I do not know if what I’m about to write makes me a monster. I do know that it makes me a part of a miniscule minority, if Internet trends and news stories of the past weeks are any guide.

“It”, is this:

I haven’t donated a cent to the Haitian relief effort. And I probably will not.

I haven’t donated to the Haitian relief effort for the same reason that I don’t give money to homeless men on the street. Based on past experiences, I don’t think the guy with the sign that reads “Need You’re Help” is going to do anything constructive with the dollar I might give him. If I use history as my guide, I don’t think the people of Haiti will do much with my money either.

In this belief I am, evidently, alone. It seems that everyone has jumped on the  “Save Haiti” bandwagon. To question the impulse to donate, then, will probably be viewed as analogous with rooting for Charles Manson, John Wayne Gacy, or the Spice Girls.

My wariness has much to do with the fact that the sympathy deployed to Haiti has been done so unconditionally. Very few have said, written, or even intimated the slightest admonishment of Haiti, the country, for putting itself into a position where so many would be killed by an earthquake.

I can’t help but wonder why questions have not been raised in the face of this outpouring of support. Questions like this one:

Shouldn’t much of the responsibility for the disaster lie with the victims of that disaster?

Before the reader reaches for his or her blood pressure medication, he should allow me to explain. I don’t mean in any way that the Haitians deserved their collective fate. And I understand that it is difficult to plan for the aftermath of an earthquake. However, it is not outside the realm of imagination to think that the citizens of a country might be able to: A) avoid putting themselves into a situation that might result in such catastrophic loss of life.  And B) provide for their own aid, in the event of such a catastrophe.

Imagine that I’m a caveman. Imagine that I’ve chosen to build my house out of balsa wood, and that I’m building it next to a roaring river because I’ve decided it will make harvesting fish that much easier. Then, imagine that my hut is destroyed by a flood.

Imagining what would happen next is easier than imagining me carrying a caveman’s club. If I were lucky enough to survive the roaring waters that took my hut, my tribesmen would say, “Building next to the river was pretty dumb, wasn’t it?.” Or, if I weren’t so lucky, they’d say, “At least we don’t have to worry about that moron anymore.”

Sure, you think, but those are cavemen. We’re more civilized now – we help each other, even when we make mistakes.

True enough. But what about when people repeat their mistakes? And what about when they do things that obviously act against their own self-interests?

In the case of mistakes and warnings as applied to Haiti, I don’t mean to indict those who ignored actual warnings against earthquakes, of which there were many before the recent one. Although it would have been prudent to pay heed to those, I suppose.

Instead, I’m referring to the circumstances in which people lived.  While the earthquake was, obviously, unavoidable, the way in which many of the people of Haiti lived was not.  Regrettably, some Haitians would have died regardless of the conditions in that country.  But the fact that so many people lived in such abject poverty exacerbated the extent of the crisis.

How could humans do this to themselves? And what’s being done to stop it from happening again?

After the tsunami of 2004, the citizens of the world wailed and donated and volunteered for cleanup, rarely asking the important – and, I think, obvious – question: What were all those people doing there in the first place? Just as important: If they move back to a place near the ocean that had just been destroyed by a giant wave, shouldn’t our instinct be to say, “Go ahead if you want, but you’re on your own now.”?

We did the same after Hurricane Katrina. We were quick to vilify humans who were too slow to respond to the needs of victims, forgetting that the victims had built and maintained a major city below sea level in a known target zone for hurricanes. Our response: Make the same mistake again. Rebuild a doomed city, putting aside logic as we did.

And now, faced with a similar situation, it seems likely that we will do the same.

Shouldn’t there be some discourse on how the millions of dollars that are being poured into Haiti will be spent? And at least a slight reprimand for the conditions prior to the earthquake? Some kind of inquisition? Something like this?:

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?

Sincerely,

The Rest of the World

It shouldn’t be outlandish to hope that we might stop short of the reactionary word that is so often flung about after natural (and unnatural) disasters. That word: Rebuild. Thus, the tired, knee-jerk cycle of aid/assist/rebuild would be replaced by a new one: Aid/assist/let’s-stop-and-think-before-we-screw-this-up-again.

