To start off, I am going to apologize if this at all comes off as sounding heartless. Since the earthquake in Port Au Prince, Haiti happened, there has been extensive media and news coverage surrounding the event. In fact, news channels and media outlets are streaming updates on the earthquake event twenty-four seven. Newspapers are submitting articles left and right, as well as constant input from internet venues and personal blogs. When is enough, well, enough? I cannot turn on my television or play a game on the web without having a constant and, in my opinion, quite irritating reminder of the Haiti earthquake right there, in my face. Every app I play on Facebook has some sort of "Help Haiti" icon right there, in the middle of the app. Every webite I visit through my mobile phone reminds me that I can text "Haiti" to 90999 to donate ten dollars instantly.
If you ask me, the earthquake was probably better for Haiti than not. A large percentage of Haitains were living in extreme poverty conditions. For decades the United States Border Patrol has been on guard against Haitians trying to enter the country illegally. As of now, America is the country that has homeless without shelter, children who go to bed without a meal, elderly that are going without necessary medication, and mentally ill going without proper treatment, but can stream a benefit for Haiti on twelve separate television stations. Where is the sense in that? Does the media in America ignore what is happeneing right on their own doorstep? I haven't seen a benefit for the homeless in America run on one television station, nonetheless twelve television stations, EVER. The only telethons Americans will catch on their televisions, provided they are fortunate enough to have televisions, will be for local events and small charities, and no, they will not have celebrity support and exposure. United States President Barack Obama and his war against Fox News has seen more media coverage than any of the aforementioned problems in the United States, and if you ask me it was never really important enough to broadcast to the nation. It really prompts me to ask, "What the heck, America?".
According to an article written by CNN News Staff, the interest in the Haiti earthquake has lessened substantially in the past week alone. Donations have slowed to more than fifty percent less than what had been received in the hours, or even days, following the event. CNN assumes it is because of the poor economic state of America. Americans are not feeling as wealthy or generous as they have in the past, when America was not experiencing a financial slump. FINANCIAL SLUMP? This is not even a recession! This is the closest America has been to the Great Depression since the Great Depression!! CNN had, however, an idea, and a solid one at that. Americans are not feeling as wealthy as they once did. They also brought up one other valid point in the article, and that was that Americans are growing tired of hearing about the earthquake. Well, imagine that. The earthquake was one news story to follow for a week or so and everyone has just plain and simply, lost interest. I cann ot say as I am one bit surprised. The one question I have that remains is, will the media slow down on the earthquake news as the interest of Americans slows, or will they attempt to out do themselves and increase news coverage in hopes that Americans will begin to care once more?
Let's travel back to my original idea that the earthquake was better for Haiti than not. I am sure a lot of people disagree with that notion. However, remember that poverty issue that I mentioned? The overall instance of poverty in the country of Haiti exceeded the amount of seventy seven percent previous to the earthquake. An estimated eighty percent of Haitians lived in absolute poverty. Haiti, pre-earthquake, was one of the poorest nations in the western hemisphere with an estimated per-capita annual income of five hundred and sixty dollars. Donations for Haiti had reached an estimated thirty eight million dollars from the D.E.C. by January 21, 2010, less than a week after their broadcast for donation acceptance. As of January 15, 2010, three days after the earthquake, the Red Cross received over eight million dollars via ten dollar text donations. Just in two venus alone, donations exceeded forty six million dollars in less than one week. That is forty six million doll ars that Haiti did not have on January 11, 2010, just one day before the 7.0 magnitude earthquake struck. International donations to Haiti exceeded 1.12 billion dollars as of Monday, January 25, 2010. The outstanding public debt in the United States as of January 27, 2010 at 01:43 GMT stands at $12,308,214,833,046.00 - yes that is twelve billion, three hundred and eight million, two hundred and fourteen thousand, eight hundred and thirty three, and forty six dollars. Yet, Americans are being urged, despite the fact that America will be impoverished if this debt is not significantly reduced or paid off completely, to help Haiti reach their donation goal that exceeds the amount of the United States public debt in its entirety.
Sadly, the media has epitomized the financial aspect of Haiti. I was able to find all of the information listed above in one short internet search. I could not find any numerological information on the non-financial needs of Haiti, for example, clothing, water, food, etc. I did find a site that said it would be better to send money related donations rather than tangible necessities. So, when America itself becomes an impoverished nation, will any of these other nations hold celebrity endorsed telethons? Will donations be streaming into the United States faster than the Red Cross can count them? No, I did not think so.
One more thought before I leave you all to absorb the meaning of my article here; have you ever seen Michelle Obama in a commerical before asking for monetary assistance to come to the country in which and her husband are responsible to take care of? No, but her commerical for Haiti donations runs on my television at least fifty times a day.