The Power of Desperation, Ignorance and Anger

Via the BBC:  Haiti mobs lynch voodoo priests over cholera fears

Voodoo priests in Haiti are being lynched by mobs who blame them for spreading cholera, the country’s government has said.

At least 45 people have been lynched in recent weeks as Haiti continues to be ravaged by a cholera epidemic.

Haiti’s communications minister has made an appeal for the lynchings to end and called for a campaign to ensure people understand how cholera spreads.

More than 2,500 Haitians have died from the water-borne disease since October.

Another 121,000 people have been treated for symptoms of cholera, with at least 63,500 admitted to hospital, figures show.

[…]

"The victims… were stoned or hacked with machetes before being burned in the streets," communications ministry official Moise Fritz Evens said.

It is a sad testament to what happens in situations in which desperation and anger mix with an utter lack of understanding about how the world works.  It makes one think back to witch hunts (and the subsequent burnings) of the past.

FILED UNDER: Quick Takes, World Politics
Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter

Comments

  1. john personna says:

    Doesn’t Pascal’s Wager imply we are safer without the voodoo priests?

    And Merry Christmas!!!

  2. wr says:

    From the headline, I thought this was going to be another Sarah Palin post…

  3. tom p says:

    >”It is a sad testament to what happens in situations in which desperation and anger mix with an utter lack of understanding about how the world works.”

    Reminds me of all the town hall meetings on Health Care reform.

  4. Michael says:

    I don’t think there’s any more powerful destructive force than human ignorance.