A Haitian judge would be ordering the release of 10 American missionaries who were arrested for taking 33 children and trying to transport them out of the country.
Hours on, CNN, which had followed the story to the exclusion of more urgent items ─ and is generally quick to break news ─ had informed its internet followers only that Haitians had canceled Carnival.
Mercifully, CNN doesn’t engage in straightforward editorializing. The Kvetch channel’s unadulterated leftism — not to mention hard-core statism — creeps into reports by way of story selection, slant, energetic facial grimacing, and punishing programs such “Black, Brown, and plain Bored in America.” (Where whites are concerned, it’s an existential whiteout.)
Call it the CNN meta-message.
The tough tenor toward the missionaries from Central Valley Baptist Church in Meridian, Idaho, was set by CNN alpha female, Anderson Cooper. The activist anchor and his houseboys in Haiti had been exceedingly hard on the hapless group, whose aim it was to, first, whisk the children to the Dominican Republic, and, next, help “each child find healing, hope, joy and new life in Christ,” as well as “opportunities for adoption into a loving Christian family.”
This mission statement ─ Christianity in practice, if you will ─ was scorned by the New York Times too. The paper accused the evangelicals of “trying to buy souls,” and pronounced them “guilty of a kind of spiritual trafficking, by mixing the help they offer to victims of last month’s earthquake with proselytizing.”
A derelict that defaults on a loan or incurs bad debt has the slobbering sympathies of Cooper and company. Not these unworldly Christians. AC was quick to dig-up and run stories about Laura Silsby, the team’s representative, detailing her chaotic financial affairs. “The Americans lied” was an oft-repeated Cooper refrain. (The jet-setting journalist has never, as far as I know, protested the practice of taqiyya, or lying for Islam).
Thankfully ─ and contrary to CNN’s self-styled newsman-cum-humanitarian ─ one Haitian justice was not as eager to see “The Americans” go down for their goodness. As Reuters reported, the (eminently reasonable) investigating Haitian judge looked for criminal intent in his investigation. He found none. So the Haitian justice concluded that the incarcerated missionaries acted with no malice aforethought.
Mens rea: now that’s a difficult concept for Cooper to comprehend.
In fairness, Anderson is not working with much. He suffers from what Peter Brimelow, editor of VDARE.COM, has termed intellectual inertia. It infects most mainstream journalists. Put less politely, Anderson’s stupid. How is he to know that a legal burden must be met before a manifestly ludicrous prosecution proceeds? Hopefully, a Haitian justice has taught Anderson a legal lesson (and some humility).
“The study of primitive societies refutes the notion that all men are brothers, and that all men are equal,” wrote Russell Kirk in “The Conservative Mind.” Had he stopped to “dig deeper” ─ the title of a segment on the Cooper nightly “weep-a-thon”─ instead of force-feeding his worldview to his viewers, Anderson might have discovered that the 33 boys and girls, most of whom hailed from the village of Calebasse, adjacent to Port-au-Prince, had been handed-over by parents and other guardians, willingly.
The likes of Cooper foist their own politically proper, psychologically palatable perspective on the objects of their pity. Ditto Eugene Robinson of the Washington Post. The WaPo editor projected his American parenting preferences onto the villagers of Calebasse, declaring that, “Giving up a son or daughter is one of the most wrenching decisions a parent can face, and it has to be done right.” The paternalistic Brother Robinson here implies that the Haitian villagers could not have possibly done the surrendering “right.”
As incomprehensible as this may be to insular, insulated Americans, thousands of Haitian children are sold into slavery each year. Yes, the former slave colony has kept the tradition alive. Child chattel still thrives in Haiti in the form of the “Restavec system.” Children are kept in grinding poverty and worked to the bone, sold, or given away to their owners by parents and guardians. Unheard of in the US; in Haiti, owning a Restavek is a status symbol; being rid of a burdensome child, often a relief.
There are approximately 300,000 restaveks─ almost ten percent of Haiti’s children have been sold into servitude by the formative figures in their little lives. Haiti is “a piece of Africa transported to the new world.” If lucky, in this the poorest country in the Americas, a child can look forward to subsisting on $2 a day ─ For that is Haitian GDP per capita. If unlucky, she may be sold into sexual and domestic servitude.
Her foibles and frailties notwithstanding, Laura Silsby ─ backed by the Rev. Clint Henry and his 500-member, Idaho-based, Baptist Church ─ is probably the best thing that’ll ever happen to these waifs. Whatever were Sillby’s plans for the children, these were far and away better than what’s in store for them if they remain at home.
Mind you, the kids can hope to be caught on camera ─ Anderson Cooper’s ─ as they chase him and his crew begging for tasty morsels, while Cooper flexes his muscles, furrows his forehead, and shows just how much he feels their pain.
Postscript: As I put this column to bed, CNN.com finally reported that a “Haiti judge may rule in Americans’ case.” Could the network still be holding out for a conviction?
©2010 By ILANA MERCER