Haiti is a nation of former (4-5 generations ago?) slaves that freed themselves by rebelling against their French masters. Anyone who knows anything about the history of slaves knows that this means the whole populations at the time was pretty brutalized and totally under-educated.
Did you ever think about what happens when you take a couple of brutalized and under-educated people, and they get together and have kids, and then they raise those kids in a society of people who had been brutalized and under-educated? Yeah… It makes for a very difficult life. And that shit doesn’t get fixed in 4 to 5 generations.
Anyone mocking Haiti for the corruption, or lack of effect previous aid has had, should learn a little history. It changes the perspective from disappointment to appreciation for what some of the people there are able to accomplish.
As far as this earthquake, a whole city bigger than the capital city of most US states, with unreinforced concrete housing because there is no lumber and no one can afford steel, has been shaken to the ground with 50,000 of the 2 million people there (5%) buried. How many people work in your office? 20? If so, consider one of them randomly dead. 15 of them without housing. Dead bodies on every street, starting to rot. All of you standing in the tropical sun without fresh water for days.
100 million is awesome. That’s 33 cents each from we 300 million Americans, and it adds up to about $33 per person who needs help. I’m not trying to make it sound small… That’s a hell of a lot of money, and there are a hell of a lot of other important things to spend it on, so that’s appropriate. But 100 million will barely patch up the hospitals and vital services.
Plus, the fact that an aircraft carrier is being used could account for maybe a $1 million per day while it is in use. This is a paper loss, because if it wasn’t in Haiti, it would be somewhere else costing $1 million per day training, or staring down a Chinese counterpart.
The Red Cross is not perfect. But it is one of the best options. There are others though, like Unicef, Docs without borders, etc. I just put the Red Cross info here because it’s very easy. And lots of people THINK about donating. But thinking is about as helpful as spitting. This makes it easy enough that people (myself included) can get over the “thinking” hurdle and actually do it.