If forced to do so through logic-colored glasses, no one would look at Haiti and think, “You know what? It was a great idea to put 10 million people on half of an island. The place is routinely battered by hurricanes (in 2008, $900 million was lost/spent on recovery from them), it holds the aforementioned title of poorest nation in the Western hemisphere, and it happens to sit on a tectonic fault line.”

If it were apparent that Haiti would likely rebuild in an earthquake-resistant way, and if a cure could be found for hurricane abuse of island nations, then maybe one could imagine putting a sustained effort into rebuilding the place. But that would only be feasible if the country had shown any ability to manage its affairs in the past, which it has not done.

I can tell, based on my own reaction to that last sentence, that it might strike a nerve. The reader might be tempted to think, “We can’t blame the people of Haiti for their problems. Surely it’s someone else’s fault.” A similar sentiment can be found in this quote, from an article on the geology behind the quake:

“Unfortunately, [Haiti]’s government was not in a position to really do much to prepare for the inevitable large earthquake, leaving tens of thousands to suffer the consequences.”

The sentiment expressed is one of outrage at the government. But, ultimately, the people in a country have control over their government. One could argue that in totalitarian regimes, they do not have much control, but in the end, it is their government. And therefore, their responsibility. If the government is not doing enough for the people, it is the people’s responsibility to change the government. Not the other way around.

Additionally, some responsibility for the individual lies with that individual.

A Haitian woman, days after the earthquake:

“We need so much. Food, clothes, we need everything. I don’t know whose responsibility it is, but they need to give us something soon,” said Sophia Eltime, a mother of two who has been living under a bed sheet with seven members of her extended family. (From an AP report.)

Obviously, a set of circumstances such as the one in which Ms. Eltime was living is a heart-wrenching one. And for that, anyone would be sympathetic.  Until she says, “I don’t know whose responsibility it is.” I don’t know whose responsibility it is, either.  What I do know is that it is not the responsibility of the outside world to provide help. It’s nice if we do, but it is not a requirement, especially when people choose to influence their own existences negatively, whether by having too many children when they can’t afford them or by failing to recognize that living in a concrete bunker might not be the best way to protect one’s family, whether an earthquake happens or not.

Ms. Eltime’s reaction helps define what is the crux of my problem with the reaction to this and to other humanitarian crises. I recoil at the notion that I’m SUPPOSED to do something. I would like to help, but only if I feel that my assistance is deserved and justified.  If I perceive that I am being told to feel a certain way, and if I can point to a pattern of mistakes made in similar situations, I lose interest.

When I was young, the great humanitarian crisis facing our world – as portrayed by the media, anyway – was the starving masses in Africa. The solution found, of course, was to send bag after bag of food to those people, forgetting the long-understood maxim that giving more food to poor people allows them to create more poor people. (Admittedly, it’s a harsh truth.) At the time, my classmates and I, young and naïve as we were, thought we had come up with a better solution. “They should just go somewhere else,” we said. Our teacher grimaced, saying, “It’s not that simple.”

It still isn’t. And I’m not as naïve as I once was – I don’t think the people of Haiti have the option of moving.  But I do think that our assistance should be restricted, like it should be in cases of starvation.  It simply does not work to give, unconditionally.  What might work is to teach.  In the case of famine-stricken segments of Africa, teaching meant making people understand that a population of people needs a certain amount of food, and that the creation of that food has to be self-sustaining for the system to work.  In the case of earthquake-stricken Haiti, teaching might mean limited help, but help that is accompanied by criticism of the circumstances that made that help necessary.

In the case of the Haitian earthquake, it’s heartening to see people caring about the fates of their fellow men. What is alarming, I think, is the sometimes illogical frenzy toward casting those affected by the earthquake as helpless, innocent souls who were placed on the island of Hispaniola by an invisible force. In the case of some, this analogy might well be accurate; children cannot very well control their destinies. And as far as sympathy goes, much of it should go to those children.

But children are brought into the world by their parents. Those parents have a responsibility – to themselves and to their kids – to provide. They have a responsibility to look around – before an earthquake happens – and say, “I need to improve this situation, because if a catastrophe were to happen, we’d be in bad shape.”

