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View From Here – Help For Haiti

In this most calamitous of human tragedies in Haiti, the further devastation of people who already start from scratch, we’ve seen a global response of nations and individuals.   If you’re in the search and rescue profession anyplace on the planet, or a medical professional able to travel and driven by a need to heal, Haiti is the Big One, the place to be.  So they stopped what they were doing, gathered supplies and rushed on planes headed into harms way.   Natured may have shown the worst that it is capable of, but mankind countered with the best that we had, from all nations and that should also be remembered along with the pain.

There are many mainstream ways to send aid but we’ve offered several local efforts here, because when you’re speaking about Haiti, you’re speaking about slavery, skin color and political exploitation and because of that, it’s important that African people empower Black grassroots groups to give the aid that is needed. 

That point was driven home for me after I had just left a press conference centering around churches and groups coming together to help Haiti, and I turned on CNN and was assaulted by repeated images of armed forces “preventing looters,” a narrative of white supremacy they couldn’t shake, even after their use of the exact same language was pointed out after Katrina.

Each of these natural disasters was made worse because of the history dark-skinned people have had in the Americas.   Black poverty, whether highlighted by a hurricane in New Orleans an earthquake in Haiti, or depression-era unemployment Brooklyn, is slavery-based, subject to dark skin oppression and continues to this day.  So give to help in Haiti, and by empowering locally, help the community you’re in.