Yesterday I prayed feverishly for my friends, as they sought confirmation that their family members survived the massive 7.0 earthquake that leveled Haiti. My only frame of reference for their hearts’ panic was the day the Twin Towers fell; a day in which my mother watched them crumble out of her 30th Floor window in Midtown, while frantically asking me what to expect next over the phone. I’ll never forget sitting in my Vanderbilt dorm room, watching that declaration of war, and not knowing whether my mother would make it home to the Bronx. Truly an unsettling experience. So my heart goes out to those still waiting to hear from their kin, disconnected by fallen phone towers and cataclysmic chaos.
Watching the current rally calls and pledges of aid to Haiti as a result of this unfathomable natural disaster, I can’t help but to feel proud that citizens across the world feel compassion for our wounded brothers and sisters. This makes me smile, only not too bright.
Truthfully, I feel a great sense of disappointment in the fact that it has taken this large scale catastrophe to force the United States and others to donate millions in aid and support to the people of Haiti. Had we cared about Haiti’s humanitarian disaster that predated January 12th’s earthquake, hundreds of thousands of lives may have been spared. As the Western Hemisphere’s poorest country lingered in our backyard, we turned a cold shoulder to the 3rd World penury that stared us in the face just 90 minutes away from Miami. Before the Richter scale even tipped yesterday, Haiti had been operating as a post-apocalyptic society for well over 5 centuries. Our fellow Negroes have lived in abject poverty with crumbling physical and political infrastructure ever since I can remember. Yet no one (outside of a few philanthropic groups) lifted a finger to assist the Haitians with getting on their feet. Why has there not been around the clock news coverage of the despair in Haiti until now?
Somehow I believe there would have been a different story in Haiti if there was an abundance of Texas Tea found in and around the country. But that’s neither here nor there when considering that Black America has never been substantially active in supporting our people across the Caribbean Sea. We’ve flown over the country to party it up in the Virgin Islands and Trinidad & Tobago, yet we’ve never rallied to contribute to the financial uplift of our brethren in Haiti. (I must note that many of us have visited Haiti’s neighbor Jamaica, but have still however ignored the true plight of our people there as well).
As the World mobilizes to assist Haiti, it is my sincere hope that we learn to be proactive in averting crises of this scale. If Katrina destroying New Orleans, the Tsunami destroying southern coastal Asia, and this earthquake leveling Haiti teaches us anything, it is to NOT neglect the poor until natural disasters strike. We must not take the pompous attitude of imbeciles like Pat Robertson when considering the misfortunes of our fellow human beings. So let’s go forth and assist Haiti any way we can TODAY, and let’s not forget to continue pouring out love and assistance constantly across the globe to make Earth a better place throughout the year, inch by inch. Ready? Break. ]]>