Questionable expectancy for the crisis in Haiti

Home Editorial & Opinion Questionable expectancy for the crisis in Haiti

Dana Whitten – The Corsair

The fifth deadliest natural disaster in recorded history was a devastating tsunami no less than five years ago off the Indian Ocean coast. Up to 14 countries were affected by this undersea mega-thrust earthquake killing more than 230,000 victims and causing a worldwide humanitarian awareness that engulfed the globe with not only pity, but fear.

An estimated $7 million was donated to aid those whose homes were devoured by the wave which was measured at 100 feet or 30 meters at its’ highest. Five years later, with the help of countless organizations and donors, those places with the most damage, like Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India, and Thailand, are still on the road to recovery from this most unfortunate tragedy.

Regrettably, on Jan. 12 of the already challenging year of 2010, misery on a monumental scale struck again in Haiti. According to the news media, it has been defined as the poorest country in the Western hemisphere, which has been at war with not only its crumbling financial health, but also within itself for the past century. But, brutal leaders and civil rebellion are the least of this sorrowful country’s problems right now as the death toll climbs higher, and hope for a renewed future seems lost.

Even so, the light is never far from the darkest of storms as America reaches out to help those without resources. Already, the American Red Cross Association is said to have alone raised an outstanding $112 million for Haiti, 22 million of which came via text messaging, allowing ages of all kinds fast and easy access for giving donations.

Proud to be an American citizen, I thoroughly support the financial aid we are able to offer. But, my real pride lies with our very own community college. PJC has also joined the fight for ongoing life by organizing fundraisers and channeling the money to Miami Dade College, a fellow community college here in Florida dedicated to helping those of all shapes and sizes that are in desperate need.

As admirable as these deeds seem, there are people in the U.S. that believe our “hand-outs” are causing undeniable economic instability. After speaking with a man here in Pensacola, I found that many Americans actually despise the fact that we give away millions of dollars while simultaneously rendering our already failing economy. He argued that the more money we offer in aid, the less we have circulating throughout our own currency. To a degree, I protested, wanting to believe that even the idea of being an uncharitable nation would be a question against the level of morality and philanthropy that has always defined our homeland as the most generous superpower ever known.

However, something I had failed to notice was the ongoing taxing for foreign aid that comes out of every working citizen’s paycheck and that the donations small business owners, corporate owners, and ordinary Americans dish out were only additions to the flow of money we give away in charity that ceases to have a reasonable limit. Even though poverty levels are reaching a new high that America hasn’t felt since the Great Depression, we have no problem sending money to an economy where there is already a program that has helped Haiti’s economy grow.

The program was developed with the help of the International Monetary Fund in 2005 and made possible the highest growth rate since 1999: a 1.8 percent growth by 2006. Still the thought remains that no matter how much the country has progressed since the appearance of its new leader, René Préval, there is still the factor that no country, whether domesticated or not, can withstand the aftermath of a natural disaster alone.

After many head-pounding days of indecision and doubt, I have come to this conclusion: I shall place my loyalty on neither side and bring forth a rather disturbing theory that many of us have shunned for so long. The simple question here isn’t whether or not we should help these other countries in need, but more precisely, will these other countries help us if the day comes when our country is crippled by a natural disaster as horrific as the aforementioned tsunamis and earthquakes? If so, will they show us the same amount of devotion and kindness that we have shown them?

It is obvious that many good people have faith in the hope that our favor will be returned in a most considerate manner. I, myself, am one of them, but these past few nights I have pondered on this mind-boggling question and found that I have an unwavering love for nationwide independence and security, as well as my moral conscience.

As many other debatable worries have come to pass, I have an optimistic opinion that no good deed ever goes unnoticed and hope for our country’s sake, as well as the world’s, that we have not forgotten the true essence of human nature.


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