For Some Reason the New York Times Wouldn't Publish This
Subject: ''Resolve Among the Ruins''
Attention Bob Herbert
Dear Mr. Herbert,
In your column today, ''Resolve Among the Ruins" (NY Times 1/16/10) you state that ''The earthquake will not defeat the Haitian people" which suggests that the Haitian people possess a unique fortitude and resourcefulness in the face of extreme adversity.
Nothing could be further from reality. History has repeatedly shown that when Haiti is struck by these natural calamities, its people react like helpless children, the recent earthquake being typical. If not for the relief efforts of the international community led by mainly white nations, the death toll would not be in the tens of thousands but in the millions in a few weeks.
As with most liberals, you are quick to resolve the Haitians of any responsibility for their plight. You point to a historic legacy that has included ''enslavement, murderous colonial oppression, invasions by powerful foreigner armies, grotesque homegrown tyrants..." Nowhere do you mention a national IQ that is around 75 or the fact that the country was existing on a system of international welfare long before the recent catastrophe that drained the population of any survival skills or ambition that they might have possessed.
So far the only thing that the Haitians have been able to organize are the marauding gangs of looters who the media will find increasingly difficult to ignore as the island descends into further chaos and anarchy in the coming weeks.