Where do we go from here?

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Our Ties to Haiti

At the group blog WomenOn, I have posted some links for people looking to donate financially to help with the relief effort in Haiti. However, amazingly enough, over two million in donations for aid to Haiti has already been raised through our mobile phone accounts. Information has spread mainly through word of mouth on the internet social networks; and this method of helping out is easily available to anyone with an account with a major wireless carrier. NYT article with links to all necessary info here.

If, like most Americans, readers only know the contemporary history of this island nation, they probably know it, as Robert Parry notes in the first paragraph of his brief history of our early historical connection with Haiti:
... because of some natural disaster or a violent political upheaval, and the U.S. response is often paternalistic, if not tinged with a racist disdain for the country’s predominantly black population and its seemingly endless failure to escape cycles of crushing poverty.
Parry's article gives us an interesting glimpse of our country's little known early history with Haiti, history of which I was completely unaware. Haiti and America's Historic Debt.

I know of the twentieth century connections, the occupation of Haiti by American forces, from 1915 to 1934, under Woodrow Wilson, and the "peacekeeping" military mission in 1994, under Bill Clinton, but this early history involving Hamilton, Jefferson and Napoleon was entirely unknown. Perhaps at this time of devastating catastrophe, we can finally repay our historic debt to this country whose history began in slavery and bloodshed and continues in poverty and political strife. The current day Bill Clinton feels that there is hope for Haiti, even after this tragedy (What Haiti Needs) Let us hope that he is right.

(Crossposted to WomenOn.)


Anonymous said...

There is a long way to go in this devastation, there was such devastation in this country to begin with before the earthquake struck. It will be awhile before we see what comes out in the wash. We still haven't gotten New Orleans put back together after Katrina.
I'll be watching for signs in the future of the disaster capitalists that Naomi Klein writes about in her book "The Shock Doctrine", and seeing if they swoop in to take advantage. I'm sure Ms. Klein will be paying attention to and writing about it in her articles.
It's simply so much to take in right now. The texting donation feature sure is awesome though.


marigolds2 said...

I just sent you an email, but thought I'd put this here too. Naomi K. was on Amy Goodman's show this afternoon, talking about just what you mention:


Without Amy Goodman, Naomi Klein and Bill Moyers, I'd never know what was really going on in the world.