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Haitians seem to be about the best behaved people on Earth

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Kurt_and_Hunter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 10:23 AM
Original message
Haitians seem to be about the best behaved people on Earth
The violence and unrest are amazingly low key relative to the almost infinite horribleness of the circumstances.

Part of the subdued effect is doubtless due to having been accustomed to appalling circumstances before the quake.

But whatever the reason, its impressive.

Hats off to Haitians.

(Not to sidetrack this, but another factor is that not everyone in Haiti is armed. When every household has an Ak-47, as was the case in Iraq, it is natural to seek coercive quasi-military solutions to a vast crisis. When the only tool you have is an AK...etc.)
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crim son Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 10:33 AM
Response to Original message
1. Interesting observation.
I'm sure not being armed helps.
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Kurt_and_Hunter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 10:46 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. A starving person with a gun... the script writes itself.
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Warpy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 11:01 AM
Response to Reply #1
5. It's not like they can't find rocks to throw
and rocks can be just as deadly a guns in a riot.

Face it, Haiti has a lot to teach us regarding civilized behavior.
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Kurt_and_Hunter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 11:28 AM
Response to Reply #5
6. There is a qualitative difference
Every American neighborhood has rocks... and knives.

But in a crisis, if someone has a gun there is a tendency to make that gun central to your response.

People with guns are a lot likelier to become spontaneously organized pirates. Look at the "technicals" in Somalia. They could ride around with handfuls of rocks, but they wouldn't. It's just not the same.

Unless we are to assume that Haitians are just genetically superior then the lack of organized violence and brigandage probably has causes within society and environment.

Haitians have been capable of ferocious political violence historically... it is a violent country.

So the current response requires an explanation. I mentioned a lack of guns as one part of the mix.
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crim son Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 02:04 PM
Response to Reply #5
12. You are right, of course. n/t
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stray cat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 10:49 AM
Response to Original message
3. Perhaps the less spoiled you are the better one handles additional hardship?
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cutlassmama Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 12:06 PM
Response to Reply #3
10. I think so. The poor handle being poor much better than the rich or
people who think they are "entitled" to everything.
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Altoid_Cyclist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 10:49 AM
Response to Original message
4. We only get basic cable so I've only been able to see ABC, CBS & NBC clips.
The clips that I have seen have just amazed me at the relative composure and grace with which the people of Haiti are handling this disaster.

I know that every clip that I see makes me want to rip people like Limbaugh and Robertson a new one though. It's not as though I could stand them before, but my anger at their assinine statements just takes my extreme dislike of them to a whole new level.

Well, now I'm getting pissed just thinking about them so..........

Anyway, good post.
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Schema Thing Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 11:34 AM
Response to Original message
7. I've been impressed too. As well, I'm seeing pictures of US military
sans guns. I like that. I would not be surprised if that direction came from the top.


It would have been nice if the people of New Orleans had been afforded the same dignity.
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xsquid Donating Member (205 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 11:50 AM
Response to Reply #7
8. odd, on spanish language tv (Mexico)
I am seeing quite a bit of looting and violence. Is the news being filtered to the us?
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Kurt_and_Hunter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 11:57 AM
Response to Reply #8
9. It may be filtered, or we may be talking about differences in expectations
In the US we have seen some looting and violence, but in line with a lot of other disasters.

Given the scale of the earthquake and the incredible lack of resources it seems extraordinary to me that we are not seeing the worst disaster-driven violence and depravity of the TV era.

In other contexts Haiti is no stranger to violence so there was some reason to expect much worse.
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Merchant Marine Donating Member (650 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 01:06 PM
Response to Reply #9
11.  'There Will Be Food Riots In Haiti By Friday'
http://news.sky.com/skynews/Home/World-News/Haiti-Earth...

"I travelled to the Port-au-Prince slum of Solidad, following a single aid truck packed with plastic bags of essentials. The slum hard men rode on the roof and side-runners of our car - without their agreement we would have found it hard to get in; we would not have got out with our car, gear or wallets.

Even as they tried to deliver the food, hundreds swarmed around the truck, forcing the doors open and stealing the aid. Punches and shouting and chaos. They abandoned the plan. Speeding away with Sky cameraman Adam Murch still on the roof. They decided to go back in darkness and try again. They told me not to come."
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timeforpeace Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 02:09 PM
Response to Original message
13. The vigilante groups hunting down and executing looters might play a part.
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Quantess Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 02:12 PM
Response to Reply #13
14. I'm sorry to say that you may be right about that.
I remember a photo gallery of a looting suspect being beaten, dragged by his feet, and set on fire.
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Ocracoker16 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 03:59 PM
Response to Reply #14
15. I remember a news report about Haitians stoning a looter
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malaise Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 04:40 PM
Response to Reply #13
16. Do you mean the hired hands aka mercenaries
employed by the Chamber of Commerce men and women and the politicians?
Those are the vigilantes.
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