The people of whom I write are adults. Functional, human adults with functional, human adult brains. It is not too much to ask that they behave as such. That they stand up and say, “Yes, we screwed this up the first time. We are forever indebted to you. Now show us how we can do it right.  So that, next time, we won’t need your help.”

For my reaction to the discussion this piece generated: A Reaction, by Paul Shirley.

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Comments

comments

  1. Anonymous
    I agree 100 percent with Dave Zirin: http://www.thenation.com/blogs/notion/522096
  2. JCool
    PS I would take the time to refute each one of the "points" you make in your rather rambling note to Haiti but why bother. I could tell you that eventhough you say you have an understanding of the history of Haiti it is very clear that you don't but why bother. I could note racism, insensitivity, classism, and a variety of other issues with your comments but that probably would be a waste of time as well. So let me just leave it at this, you Paul Shirley are an idiot. Not because of the "political correctness" or lack thereof in your comments but because they lack an intelligent reasons basis for being. Ahh well you are a symbol of what is great and hard about the US, I agree with your right to spout your views and fully hope there continue to be forums for you to do so. But I truly wish you would have just kept your dumb ass mouth shut.
  3. Rest of the Sane World
    Mr. Shirley, Yes, it does make you a monster. And you don't speak for me. Sincerely, "The Rest of the World"
  4. gene
    Who are you? You espouse your ideals but you have no knowledge of history. The economic demise of Hait was perpetuated by the Western world. Trade decisions against the farmers in Hait to sell their goods was restricted while the west insisted on their accepting our goods. Monies sent by IMF and the world community were stolen by the despots who ruled the country with the help of the world. Charity organizations have been in Hait raping its land and people. You are a selfless and ignorant souless individual. Study the issue before you feel the need speak on it next time. You contributed nothing to your team(s) when you played B-ball and you contribute nothing to this world or discussion.
  5. john
    It doesn't make you a monster, just monstrously ignorant. You and your statement will be a magnet for others who are just like you.
  6. Gio
    the french kidnapped those people and used them as slaves for hundreds of years, they are not from haiti , they were brought there as prisoners, they were never educated , the french never set up any infrastructure, they were prisoners of the france who were left on an island far from home. the french used them and profited from their labor but never helped them to become self sufficient, think about it paul, but i hope you suffer like these people have.
  7. Mary
    Just read an interesting Stanford Social Innovation Review article that suggest that when disasters happen like this we should strategically send to charities money. I took this to mean that we act with our minds and not just hearts and passion. Not to say that money is not needed right now, but we have to make sure that assistance is strategically planned by the organizations we are giving them to and go for the right purposes.
  8. Mike
    Unreal... I cannot believe your ignorance masqueraded by intelligence and wit. When tragedy strikes you I sure hope your friends don't use your logic!
  9. Anonymous
    BILL For all of you who agreed with Shirley, I truly hope you are on the same team with him in Spain, because he was a weak sitting on the bench player his whole career and with the rest of you, you just might have enough brains to blow on a tissue. We knew guys like you in Nam, you talk a good game but when it came down to a fire fight they called for their mothers. It is okay to have an opinion, but temper it with common sense. If this is truly how you feel, keep it too yourself, because you are just about as important as the trash that went out last week.
  10. u were nothing special b4...and yet now.
    as long as someone like you kinda ppl are alive in the states, USA wont be able to be called "the intelligent country". simple ignorance of typical american without decent education from his family wrote this blog,i'd have to think. i feel sorry for ur mom and dad to produce this airhead just like basketball u played with... oh,maybe they should've used some condoms.
  11. Amanda Jones
    I cannot even beleive some of the things people are saying in these comments as human beings it is your job to support humanitarian efforts. Maybe not every cent is going to the proper places but it is at least helping one person in the world, and it's that one person's life you hold in your grasp that makes donating even more important. How proud you should feel of yourself coming from the position you held and looking down on unfortunate peoples in the world and basically deeming them "unfit for life". Your ignorance is so disgusting and if you thought writting this article was going to get you some media attention or make you seem intelligent you are a bigger moron than everyone has given you credit for. For the rest of you that agree, the reason why most people think it instead of saying it is because most people have class. Also most people are educated in the ways of knowing that poverty stricken countries haven't had the advantages in life as many of yours. Furthermore if you knew anything about history there is probably a 100% chance that the only reason y you are where you are today and why your country is where it is today is because one of these countries you refer to had to suffer to get you there. So why don't you all think about that while your booking your ticket straight to hell.
