Paul Shirley: Not a Fan of Haiti (UPDATE)

by January 27, 2010
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The former (marginal) NBAer turned scribe expressed some interesting thoughts on the devastated country. And our man Dave Zirin took him to task (thanks for the tip, @thefarmerjones): “I had plans to write a political response to this excrement. I was going to wonder why someone would write something so hurtful while people are still digging their own family members out from the rubble. I was going to marvel at Paul Shirley’s ignorance of Haiti’s history. I was going to ask if he knew anything about the crushing debt Haiti has lived under for two centuries. I was going to point out the U.S. occupation of the island from 1915-1934, which left behind a 98 percent illiteracy rate, a broken economy, and a U.S.-trained military schooled in the art of repression. I was going to ask if he had any knowledge of the unspeakable brutality of the Duvalier dictatorships. I was going to write that before he talks about ‘history as a guide’, he should dare read some history like The Uses of Haiti by Paul Farmer or The Rainy Season by Amy Wilentz. I was also going to suggest that he actually try to live on a dollar a day or care for someone H.I.V. positive who has no access to medicine. I wanted to dare him to work for ONE DAY in a garment industry sweatshop. I was going to write all of these things. But instead I think I’m just going to write my own open letter: Dear Paul Shirley, I only wish your father had taken your own advice and worn a condom. Go to hell. Sincerely, Dave Zirin.”

UPDATE: Paul has lost his ESPN gig as a result of his diatribe.