| When I first heard about the
devastation from the earthquake in Haiti, my heart immediately went out to the
Haitian people. Moments later in the news though, I heard about how the United
Nations presence there was also affected, and I could not help thinking about
why the United Nations is in Haiti to begin with.
Haiti is a mess and it has been for decades. From François 'Papa Doc'
Duvalier to his son Jean-Claude "Baby Doc" Duvalier and their "necklacing"
where people would have car tires put around their heads and set on fire to
burn them to death in agony in the streets of Haiti, right up to today's
dangers included in the
State Department travel warning to Haiti, most recently updated July 17,
2009, which starts with the words "The State Department warns U.S. citizens to
exercise a high degree of caution when traveling to Haiti," Haiti is not a safe
place to be in the best of times.
The way the U.S.
Government described Haiti's religious community speaks volumes:
Catholic 80%, Protestant 16% (Baptist 10%, Pentecostal 4%, Adventist 1%, other
1%), none 1%, other 3%
Note: roughly half of the population
In other words, although the
Haitian people may claim to be Christian, they are not since voodoo is not
Christian at all. This is not meant to be a statement about religious practice
at all, but when the people can't even define themselves, something is really
wrong on a social level. That confusion begs the question: Why the United
Nations is still in Haiti? The answer is simple - without the United Nations
presence, Haiti would probably sink back to the hatred and violence in the
street before the United States and subsequently the United Nations stepped in
to bring peace and stability to Haiti.
States aid to Haiti in this terrible time of need, therefore, speaks more about
the American spirit to help people than anything else. We are a proud, caring
and charitable nation, and we all should be proud of that. My hope is that our
continued presence and the emergency aid we are now providing will be a beacon
of light for Haiti and the Haitian people. Donations to the
American Red Cross will benefit the
Haitian people in this time of need.