I saw the real Haiti — not the fake news Conan O’Brien is selling

· January 24, 2018  
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Poverty in Haiti
AFP Contributor | Getty Images

First imagine the smell. I make my living communicating ideas in a way that people can easily understand, but I struggle to find the words to describe the odor I found people living under when I visited Haiti a few years ago.

It is a desperate stench. There are only so many tears that can be cried as people struggle to find a way, day by day, of getting on with the process of living in the poorest nation in the western hemisphere. So it’s as if the entire ecosystem carries on its grieving by way of a rot that belittles the soul every bit as much as the senses.

Haiti is not the paradise progressive elites like Conan O’Brien are selling you, because they’re allowing their hatred for Trump and his supposed “s***hole” commentary to cause them to harden their hearts to real human suffering.

You can’t even close your eyes for a second and dream of a better place or a better day, because the smell – born of the sewage and decay littering a third-world country still ravaged by an earthquake that happened in 2010 — relentlessly hovers with all the delicacy of an anvil. You are trapped.

So you look. You look and you see things that you can never unsee, no matter how much you wish to. For me, one elderly woman in particular stands out. She was a widow, in a country where many of the living men are so AWOL that they might as well be dead in terms of their obligation to take care of the least of these. Yet even among the grotesque abandonment and destitution that permeates almost everything and everyone in Haiti, that woman still was suffering beyond compare.

She procured her food and shelter from other people’s garbage. By shelter, I mean a makeshift lean-to as a shield against the brutal tropical heat, a literal pile of trash and filth she had no other choice but to use as her cover. And by other people’s garbage, I’m not talking about the luxuries-by-comparison that you might find in the dumpster behind the local mall or what somebody left out on the curb.

I’m talking about a setting unfit for animals, let alone humans, to rummage through. But for that poor woman, it was known as “home.”

The sight of her, surrounded as she was by scenes of hopelessness that would appall Dante, made a man with whom I visited the country simply break down in anguish. He was a man who had traveled the world helping the poor, the sick, and the hungry. But this … Dear Lord, what fresh hell was this? Such a fresh hell that this warrior for the downtrodden, who had already seen suffering worldwide that I could only imagine, openly sobbed in the broad daylight when he saw it. And seeing such a man sob like that in turn shook me.

That fresh hell was, and still remains in many respects, Haiti. The poorest country in our hemisphere – a tragic label that it more than earns. I’ll say it once more: Haiti is not the paradise progressive elites like Conan O’Brien are selling you, because they’re allowing their hatred for Trump and his supposed “s***hole” commentary to cause them to harden their hearts to real human suffering.

And while the eternal souls of the people there are worth every bit as much as those living where the streets are paved with gold, it would be a disservice to call such a place anything but the existential opposite of beautiful.

Yet that’s just what progressive funnyman Conan O’Brien did on Twitter earlier this week, no doubt thinking he was helping clean up after President Trump’s boorish supposed use of an unfortunate term to describe Haiti and other utterly broken countries.

“Haiti is truly a beautiful country,” O’Brien said while posting a picture of himself standing up to his chest in water with a beach in the background while sipping a tropical drink.

Far away from the smell. Far away from the impoverishment. Far away from the abandoned children.

Far away, oh so far away, from reality.

Yes, that’s progressivism every day, but some days are just more sickening than others. O’Brien may as well have gone to the site of an erupted volcano that engulfed the small town at its base and commented on how pretty the ashes were. Not only is he helping no one, but he is essentially mocking the people who are fighting for survival while he suns himself in obscene virtue-signaling.

There is a heartbreaking scene in the movie “Dunkirk,” where a soldier who has reached the end of his rope simply walks out into the ocean and drowns in the surf rather than go one more day fighting in a war that seems on the brink of disaster.

That’s probably much like what many people in Haiti have felt for a long time now, but at least Conan O’Brien got a good tan while using the chaos they are choking on as his latest progressive agitprop.

Conan O’Brien should be ashamed of himself.


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Author: Steve Deace

Steve Deace is broadcast nationally each weeknight on CRTV. He is the author of the book “A Nefarious Plot.”