Trust Rush Limbaugh to take a humanitarian crisis and use it as an opportunity to race bait. Not only does the pill popping loudmouth believe that Obama’s pledge to help Haiti is to boost his ‘humanitarian’ credentials with black people, he also thinks that the US has already done enough to help the devastated country. “It’s called the US income tax” he told a listener on his show.
Limbaugh believes a country like Haiti can’t be helped because ‘throwing money’ at these people doesn’t do any good because ‘dictators take it all’. Of course it doesn’t help that the US has played an instrumental role in devastating the country over the past century (after France extracted most of its wealth and killed off much of the population), and has ensured brutal tyrants maintained control over the economy to prevent any threats to American corporate interests.
The US helped overthrow the democratically elected Aristide in the early 90’s because of progressive legislation he promised to enact (health care, education, roads, hospitals etc) and paved the way for US stooges to control the country. The Haitian population was subjected to the whims of neo liberal economic reform – predictably plunging the economy further into the abyss.
Clinton reinstated Aristide in 1995, but only under the conditions that he follow neo liberal economic orthodoxy. Under George W. Bush, Aristide was no longer deemed acceptable, and he was removed by US marines in 2004 after a US sponsored coup. Haiti continues to struggle politically, and is now led by leftist politician Rene Preval after another popular revolt over the US installed puppet government.
The history of US involvement in the country is brutal and unforgivable, and its current state is almost entirely attributable to Western interference. However, professional propagandists like Limbaugh continue to spread lies about the country and insist it is poor because it is black and unable to manage itself. The truth, as always, is anything but.
Ben Cohen is the editor and founder of The Daily Banter. He lives in Washington DC where he does podcasts, teaches Martial Arts, and tries to be a good father. He would be extremely disturbed if you took him too seriously.