Today I watched two of the most disturbing things I have ever seen.

The first was a video of a father carrying his dead son while he cried with a wailing that came from deep in his bones.

The second was a video of Pat Robertson of the 700 club saying that these things are happening to the Haitian people because of a deal they made with the devil hundreds of years ago.

In a time when the world is watching people experience the worst pain imaginable, a follower of Christ speaks out to blame this on them and their “deal” made with the devil?  Let’s explore this:

  • Haiti is the poorest country in the western hemisphere.
  • The average income is between $90 and $300 a year.  A YEAR!
  • Unemployment in Haiti is over 50%.
  • 24% of children between 10 and 14 are forced to work as slaves to the wealthy few.
  • The most common exports from Haiti are coffee, vegetable oils, and cocoa
  • In fact, over 40% of the workforce in Haiti works in one of those

Here is the deal…

Over 90% of Haiti’s exports are to the United States.  It is estimated that the value of the commodities coming out of Haiti are valued at 17 times what US companies pay the Haitians for them.  But.. you and I want $0.69 bottles of vegetable oil. It is a common practice to threaten farmers and industry workers to pull contracts if they do not sell their products to US companies at far below industry market prices.  In fact, many times the US companies will give loans to the Haitians promising purchasing contracts and then lower the amount they will pay for the commodity to below the cost of the loan payments, pushing the Haitian further into debt with the American company.

The majority of the wealth in Haiti is controlled by a very select few, the majority of who are either American or have corporate ties to america.

The average Haitian makes less than $1 a day.

That is less than the average cup of coffee in the US.  The same coffee we “bought” from them.

Maybe Pat is right.  Maybe the Haitians did make a deal with the devil.  Only… maybe that devil was the greed of this “Christian Nation”.

We must do better than this.  We represent the name and body of Christ.  IF we truly want the Haitian people to live better then WE have to stop marginalizing them.  We need to take responsibility for our part in holding them down.

(All of this information was taken from the CIA Factbook, US News, United Nations, and the Red Cross.)