  12. supporters
    I applaud your courage and your convictions, Paul. While I do not share the same opinion, I think there should be more diversity of opinion about this and other issues. This "group think" mentality that we as Westerners fall victim to is dangerous and does nothing to advance society. In spite of all of this "knee-jerk controversy" that allows self-perceived populists to grandstand on the issue du jour, the freedom that Paul enjoys as an American which allows him to verse his opinions should be respected.......by both sides of this issue. But more importantly, the process by which that freedom was attained should be observed and respected by all who are lucky enough to call themselves Americans.
  13. Lixfer
    Luke 12:48: "To whom much is given, much will be required." Enjoy all you have been given.
  14. Mike Marsden from Canada
    What an ignoramous - Shame on you and your cold, cold heart! I guess you've never heard the saying "there but for the grace of God go I"...
  15. Julianna Elias
    Mr. Shirley- There is a bumper sticker that says: "If you think education costs too much, just wait until you pay the price of Ignorance." Mr. Shirley, you need to spend the rest of your life learning about the things you know nothing about. Go to college. Read good books. Travel. Talk to people unlike yourself. Look at the realities of your own country and how other people in the world have experienced the United States of America in their country's daily life. You need to start educating yourself. Peace to you, Julianna Elias
  16. a survivor from kobe
    I hope you will get a chance to experience of M7 earthquake and hear people say exact same thing to you one day. Then you will know the meaning of what you said to those victims. I am not forcing you to donate money or anything. But I am just wondering that if it was really necessary to say such things?
  17. Anonymous
    This is the main problem with the United States. We had a golden opportunity to show to the rest of the world we could actually use our immense wealth to help some one in need. Paul, you have probably been given everything in your entire life so you do not understand what it feels like to need something. Obviously, you were talented enough to earn a roster spot on an NBA team, however, you didn't amount to anything there, you still got an opportunity. By being such an arogant prick, you have basically shown the true American in you, wich makes me sick. Have you ever thought of trying? Instead of sitting in your lush house doing nothing. Also, the fame that this brings you, i hope you enjoy it in hell you peice of shit
  18. reader
    i hope that paul shirley will also use a condom, so he won't breed anymore biggots. i hope that in his next life he gets to live under a bedsheet. it's fine if he doesn't want to donate any money. with such a lackluster career in basketball and his obvious journalistic deficiencies, he probably doesn't have any money to give. just another bitter has-been that is going to scratch away at society for another 15 minutes of fame? some feel that bad publicity is better than no publicity, but how does his family feel? who gets to sit beside this freakshow of a "journalist" at the dinner table? sometimes i feel bad that there is free speech. kudos though on comparing your self to a caveman paul. at least ONE thing in your essay was accurate.
  19. Decent Guy
    I had never heard of Paul Shirley before this article came to my attention. Aside from finding his opinions morally revolting, there are a few points I would like to make. 1. Mr. Shirley addresses a letter to the Haitian people and signs it "The rest of the world"; this is a lie because myself and countless others in no way hold that belief. Mr. Shirley has no right to speak for me. 2. We europeans, in this case the French, are the cause of what happened in Haiti. The French treated the Haitian slaves even worse than those in the antebellum South. These pathetic slaves whom Mr. Shirley so disparages managed to outfight the French empire to win their freedom. 3. People with no education, no money and no democracy will by and large remain in poverty and misery. Poor and uneducated people everywhere and in all of history stay that way until an outside force lifts them up; Haiti never got that outside force. 4. America is beset with obnoxious attitudes, be they in the form of Republicans indifferent to the travails of the non-rich, the atheist libertarians who believe in everyone for themselves or racists. Mr. Shirley exemplifies the Ugly American beautifully; Limbaugh would be proud. It is time for the world to change Haiti for the better by education. But education must be preceeded by all necessities of life. Only then can Haiti lift itself out of the gutter that Europe put it into.
  20. Pingback: Friday links! It’s okay to be basically evil edition : COMBAT!

