Friday, January 22, 2010
"Haiti is a Nation of Heroes."
Sometimes I think Jay Smooth lives inside my head. Literally, every video he makes I nod my head in amazement.
Am I the only one having a kind of mixed reaction to the outpouring of fundraising for Haiti? On the one hand, of course it's wonderful that so many people are giving, of course I think that it should be on tv, it's news, of course I think it's great that celebrities are involved because they have the ability to reach more people, make an issue more visible, etc.
But, I have this kind of queasy feeling about it all, like, it's not like Haiti didn't need help before. It's like, hundreds of thousands of people have to die suddenly in order for people to pay attention. And I'm afraid that this situation leaves the door open for more of the IMF/World Bank, etc type loans to screw over the Haitian economy further, or for the spread of further US corporations to "create jobs" etc etc.
Every time I bring this up people look at me like I'm kicking an adorable puppy.
This is a similar feeling I had after Katrina, and after (well, after reading about, as I was too young to really notice at the time) Rwanda. (Although it hasn't done much for the people in Darfur, really.)
Why do we only care when Bono tells us to? Why do we only notice when it horrifies Anderson Cooper?
**added** And just to make clear, I don't leave myself out of the "We" mentioned above. I've been keeping this blog for almost a decade, and I don't think I ever wrote about Haiti once. Why not?
Oh, oh, and if you want to know the type of havoc IMF and World Bank loans can wreak on an economy, I can't recommend this movie enough. (Again.)