Thursday, January 14, 2010

While we’re paused for the cause… Haiti got me heated, ya’ll

pictures courtesy of MSNBC

One of the things that I reflected on (to myself, didn't post on it) when I was in Jamaica is the different feel of being in a country where brown people are in the majority. Everywhere we looked, brown people walking, talking and living their lives. The area of Jamaica that we visited in fact was such that the only non-black people we saw were tourists. Add to that the fact that my father was West Indian and there is always a little feeling of "being home" when I'm in the Caribbean.

So when news came of Tuesday's magnitude 7 earthquake in Haiti, it struck me deeply. As if something terrible had happened in my home. Follow that with a call from a close friend of mine in Georgia, her husband was wrapping up a contract position in Port-au-Prince. She heard from him once early Wednesday when he called to say that he was trapped in some rubble, thirsty but otherwise okay. She hasn't heard from him or anyone in his company since. That makes it personal. I was there when they met. I just sent cute BougieGear to their four year old. When she called and asked me to pray for them; I felt helpless that there was little more I could do.

The stories and images coming out of Haiti are horrific even apocalyptic in scope and nature. I honestly don't understand how any human being could bear witness to this tragedy and feel anything but empathy and a call to service. Why is it when brown people suffer, someone has to cut a fool? (Katrina flashback) And yet, a minister and a talk show host did just that, publicly. Pat Robertson said Haiti has been "cursed" because of what he called a "pact with the devil" in its history. His spokesman said the comments were based on Voodoo rituals carried out before a slave rebellion against French colonists in 1791.

Adding insult to injury, on his radio program Wednesday morning, Rush Limbaugh said that President Barack Obama and company would use Haiti to get closer to the "light-skinned and dark-skinned black [communities] in this country" while adding that the U.S. has "already donated to Haiti. It's called the U.S. income tax."

I really should be at the point where I'm not longer stunned by anything so-called "political pundits" say but at some point, I believe we need a line in the sand. I do not believe that you can continue to say outlandish inflammatory things for the sake of ratings. Sure, sure – first Amendment and all that but seriously, they both need to STFU before someone decides to help them do just that. I joke about Limbaugh being Beelzebub's minion but um… he keeps proving me right.

The White House responded today with the following:

"It never ceases to amaze me that in times of amazing human suffering somebody says something that can be so utterly stupid," White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said.

White House advisor Valerie Jarrett said she was "speechless" over Pat Robertson's comments. "I thought it was a pretty stunning comment to make.

But my favorite response came from Keith Olbermann, who used his Comment Moment on Countdown to respond succinctly:

Commentary and opinions aside, Haiti needs help. There is a button on my sidebar to contribute to Yele, an organization founded by Wyclef Jean. You can text YELE to 501501 to donate $5.00, that's a mocha ya'll. For the purist, you can text HAITI to 90999 to donate $10 to the Red Cross. President Obama also has an updated site for suggestion on how to assist. Listen up, bitching about it gets us nowhere. A whole lot of talking and typing just leads to hot air. Food, water and clothing drives are sprouting up all across the country. If you do NOTHING else this year… do this. Help Haiti.

Thoughts? Comments? Other ways to help?

23 comments:

SBChitownChick said...

That text option is the bomb. And Limbaugh needs to be shot.

tiffanyinhouston said...

*standing ovation* Nicely done, Chele.

thinklikeRiley said...

*hand clap* Folks need to recognize people in need are people in need regardless of color. Brown man stays losing with Rush and he stays losing with us.

curly sue said...

Get it girl. Needed to be said and you did it up classy.

Bailey Quincy said...

Yes, yes. Just hit the YELE text option. If anyone knows of a clothes drive option in the Orlando, FL area please hit me up @BaileyQC

bougiesis said...

Preach, my sister, preach. Haiti just keeps getting hit time after time. Will's foundation is a wonderful option and we should all try to help.

Now, I just want to say, that somehow, someway both Pat and Rush will get what's coming to them. May it just be sooner than later.

