Haiti disaster and the ugly side of free speech

It would be reasonable to think that with the horrific tragedy that the recent earthquake has imposed on Haiti, the destruction of the infrastructure and the incredible death toll, that personal agendas and partisan politics would be put aside – at least temporarily. That apparently is too much to ask.

First we have the incredibly – what’s the word? Stupid!. The incredibly stupid man of the cloth Pat Robertson talking about how the earthquake in Haiti is part of the evil that has been bestowed upon them because they made a pact with the devil to rid the country of the French away back in 1804.

If they made a pact, it was poorly written, as the French came back and extorted 150 million francs out of the country in order to recognize the country’s independence and be repaid for the loss of profits from the slave trade.

A pact with the devil? Didn’t Haiti’s slave population take the matter in their own hands and revolt? What in hell did the devil do? (in or out of hell).

What particularly bothers me about Robertson’s comments is that he obviously has a following that will listen and nod and say, ‘amen to that brother’.

Then Rush Limbaugh weighs in.

It’s all so petty and mean.

I have always enjoyed listening to Limbaugh when I am traveling in the U.S. I have found his commentary interesting and a lot of it amusing, although you had to keep in mind where where he stood on the political landscape. (Although it seems nowadays on radio or TV that you have to check out everyone’s personal biases and agendas before you settle in to listen).

But Limbaugh’s rants over Haiti and the U.S. aid to the country are just small and mean. I recognize that he personally has deep doubts and fears about Obama and his policies, but the U.S. would be sending help to Haiti whether it was Bush or any other president who has sat in the Oval Office. That’s what you do when your neighbour suffers a catastrophe.

I suppose, the same as for Pat Robertson, there are those who eat this crap up, but I suspect hope there are many Limbaugh supporters who are wincing when they hear this drivel.

Surely Limbaugh can find some real issues on which to vent rather than punching holes in his credibility by ranting on about some deep and dark motive he believes is driving his country’s aid program to the poor and damaged country of Haiti.

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5 Responses to “Haiti disaster and the ugly side of free speech”

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