I haven’t posted much on Haiti since the earthquake hit exactly a week ago, and don’t intend to say more than I have already said on message boards.
Haiti is a country with a long, rich and tragic history. It’s the first black-populated country in the world to have successfully led a revolt against its colonial master–France. This took place over 200 years ago in 1791.
Sadly, since then its government, infrastructure and people have fallen into shambles. It has since gained the distinction of being the most impoverished country in the Americas. Most Haitians live on $2 a day and the illiteracy rate is 65%. The country has struggled with one corrupt government after the next and depends on the U.S., Canada, France and UN for support.
It’s been a country in dire need of care for sometime now and it’s only after the 7.3magnitude quake hit that it’s starting to get notice.
Some people, mainly lunatics such as Evangelist Pat Robertson and religious Internet trolls, have suggested the country deserved the earthquake for being wicked and sinful. Their claim is that Haiti’s “Voodoo” worshipping is what caused Jesus/Yahweh to send the quake, while actor Danny Glover blamed Global Warming. Besides failing to recognize that Haiti sits on a fault line and has been experiencing quakes since before it became populated with people, these people are scary. Thousands of people are dead.
Other people see the quake, which has killed and/or injured an estimated 200,000 people, mostly in Port-au-Prince, as a humbling experience from which goodness can come. Many argue that the aid coming to Haiti can be put to use helping to build the country’s infrastructure and social institutions. I agree. However, right now, a week later, medical supplies and food are still not reaching Haiti, only journalists. There are reports of scam charities, and many people are still trapped and buried in the ruins of collapsed buildings. Right now, the effort should be made to save as many lives as possible. Many people don’t have access to care.
I see hope for Haiti in the tragedy. It’s a country with a proud history and it can rise again, if only, the appropriate methods are put in place.