  21. smb
    I just have one question for you: How do you sleep at night?
  22. Creature61
    To Paul Shirley, I'm sure you feel you're doing the Lord's Work as you bounce your rubber ball up and down the wooden boards, throwing it through little metal rings. The only world change your JOB brings is allowing other people to bet on it. If I were a air-traffic controller and had to choose between letting you and your Team (in one plane) and a 75 year old, arthritic heart surgeon (in another plane) have a last ditch landing attempt at a single runway. I believe I could sleep well at night knowing letting you all burn. Let's face the TRUTH, your life really contributes Nothing!
  23. Mr. Truth
    It must be really easy to make millions throwing a stupid ball around and then ignorantly talk smack about poorer people you know nothing about. Haiti is a mess- a mess caused by rich, selfish white europeans 200 years ago. What's funny is the slave revolt created half of the U.S. too bad you're not black, I could make an argument that your freedom is related to Haiti. Unfortunately, you are not. You are just a white, ignorant child, who for some reason is allowed to broadcast to other ignorant bigots, and we have this. Yay. Please break your computer, phone, and vocal chords. And by the way, I haven't donated a penny either- but you DO NOT speak for me kiddy.
  24. clvrmnky
    Please. Do some research on systemic poverty before you spout off about personal responsibility.
  25. Boe Parrish
    Paul, I have discovered that there are two times in life when people need you...that is, when they need you, and when they need you. The sweet people of Haiti need everyone to lend a hand right now. If there are discussions about the other issues that need to take place, this is not the time to do that. Priceless human souls need to be lifted from the ashes and given a cool drink of water and food to eat. Jesus stated it best...when you do this to the least of these, you've done it unto me. Matthew 25:40 (NIV)
  26. 7thgddss
    Thank you for having the balls to write this - it's hard to voice an unfashionable opinion.
  27. Lady K
    Imagine that you are a caveman- that would not be much of a stretch. You need to learn the history of Haiti and its explotation by countries like America. But I guess I should not expect much from a caveman like you. You are selfish, mean spirited, and I'm sure the day will come that you will regret your own words.
  28. Pingback: Paul Shirley To Haiti: Go Help Yourself (UPDATE) | Blog SDN

  29. Bobzilla
    > Justzac > Posted January 28, 2010 at 10:42 AM > Sorry, Bobzila, but ESPN does have a right as a business to hire and > fire who they please. Read my post again. I never said they didn't have the (legal) right to fire him. However, just because someone has a legal right doesn't mean they should exercise it. A business can fire anyone for just about any reason but that doesn't make it "right". > And besides, Mr. Shirley was merely freelancing, so it is not like > they are firing him at all, but rather no longer accepting and paying > for his work, like not using an outside contractor anymore. He’ll be > fine. It’s not like he has been pinned to the earth by ten tons of > shattered concrete. He might be in real trouble if that happened. You are missing the point. If they can fire Shirley for what he wrote then they can fire you for what you write. Corporations and people need to respect the right of other people to express opinions (even if they don't like the opinion) without resorting to draconian measures.
  30. Andrew
    Consider this, the fact that you obviously are not a student of history or anything other than your own selfish views, maybe you and the rest of the cavemen would be well served by understanding the history of Haiti. They were the first country in the world to thrown off the manacles of slavery. When they did attempt to develop their society, Western European countries erected a blockade around their island. In other words they were left to fend for themselves. Our country refused to recognize them and the aid that they were provided was an afterthought. Mr. Shirley you may be able to play basketball, you may have some athletic ability but you are not a scholar, you are little more than a hack as a writer, a know-it all who knows nothing and you should be ashamed for your views which are not even factually correct. I hope that you never ever need help from anyone.
  31. Meach
    To the Mr. Shirley's of the world, you all are the type of people who would rather DIE than to have a person of color give you your last drink of water that would save your judgemental life. Oh I guess you all live in glass houses. Some things are better left not said. You sound and you probably look just as IGNORANT as the REPUBLICANs who I see when the President of these UNITED STATES OF AMERICA speaks. Can you imagine we are living in a country called UNITED States. And to the person who said you only scored 1.8 points you ain't scoring S*** now.
  32. Holly
    Glad somebody had the balls to say something. People can spew all they want about poverty and slavery and this and that crap but, last time I checked, it didn't have a thing to do with common sense. And if they rebuild in the same area... well, you know. Same as New Orleans, which I personally think all that happened there with Katrina could be likened to flushing the toilet.
  33. Kipp
    This could be the stupidest, most ignorant thing I've read in my life. You have no idea how the world works. I honestly have no idea where to begin, whether it's on systematic poverty or colonialism and its repercussions or... nevermind, this is pointless. You are an ignorant piece of shit.
  34. ThankGodYouSaidThis
    You sir deserve a higher pay scale for your work - not to be punished. After all, have we fixed any situation by dumping more money into it (I say more money because the UN gives BILLIONS in aid EVERY YEAR to Haiti - with the majority of UN monies coming from the USA)? Darfur anyone? Oh sorry, that fad quickly burned out in Hollywood - so too did the aid from private citizens.
  35. PaulShirleyYouAre the MAN
    I'm just wondering, some of you who posting here that Paul Shirley is an *****, and racist, and blah blah blah.....Did you personally help? Did you do anything to help Haiti? or you just think someone else HAS to?
  36. Pingback: Haiti: Organ Harvesting, Child Trafficking « Simply Absurd

