Stupidity,” he said, “is also a gift of God, but one mustn’t misuse it.”
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