Archives About Staff BagNews is dedicated to visual politics, media literacy and the analysis of news images.
February 23, 2010

“If you had seen the faces of those children as we loaded them onto the airplane, you wouldn’t have asked a lot of questions, either.” (Gov. Rendell)

Haitian children Pittsburgh.jpg

If a month ago, this picture offered a completely uncomplicated, “feel good moment” for Gov. Rendell, Pittsburgh and the United States, today it’s prime evidence of a knee-jerk paternalism allowing America — without asking or answering any questions — to surgically whisk these children away because we’re the greatest … and who are they, anyway?

The backstory.

(photo: Gene J. Puskar/Associated Press. captions: Haitians who had been living in an orphanage that was destroyed in the quake landed at Pittsburgh’s airport last month.)

  • tinwoman

    New pets for Angelina Jolie Christianist wannabes.
    Within hours of the quake, there was celebration on the internet for the new baby/child inventory that would surely become available…..just as there was after the tsunami. Oh, the little faces on CNN are so adorable!! Will they be up for adoption? Where can I get mine?
    As I posted earlier, I know a couple of families in Michigan who can barely make ends meet who are nontheless aggressively pursuing acquiring Haitian children through their church mission groups (none of them are infertile couples). I am darn curious as to why none of them are in the slightest bit interested in going down to Flint and offering a foster home to any one of the thousands of kids who are in the system there.
    Don’t ask them, they’ll get all huffy with you. At the same time, I would note ALL of the people who are in favor of hasty and even slighty devious Haitian adoptions are very worried about the adults arriving as “illegal aliens” and think the Coast Guard should step up patrols to make sure the States doesn’t let anyone slip in.
    A doctor from my sister’s church who went to Haiti after the quake wrote letters back home in which he very clearly differentiatied between “good” Haitians, who were victims of the earthquake, and “bad” Haitians who were not. “Good” Haitians were those who had previously converted and attended the mission church there, children, and people who were “open to the Gospel”. “Bad” Haitians were ALL young men (of whom the church volunteers lived in deadly fear), children who threw stones at his truck when he refused to stop and give them food, and “gang members”, which were any people trying to set up ersatz organization of camps and distribution of goods–since this interfered with the church trying to do it. Tellingly, the good Christian doctor ended up locking all the aid in the church so only the church members had any chance of getting to it. But this is all beside the point.
    The vulture-like swooping in and making off with the children after a natural disaster is so twisted and weird I can hardly articulate my discomfort with it. After all, we are supposed to applaud the vultures–they are doing a good deed. Right?

  • acm

    well, they’re clearly *brown* faces, which must mean that they need help from us paternalistic do-gooders.
    what more do we need to know?

  • mcmama

    Well said, tinwoman. It’s unbelievably creepy.

  • Suzi

    Yes, lets save the blacks…we oh so benevolent God-like people. What imperialist thinking!

Refresh Archives

Random Notes