The good news is that over 90% of Haiti's citizens are alive.
The bad news is that almost 2% aren't. Haiti's major city and capital are in ruins. If something isn't done, quickly, plagues will kill off many of the survivors. The country was in bad shape, economically, to begin with. Having a corrupt government didn't help.
Haiti's a neighbor of America. Quite a few Haitians are living in America today: and more probably want to come over.
Now, why isn't this American citizen appalled at all these foreigners coming to America? Because this American citizen as a pretty good memory:
I've told my kids that altruism is, in a sense, impossible for someone who's able to think ahead. That's because helping someone else, indirectly and eventually, benefits the person giving help. Or that person's descendants. The 'payoff' on altruism can be a long time coming.
"My Ancestors were 'Them Furriners' ""My ancestors, not all that long ago, got into this country for about the same reason as today's Haitians. They came in legally - although there was the bunch that came in through Canada. It's a little complicated.
"I suppose a 'red white and blue-blooded American' response could be to be appalled and shocked and horrified at these foreigners breaking into this fair land - getting jobs - and sending that 100 percent all-American money back to Haiti.
"Some of it, anyway. They'll have to eat, and live somewhere. And maybe buy work clothes.
"Besides, looking at it as an investment - I think America would profit, in the long run, if we can help Haiti get on its feet economically. A nation of desperately poor people can't buy our exports. A nation of stinking-rich people can.
"So, my inclination is to think: 'legal-schmegal, let them stay, let them get jobs, and with any luck they'll stay longer and open some new businesses.'..."
(Apathetic Lemming of the North (January 20, 2010))
People living in Port au Prince and other places hit by the quake are, in a way, pretty well off for now. Haiti's climate is warmer than where I live, in Minnesota: and they won't freeze to death.
The rainy season is coming in May, though. Haitians whose homes are no longer available will need a place to get in out of the rain.
If you haven't given to a charity that's helping Haiti, there's still time. Folks there will need help for quite a while yet.
- "Haiti: About the Earthquake, Relief, and Related Topics"
Apathetic Lemming of the North link page
- "Hope for Haiti: Former Haitian Prime Minister"
Apathetic Lemming of the North (January 27, 2010)
- "Haiti's Earthquake Caused by - You Guessed it - Yankee Imperialists"
Apathetic Lemming of the North (January 21, 2010)
- "Imperialist American Aggressors Occupy Haiti?"
(January 19, 2010)
- "Americans and Generosity: Just a Thought"
(January 15, 2010)
- "Haitian Refugees Turned Away / Illegal Haitian Immigrants Given Amnesty"
Apathetic Lemming of the North (January 20, 2010)
- "'Everybody Knows' Poverty Causes Terrorism: So How Come - - -?"
(January 7, 2010)
- "Former PM: Haiti 'not doomed' "
CNN (January 27, 2010)