Monday, February 1, 2010

HAITI AT ITS WORST...AND BEST?


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.


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1 comment:

  1. Two wonderful posts on Haiti--thank you. I do keep hearing this theme, especially from Christians.

    The Observer

    PS: Sidebar doesn't show with Google Chrome browser either. :-o

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