Mormons throwing food at Haitians

I am happy to contribute to the relief effort in Haiti through my church, but I must say that I would rather that my church behave differently than is described here by Sharif Abdel Kouddous on Democracy Now:

And I just want to describe a story that I think is extremely illustrative of the problem. Yesterday, when we were in Léogâne, we were—we came to an area where a helicopter from a Mormon charity had landed. It was on the ground, and there was Haitians all around, young and old, waiting for food to be handed out. This helicopter took off, off the ground, and began throwing the food down at the Haitians. It did not distribute it when it was on the ground. They threw the food from the air. These were packets of bread that they were throwing. It ignited just fury and indignation on the ground by the people there. They began screaming. One man started crying. He said, “We are a proud people. We are not dogs for you to throw bones at.” It was a scene that I will never forget. And it really illustrates the problem with aid distribution here and the relief efforts here, that they are—they are not seen as people. As Haitians keep saying, they say, “This can happen to anybody. How would you like to be treated in this way?”

Remember, the Savior passed out the loaves and the fishes from the ground level.


7 Responses to “Mormons throwing food at Haitians”

  1. 1 Forest Simmons January 29, 2010 at 9:58 pm

    It looks to me like it was the fault of the helicopter pilot, probably not a Mormon. If you were in a helicopter with food, and the pilot insisted on lifting off before you had a chance to distribute the food, you would have to make a decision: either keep the food or else throw it out the door so the starving people could get to it.

    Why would the pilot insist on lifting off? Perhaps he thought his fragile craft was in danger of being rushed by people that didn’t understand its fragility.

    Other interpretations are possible, but where there is doubt, let’s give a benefit of a doubt.

  2. 2 theradicalmormon January 29, 2010 at 10:41 pm

    Sure Forest. It’s just that I know my brothers and sisters and the mind-frame that many of them have towards the 3rd world and their viewing of the poor as being less worthy than themselves etc. Surely there is a good explanation for why this happened but the incident doesn’t seem to have made the Haitians on the ground feel respected.

  3. 3 Forest Simmons February 2, 2010 at 11:07 pm

    What would Jesus have done?

    He would have landed and stayed there until all of the people were fed, even if it meant missing the ride back home.

    How do we know that? Because that is what his earthly ministry was … throwing his lot in with the poor and needy even though it meant that he would have to suffer along with them.

    That’s the part of the plan that Lucifer thought was unnecessary. He figured that he could have the credit for saving everybody without having to suffer, i.e. he had the same attitude as our modern presidents and other politicians.

  4. 4 Joseph February 10, 2010 at 3:49 am

    This is one example where, while I respect Democracy Now more than other news programs, I still see flaws. Really? No one is accomplishing anything good in Haiti? I find that hard to believe. Yes, there are many members of the LDS Faith here in the Intermountain West region that are caught up in “philosophies of men mingled with scripture” that look down on the poor of other countries. But they are not usually the ones going out to actually do work in those other countries. LDS Humanitarian services have done incredible amounts of good in the world, and I don’t see why they are being accused of this when no one really knows why this helicopter took off when it did, or who was responsible for the decision. Or if they were the ones delivering the goods. Usually the LDS Church collects the items to be distributed, and then has other organizations deliver. Assumptions are being made that don’t consider all the facts.

    If the past in any predictor of the future, I’m guess that LDS Humanitarian services will be helping the people of Haiti long after the rest of the world has directed its short attention span elsewhere.

  5. 5 SUNNofaB.C.Rich February 10, 2010 at 3:53 am

    As a former U.S. army UH-60 blackhawk helicopter crewchief I know our main rotor blades can dip down low enough to decapitate a person especially directly to the front of the aircraft and that it takes time to spool our engines and rotor blades down. It’s likely in a dire situation like that people would have rushed the Helo and out of safety to the people on the ground, the pilot lifted to a hover. I’m sure this Sharif Abdel Koudouss never even bothered to consider that.

    also Jesus Christ wasn’t passing out fishes and bread in a vehicle that could possibly decapitate people.

  6. 6 theradicalmormon February 10, 2010 at 6:14 am

    Good points folks. I am too quick to judge sometimes.

  7. 7 Joseph February 10, 2010 at 5:09 pm


    We all do. When I overcome that trait, I might be able to hold it against others (but then, of course, I’d be falling right back into that habit). As I said, I do enjoy Democracy Now, but I don’t always agree with them. You do bring up a good point, though, that we of the LDS Faith in the Western United States can be a bit condescending. We’ve somehow managed to twist scriptures that actually condemn the arrogance of latter-day gentiles (us) into thinking that they justify our feelings of “superiority.” I just don’t feel that LDS Humanitarian services is one of the more egregious examples of that problem.

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