It's becoming increasingly clear that Jamaica Kincaid embarrasses herself and this institution whenever she opens her mouth. (Before you insist that I call her Professor Kincaid, remember she only has a high school degree.)
That's a pretty tough charge, but her most recent comments to students at Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne highlight why she should never have been brought to teach her. Here are a few paragraphs from an article describing her visit.
While speaking to the media Thursday, the author and professor started reflecting on a trip to Haiti two years ago and wondered why it took an earthquake for the United States to pay attention to the impoverished nation.
An IPFW employee responded by saying there were a number of American church groups and mission organizations that had been in the country for years trying to help.
“I think, on the whole, church groups should be banned from these places,” said Kincaid, a native of Antigua.
1. The United States and the international community has spent $4 billion in foreign aid payments to Haiti since 1990. U.S. contributions from 1990 to 2005 totaled $1.5 billion. There are only 8 million Haitians, so you do the math. And that's not talking about all the money given since. So the idea that the U.S. hasn't given Haiti anything is just not true. You can argue -- and believe me, I do -- that foreign aid hasn't done anything of good in these places, but you can't argue that it hasn't been tried.
2. There have been million pouring into Haiti from church groups. As of January 21, 2010, some $305 million has been raised to help Haiti, much of it from religious sources. Allow me to quote from the Chronicle of Philanthropy's editor, Stacy Palmer,
"You've got a bad economy and a disaster outside of the U.S.," said Stacy Palmer, editor of the Chronicle of Philanthropy. "It makes sense that lots of people gave to the Katrina disaster in the U.S., but to give outside of the U.S. like this is remarkable, especially at a time with 10% unemployment."
Just imagine how bad it would be if religious groups weren't giving. But that's not all.
Many Haitians follow Voodoo as their religion. Christian groups don’t like it and are only in the country to try to spread Christianity, she said.
“Their main reason for going there is to eradicate this belief,” Kincaid said.Kincaid said she was worried her sentiments would offend people. She said she hadn’t planned to talk about Haiti at all but couldn’t help herself.
No, their main reason is concern for the poor. "Couldn't help herself" to be bigoted against an entire group of people trying to do the right thing?
Of course the truly laughable moment comes at the end of the article:
One student asked Kincaid how she balances writing with the job of getting published and making appearances. She advised the students they need to write for themselves, not an audience or money.
That's funny. Why is it then that curriculum committee approved a course with the idea of leveraging Ms. Kincaid's contacts as they position themselves in the publishing world?