Poverty in Haiti and other problems
by, 02-02-2008 at 02:31 PM (2823 Views)
The hand of a Haitian woman is covered in mud as she makes
mud cookies, made of dirt, salt and vegetable shortening.
Mud cookies are one of very few options the poorest Haitians
have to stave off hunger.
As we know, most of the suffering in Haiti comes from America’s treatment of Haiti as far as its policies towards this nation for decades. Like one writer said years ago, that every since the Haitian revolution led by Toussaint L’Ouverture, America along with Europe made it an important objective to not have an all-Black nation of self-emancipated Africans prove that Africans can overthrow a European colonial power in the Western world, and turn around and successfully self-govern themselves and prosper. The fear was that this would send a defining radical message throughout the enslaved and colonized diasporan African world that would eventually incite other enslaved Africans, as well as make Haiti a socio-political satellite for Black insurrection and revolution.
Though we can send care packages to feed a handful in the short run, I think we should to do several things. For one, I think the Black activist community here in the US has to put Haiti’s issues on its highest agenda like we did apartheid in South Africa years ago. The resistance, protest, and other efforts to end apartheid in South Africa coming from our communities here in the US were very important and irreplaceable weapons towards the ending of apartheid; when South Africa’s apartheid regime came to an end and Nelson Mandela was released, the important contributions coming from the Black community in the US that pressured world opinion, the US, and the South African white racist regime to make this happen was never fully noted, and some feel even Nelson Mandela in his first visit here side-stepped that connection. As we have made our concerns known about so many other issues in the African world, Haiti situation has been marginalized or ignored for years, and they are right here in our front yard in the Diaspora.
Secondly, we need to be careful and not let our deep hurt and then willingness to help to induce us to act paternalistically, for there has to be no doubt various Haitian activist communities, progressive Haitian political organizations, and Haitian-ran relief agencies here in the US, that we need to confer with and contact first of all, those who know what is most needed from our larger diasporan community so we can most effectively “assist” in their issues. There are probably tens of thousands of Haitians living in the US, there needs to be more solidarity with the Haitian activist community on an organizational level.
As I said before, we know 95% of this issue is political both outside and inside of Haiti by some maniacal design, but besides that Haiti is a perfect example why we need to start developing ideas on how to develop ourselves as liberated people here in the Diaspora, starting right here in the US and without borders or colonial language differences. For if Haiti was free of outside intervention and all of its volatility forever tomorrow, the conditions in Haiti are so bad that Haitians will continue their suffering for another 100 years unless there is some innovative way that the infrastructure of Haiti is reconfigured and socially-engineered to help develop a more prosperous and successful African country. Right now all Haiti has coming at the least is more care packages and charity, and at the most more guns, bullets, and Western financial aid or relief, which will eventually turn into nothing but “DEBT” that is tied to a string of paternal dependency and more neo-colonialism.
So help to Haiti can be threefold; how can we effectively send some relief in some small way to Haiti, how can we become more involved in Haiti’s overall socio-political issues, and also as Haiti moves eventually towards self-sustainability can we prepare ourselves to invest the knowledge of advance and alternative ways of growing food, supplying energy, and many other basic needs that all Africans here and in Haiti are lacking.
For if we don’t understand what is happening in Haiti, we will be eating our own version of dirt cookies tomorrow made out of US soil. Take a second and think about how dependent we really are.
Brother Sun Ship
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