Sign the petition if you care about…

At Kelly Ingram Park in 1963 police commissioner Bull Connor urged his men to let whites near the demonstrations. "I want them to see the dogs work," he said.

“…better coordination among aid providers, more transparency about where and how they are spending our money, and more participation of earthquake victims in the planning and execution of earthquake response projects.”

Call me a cynical journalist but how effective can a petition be if it’s addressed to 10 different people representing 10 different organizations with 10 different missions, bureaucracies and funding levels?  The petition organizers, the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti, explain why they’re targeting so many people–from World Vision to USAID to Bill Clinton–but in diffusing responsibility it seems IJDH inadvertently diffuses accountability as well.

(people and organizations were chosen to represent a cross-section of those working on earthquake response in Haiti. We don’t mean to imply that those chosen are particularly responsible for the aid failures. Everybody responding to the earthquake needs to do better).

And if no one’s really accountable then where’s the incentive to change?  Petition signers don’t even know who to be mad at.  And if they don’t know who to be mad at then how can they organize?

Bull Connor and George Wallace during Civil Rights.  Lou Dobbs and Maricopa County Sheriff Arpaio during the current fight for immigration reform.  I’ve never heard of a movement that didn’t have a bad guy.

So who’s the bad guy in the aid industry?  All 3,999 governments and NGOs in Haiti are, according to the advocacy video below, that reveals Haitians’ crappy living situations, post-earthquake.  And I share the sense of responsibility to show how Haitians are living.  But the value of that crucial footage is almost undercut but the impossible standard set by filmmakers that within two months, the 3,999 govs-NGOs (of course I’m making up that number but you get the point) should’ve already fed and properly housed more than half a million people.  I’ve never known any nonprofit to be that organized, much less 3,999 of them.

But check out the video.  It’s beautifully shot and pretty much shows what you’d expect for a post-earthquake life.

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