[L]awyers are also good at asking questions, and as far as what’s happening in Haiti is concerned, there is no shortage of those. Like, for example, what is happening to millions of extra dollars pouring into a country that already had a staggering 10,000 NGOs before the earthquake. For an island with a population of fewer than 10 million, there is at least one NGO per 1,000 people.
Now, I don’t have numbers on how much money various NGOs in Haiti actually get. My guess is that it isn’t inconsiderable. So if before the big disaster a couple of months ago there was at least one NGO per one thousand people, where did all that not-inconsiderable money sent to NGOs in Haiti after the earthquake go? To actually helping the people of Haiti? To strengthening infrastructure? Or did it go to the wallets of self-proclaimed do-gooders who feel eternally justified in cumulatively gobbling up tens of millions of dollars per year for their no doubt staggeringly impressive “administrative” talents while poorly- or unpaid volunteers are the ones actually out in the sun building the hospitals and digging the ditches?
And what of the dupes who sent their money to one of those NGOs charged with helping that roughly 1000 Haitians? Was their money wisely spent? How come Haiti, even before the earthquake was one of the most wretched places on earth despite the fact that for every thousand Haitians, an entire non-governmental organization was on the ground ready to provide for each person’s very existence? Perhaps more importantly, what of those Haitians whose entire existence is predicated on the presence of one or more of those NGOs? What does it mean when a state is too feeble to exist without massive and sustained subsidies from another state? Can it really be said to be independent? Can this state of affairs instead effectively be critiqued as representing a particularly insidious form of neo-liberalism, one dressed in the culturally (in)sensitive garb of Euro(American)-centric neo-colonialism? If so, what does that mean for the whole “humanitarian aid” project? Or, if not merely the manifestation of a new form of colonialism, is such aid in the final analysis merely the obligation of the rich to the poor? If that is the case, how do such clear power imbalances effectively translate into a situation that can not be described as “neo-colonialism”?
Well, never mind that! Who the hell are white engineers to suggest more earthquake-resistant construction techniques, anyways?
Racists. Prolly didn’t support the majority of the country that elected Obama on health care reform, either.