  37. Cal
    This article is an interesting example of the sort of simplistic understanding of how the world works that is all too prevalent among the poorly educated. It reads like a high school essay, oblivious to its own myopia. The writer clearly has no grasp or even awareness of the structural roots of poverty and general inequity, or the role of corrupt politics and a history of colonialism on places like Haiti. Very sad to see someone broadcast their ignorance like this, and by doing so probably kill any aspirations they might have had to write for a living.
  38. PaulShirleyYouAre the MAN
    @Mr. Truth If are so for helping your people why didn't you help them yourself? or you can only talk?
  39. bc
    Being enslaved does not doom a people to destitution in perpetuity. If that were so, then the Jews would be amongst the poorest in the world, to say nothing of the numerous other successful peoples today who at one point or another in their history were slaves themselves.
  40. David in NYC
    And I bet you wonder why the rest of the world hates us. Assuming you do (or even if you don't), the reason for that hatred can be found in your mirror, you insensitive overpaid (need I add WHITE?) moron. There is probably nothing that can be done about your callous indifference to your fellow human beings (I am being charitable and including you in the category of "human beings"). In the off-chance that something can be done about that, let me point you to Matthew 25:13-46. Since I bet you consider yourself a "good" Christian, you might want to ponder what Jesus actually said. As far as your ignorance, well, that could be corrected by a modicum of research. You do know how to use the internet and Google, don't you? If not, have one of your "posse" show you how. You might want to start around 1804, when Haiti became the 2nd free country in North America (after the US) by successfully rebelling against the French and Napoleon. Be sure to research the reparations that were demanded by France that were not paid off until 1947! And definitely make sure you check out how bloody the hands of the US are -- the occupation of Haiti by the US from 1915-1934 is a good starting point for that. Try opening your heart and your mind, Mr. Shirley. They both need some fresh air. P.S. to PaulShirleyYouAretheMAN: yes, I did do many things to help the Haitian people, including but not limited to donations to five different organzations and direct help I provided to my wife's family (she was born in Haiti and still has many relatives and friends there). Besides bitching about other people, my guess is that you have done (and will do) diddley-squat.
  41. Joey
    Two things... This is the first earthquake they had in 200 years, so watching out for earthquakes was not one the top of there list of things to worry about, next these PEOPLE ARE POOR. Many living of less than 30 bucks a month.Fact things like that in, everyone is not born upper middle class like you.
  42. NBA1
    Sherley who are you to critize the people in Haiti? You should be ashamed of yourself. It`s hard to conceive how ignorant you are. By the way, can you stop natural disaster? Poor you, you don`t even know what will occur tomorrow or see what`s happening 100 miles away. In the past, Haiti produced 65% of the world`s sugar and provided France with much of its financial resources, as the plantation system is lucrative, therefore France did not want to lose such a valuable colony. At the seige of Savannah Haitans fearlessly shed their blood for the independance of United States, they fought alongside colonial troops against the British on oct. 1779. Inform yourself before you make yourself look ugly and stupid.
  43. Miles Teg
    The world according to Paul Shirley: To the people of California: Abandon the state now! Earthquakes have happened there before. Therefore, you should not live there. You're on your own if everyone dies because you should have known better. To the people of New Orleans: Your city should no longer exist. It's below sea-level and since it was hit by a hurricane, you should no longer live there. If you choose to stay, you're on your own. This guy was definitely an NBAer. He is trying to make some sort of thought out logical argument that's disguised not to anger people.
  44. pouncer
    At next years thanksgiving when I say grace I am going to be thankful that espn fired you as a columnist and with all the media attention you have received the only place that would hire you is the KKK inquirer you ignorant, racist, selfish bastard.
  45. Sam
    Paul Shirley: "Why should we feel sorry for a rape victim. It's her fault for walking to her car after work. THINK NEXT TIME." Anyone, who reads this comment who is as ignorant as Shirley: that was a parody.
  46. Pingback: Paul Shirley non ha molta compassione verso Haiti | Estate 2010

