Friday, January 15, 2010

A Crisis in Haiti: When there's blood on the streets...

Back in the day I could remember as an immigrant from the Caribbean myself when "being Haitian" was the butt of all jokes. What can I say, everybody has to have somebody to pick on I suppose. Considering that Haitians have been placed in such an inauspicious position among us West Indians and practically everybody in the western hemisphere if not the world. It's really great to see the outpouring of support here in their darkest hour. It truly gives me hope and a renewed sense of optimism that one day, the realization that we're all citizens of the world becomes obvious. So much so that we may never compromise the humanity of others as we all share space on this planet.

Honestly, my mind has been all over the place as I watch the portentous media coverage. Watching from a distance as we sit comfortably in our lives, I guess we can agree that there's a sense of helplessness which overtakes our being. A feeling which compels us to act with the greatest of humanitarian spirit, hence the outpouring of support financial and otherwise. I have some thoughts swimming around in my head about this event, but before getting to them, I just want to say that it is truly awesome to see that within the first 48 hours of the earthquake, people have donated funds to the Red Cross in record numbers. Numbers that have surpassed the initial 48 hour response period in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, and the Tsunami in Miramar back in 2004.

All of that said, I couldn't help but to notice a few things in the media that was, how should I say,  pretty typical? I can't remember the name of the reporter but the first thing that jumped out at me were the images of Haitians being referred to as refugees. Yep, refugees in their own country; didn't we learn anything from Hurricane Katrina, geniuses of the media? Lemme guess, next you're gonna show us images of Haitians "looting" and well, "certain people" unlike them, would be trying to survive as they forage for food and water, right? Hopefully the media has received the memo on that one for it not to happen again.

And what's up with the talk about the prison being demolished by the quake in Port-au-Prince, and the possibility of lawlessness as a result? No shit, the prison? Was it necessary for that bit of useful information to hit the airwaves? Oh no, those savage animals from the prison are gonna be raping little girls, sticking needles in dolls, and sacrificing babies with their Voodoo ritualistic devil worship as they wait in the Superdome!

Y'all just had to go there, didn't y'all...

Look, Haiti and Haitians have had their share of trials and tribulations; we know this. But constantly reminding me and everybody else that "this is the poorest nation in the western hemisphere," doesn't sit well with me. If it wasn't for the earthquake would anybody be focused or concerned about how poor Haiti actually is? Oh yeah, and then there's the "why are they so poor," question. Good question only if in the answer they tell you just how much the U.S. and France and just about everybody else has had a hand in it. But no, that's never mentioned and sadly we're left with the perception of Haiti being a country of lazy shiftless Negroes beyond help by David Brooks in the New York Times....

Shiftless Negroes who if it wasn't for slavery would never be working or gainfully employed; Negroes who are comfortable making less than $2 a day. You know, sorta like these poor Negroes in America? And what does the conservative think tank Heritage Foundation do? They suggest that president Obama reach out to George W. Bush (remember that guy?) to assist in efforts in addition to other suggestions in a post titled Amidst the Suffering, Crisis in Haiti Offers Opportunities to the U.S., the pushing of unpopular pro-corporate policies just like they lined out for a post Hurricane Katrina New Orleans. Looking at the picture of those dead children in Haiti above, I guess it's safe to say that the saying "when there's blood on the streets, buy property," holds true in this capitalist opportunistic society of ours.

Image Hosted by



wibiya widget


Related Posts with Thumbnails