I was not around for its previous worsts, but I what I see today holds promise for its best yet
I have seen Haiti at its worst--at least in this century.
I was not around when this island’s original inhabitants were slaughtered by sword and died of European-borne diseases against which their bodies were defenseless.
I was not around when this land became a major port of slave trading—a point of bargain, exchange, and auction of human beings shipped like cattle from Africa.
I was not around for those many generations when European capitalists oppressed, exploited and dehumanized this African-heritage people.
I was not around when the first independent African-heritage nation’s leaders squandered its initial promise and reduced its people to subsistence living.
But I am around to see the worst today. I have seen a nation’s structures toppled--from its presidential palace to a thousand rural homes. I have seen its people living in refugee camps in the shadow of what were their homes. I have smelled death emanating from the rubble of pancaked buildings. I have seen its people standing in long lines for a little food.
I believe I have also seen Haiti at its best.
I have seen people swinging sledge hammers at mountains of rock-hard concrete. I have seen residents sweeping away debris. I have seen neighbors share the little food they have with one another. I have witnessed Haitians, still fear-filled, walk into buildings, sit down at desks and working. I have listened to heart-cries of grief mixed with voiced hopes for a new Haiti.
If the earthquake devastated an already-distressed people, it may well have revealed and resurrected something of its resilient and hopeful soul.
In the spirit of dialog, I welcome comments and/or questions. Click on "responses" below to post. They're moderated only to reduce incivility.