1/14/10

why Haiti?

I discovered Haiti's massive earthquake while running on a 7.0 incline @ 5.0 speed on the treadmill. I almost broke my ankle as the news sank in: another burden for the Haitian population to bear. Suddenly, shedding 20 pounds to fit into a bikini bottom for carnival just wasnt that important anymore.... My initial thoughts were: why Haiti? I just couldn't understand it, nor could I bear to imagine the pain of this resilient population pummelled with centuries of tragedy, occupation, slavery, societal conflict, disasters and dictators.

As I continued to watch CNN *UGH* (couldn't change stations) the realization that this is another opportunity for foreign nations to enter Haiti while she was yet more vulnerable crept into my mind, chilling my soul. Some of things that upset me about this catastrophe included the portrayals of Haiti on television, the language used to describe the impoverished-due-to-exploitation country.

Who can sit in front of the television watching the "live coverage" of the deceased? WHY WOULD WE WANT TO SEE THE DEAD?? We understand that thousands have lost their lives. We understand this. Grotesque images of crushed babies and the frail elderly mauled by pounds of cement are not the images we need to see. Why is the media focusing on the desolation? Is it not enough that the little infrastructure Haiti had has been desecrated? Isnt it enough to know that thousands have lost their live on one side of Hispaniola, while the Domincan Republic remains virtually intact?? The deceased that make make up the thousands are all individuals, brothers, mothers, daughters, friends, husbands, lovers, with names, (his)stories & dignity. I refuse to watch as the media vultures swoop in to gain higher ratings than sister networks - its disgusting.

I decided to put some of my thoughts out there for fb as follows: soo.. Haiti's BEEN strugglin with natural disasters and the ongoing neocolonial American occupation from time.. one more natural disaster & suddenly you care ?? Seriously people? Consistency works. Try it.
-- An individual who understood my point, articulated that its better for people to start somewhere. While I agree wholeheartedly, I'd like to state that the same individuals who have changed their statuses to "praying for Haiti" or "send money via X for Haiti" don't fool me. In two weeks, they'll move on to whatever else is going on. While its touching to see the outpour of support (better something than nothing) I question the motives behind the support. Haiti has ALWAYS needed our support & our prayers.

I've seen what should be the pride of the Caribbean being treated as the pariah of Caribbean due to its religion, its poverty. Everyone focuses on the "voodoo", the hardships faced, the poverty. No one is willing to help unless a hurricane blows through, unless things dramatically worsen. Why? Haiti paved the way for other Caribbean islands at a time when there were NO INDEPENDENT Caribbean nations to speak of. While most African nations regained their independence in the 1960s onwards, Haiti had been independent over 150 years. Food for thought. They fought off their French "masters" successfully, but later fell to the colonial mindset of the house slave vs. the field hand. As with other Caribbean nations, Haiti dealt with struggles with pride of African vs. European heritage, attempts to regain their hold on a cash crop within the Atlantic trade despite boycotts from other nations deeming them "savage"; Haiti's as a sovereign nation has been a difficult one from the beginning. And still they rise: despite everything.

- I pray when the infrastructure improves, that the occupation will stop.
- I pray the interference aka "interventionist" tactics will cease & desist - Haiti is capable of ruling itself without the "aid" of the US.
- I pray to hear from V.F. & family.
- I pray that those who care now, will care later when Haiti still needs support.


My sincerest prayers go out to Hatians now, as they do everyday.

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