It’s about respect

It’s sad that a satirical Canadian public broadcast show has to take time out of its 22 minute political humour to call for news networks including NBC, FOX and even their own CBC to stop referring to the victims of the Haitian earthquake mere looters.

As they pointed out (unfortunately I can’t find the video on their website yet), Haitians are not “looting” 50” plasma televisions, Blu-Ray Disc players or even books and CDs, they are merely struggling to survive with what little is left standing in their shattered country.

Search Google News for “Haiti looters” and you get over 8000 hits, mostly from the past few days, with very few being critical of the usage of the term.

And while I have one callous acquaintance who said “[If I were a Haitian victim] I don’t think that the fact that a Canadian network called me a ‘looter’ would even show up as a blip on my radar,” the point is that all human beings, especially in our most fragile times, deserve respect.

Someone caught grabbing some food for her community from a collapsed grocery store is not a looter but a hero who is helping herself and those around her to survive.

Haiti has been the whipping nation of the West for more than 200 years, from French Colonialism, to American imperialist interventions. After all this, some have the galls to call these desperate human beings mere looters.

Perhaps with all eyes focused on Haiti now, they can be forgiven of their suffocating  and criminal debts, reinstate a true democracy, and rejoice in their heritage as the world’s first black republic. They deserve at least as much.

Please consider donating again to the Red Cross or Doctors Without Borders.