Just passing by said...

Do we know whose funds go 100% to Haiti, I'm giving the Red Cross the side-eye since Katrina.

OneChele said...

100% of Yele Haiti funds are going to Haiti because Wyclef is covering the administrative costs himself.

derek love said...

This is exactly what I needed. I wanted a summary of the whodinkery that has gone on with Haiti and for someone to give me place to throw dollars - Done and done. Thank you.

daisy said...

WTF?! I hadn't heard about the Limbaugh quote but this is ridiculous. Why is he still on the air? This needs to be a bigger issue - when are people going to rise up and get him booted?

OneChele said...

Whodinkery! Good word (stealing it).

Man's World said...

I don't think anyone could have an issue with the speedy and comprehensive response that Obama has come with. Please oh please I wish Rush would do a comparison b/n Bush's response to Katrina (here in our own damn backyard) and Obama's response to this quake miles away in a country we owe nothing to.

OneChele said...

Brilliant! I too would love to see this analysis done.

Dr. Peppa said...

Wow, I clicked on the link under your photo - that is disturbing. I saw a story about 7000 ppl dumped into a mass grave and people fighting for bottled water. Station owners charging $25 a gallon for gas - I hope they get it stabilized before it turns angry. Prayers up.

BendLikeBent said...

I have relatives in Haiti that are status unknown. Please do send what you can to assist.

Grace said...

Thoughts and prayers to your family members. We are starting a food and clothing drive at my church, one of our ministers will be taking it down next week.

diamond life said...

Not a violent girl but if Rush fell into a fiery vat of crisco, I wouldn't summon a tear.

ASmith said...

Rush Limbaugh tops himself EVERY.DAMN.TIME. I mean, I'm never ready for it... not ever... just when I think we've seen just how racist he is, he comes back. I can't stand that man... and if I cared enough (about him as an individual) I'd hate him.

Why can't we just send Haiti help without qualifying it with how poor they are, how destitute they are? The damn articles I read spend 30 years talking about how bad it's been down there. EFF MAN, JUST REPORT THE NEWS.

I'm getting heated now, so I'ma breathe deeply and step away.

storm529 said...

As always, Chele, you hit the nail on the head. "clap. clap. clap."

Keith Olberman's commentary was on point too.

It is long over due for Robertson and Limbaugh to be the f**K gone!

My heart and prayers go out to Haiti. Yes, we all should do something, no matter how small. The Yele text donation is easy and fast (it truly takes lest than 3 minutes to send $5).

The Fanny Pack said...

*Supporting this cause with my time, talent and resources has garnered the BEST feeling sI've had in quite a long while*
Thanks for your post. It was an exceptional and clearly heartfelt call to action. None else to be said.

Velinda said...

Some people just don't know what to say out of their mouth and it is a crying shame. My heart felt sympathy goes out to those who have Hatian family and friends. I know the fear, panic, and sadness that comes with a natural disaster hitting where your loved ones are. My cousin lived in New Orleans during Katrina and I couldn't stop crying or sleep until I heard that she was ok. Please pray for everyone. Go Obama! Go all citizens of the world who are taking out time to give some kind of support whether financial, emotional or spritual.

Stank_0 said...

I feel some type a way about what Robertson said. It kinda feels like he's saying, "If ya'll nigras had just been content to be slaves, everything would have turned out all right." Maybe that's just me reacting to human suffering in a country rife with suffering. Blame my bleeding heart and low tolerance of BS!

Devona said...

"Rush Limbaugh tops himself EVERY.DAMN.TIME. I mean, I'm never ready for it... not ever... just when I think we've seen just how racist he is, he comes back. "

I whole-heartedly agree with ASmith. To add, to that, have you ever notice how he never says anything of substanial anyway.

I'm not surprise by Pat Robertson's comment. He permanently has both feet in his mouth. I'm surprised by the fact he is still on the air. Some other things he has said in the past (the dumbest).

http://politicalhumor.about.com/od/funnyquotes/a/patrobertson.htm

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