Wednesday, January 27, 2010

dear paul shirley: maybe you should just voluntarily swim out into the middle of the ocean and never return. thanks, rest of the world.

a former nba player who still plays pro basketball decided to take the haiti problem into his own hands and write an article about why he hasn't donated money to the haitian relief.

at first, he's a bit right--the money being sent to haiti right now is being sent unconditionally and a lot of it will be misused... but he doesn't actually write that, because he goes on to say that the people of haiti themselves will misuse it and that the victims of the disaster should be responsible for the aftermath. maybe he's just really, really uninformed about the history of haiti? or the corrupt government who steals aid from the people?

he also likens haitians to cavemen who "chose" how they live and shouldn't be rewarded for doing so..which, sorry to inform you paul, just isn't the truth.

regardless, he crosses a major line of decency and, you know, fact when he addresses a letter to the people of haiti a letter:

"Dear Haitians -

First of all, kudos on developing the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. Your commitment to human rights, infrastructure, and birth control should be applauded.

As we prepare to assist you in this difficult time, a polite request: If it's possible, could you not re-build your island home in the image of its predecessor? Could you not resort to the creation of flimsy shanty- and shack-towns? And could some of you maybe use a condom once in a while?


The Rest of the World"

before he begins writing he gives a little disclaimer that what he's about to write might make him seem like a monster.

well, it doesn't. it actually just makes him seem extremely stupid and uneducated. this man has zero grasp on the history of colonialism and slavery in haiti, nor does he understand anything about aid or international debt.

paul shirley doesn't understand that it's actually his side of the world who is to blame for haiti. he wants them to pull themselves up from their bootstraps but he doesn't realize that we stole their bootstraps and used them as collars for our expensive pets.

if you think about it, it's kind of sad. this is a man who still believes in "development" as a positive force. this is a man whose world view is so off mark that he basically lives in an alternate universe.

so, your article doesn't make you sound like a monster paul shirley, your willing ignorance does though. the fact that you have all the resources in the world available to you and you refuse to even read a book that could give you a bit more insight into haiti's reality, that makes you a monster.

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