  47. Pingback: Paul Shirley non ha molta compassione verso Haiti | Estate 2010

  48. riverratpat
    while i agree that haiti has had problems many years before this I would like to find out where in the world you can live where a natural disaster will never effect you
  49. baby2dope
    well, this is probably one of the most disgusting, selfish blogs i've ever had the misfortune to read. i go to what used to be the second worst school in my city, a school where you would get beat up just for being a certain color, and the students still have a lot more compassion than you. you do realize how ridiculous you sound, right? "Shouldn’t much of the responsibility for the disaster lie with the victims of that disaster?" PLEASE, enlighten me. explain how exactly a nation can be the cause of a natural disaster? and how do you expect the "poorest nation of the western hemisphere" to be able to afford houses built out of anything stronger than sticks or straw? you went to Harvard, Mr. Shirley, you'd think such a prestige school would teach you a thing or two about human decency. if a disaster like this happened in america, you would probably be the first person to sign a check for relief efforts. what would a homeless man on the street do with a dollar that someone gave them? stereotypically speaking they'd probably go buy a 40 oz or drugs. what would a Haitian with nothing do with a dollar? buy food for their families. i don't see any similarities between the two besides A) they're both poor and B) now they both are homeless. you're a millionaire, how much money do you waste of useless items you don't need? yet you can't even donate a lousy dollar, pocket change, to people in need. you make me sick. i pray to god you don't get yourself into a predicament like this, because i know i wouldn't do squat to help you.
  50. Adrian
    The comments here only confirm that most people in the world are narrow-minded and overly sensitive. Paul Shirley is only guilty of two things here. One is speaking an unpopular truth. The other is speaking that truth at the wrong time. There was absolutely nothing racist about this post but angry readers called him racist. He posted several pieces of factual information with links to back up his claims. For that he was called an idiot. Look, we ALL are sympathetic to the situation in Haiti. That wasn't the point. The point is countries like Haiti need to learn from its mistakes. And the citizens of Haiti need to stand up to their corrupt government--you know, the one that takes the billions of dollars it receives in aid and only uses 10% of it to actually make their society better (the rest goes into the pockets of the corrupt). That's what Shirley was saying. And if you weren't so stupid, sensitive and quick to retort, maybe you would understand that. There is absolutely nothing malicious about Shirley's post. Some of you people need to grow up. Children make excuses. Adults try to solve problems, however difficult those problems may be. You guys donate money just to make yourselves feel better. And yes, I donated plenty of money. And no, I'm not a Republican. And this has nothing to with race or colonialism. It has to do with a government that doesn't do more for its people, and people who allow their government to get away with that. We should cry for Haiti... and then we should become very angry with their leaders for allowing this to happen on such a great magnitude. It doesn't cost much to earthquake-proof structures. I applaud you, Mr. Shirley, for having the balls to write this. It's stuff like this the world needs more of. THIS IS ADVOCACY WITHOUT THE SUGAR-COATING. God bless the wonderful people of Haiti.