Haiti is Us..

The following is borrowed from Public Citizen. I fully concur. With one caveat.
Haiti is closer to home that SouthEast Asia, also recently struck by natural disasters. Be prepared for more devastating natural event… closer to home.

The tragedy in Haiti is a horror beyond words.

Disaster relief is outside our scope of work at Public Citizen, but this is a time when we all must come together to care for our fellow women, men and children. People are dying and suffering from a lack of basic medical supplies, food and clean water. The best way to address these needs in the short term is to send funds to organizations that can deliver this kind of aid.

There are many excellent organizations doing humanitarian work. If you are considering making a Haiti-related donation, you might consider these three organizations:

Doctors Without Borders
http://www.doctorswithoutborders.org/

Partners in Health
http://www.standwithhaiti.org/haiti

Fonkoze
http://www.fonkoze.org/

Amidst this natural disaster, there has been a lot of commentary and discussion in the media about the long-standing, human-made troubles in Haiti. Some of this commentary is mean-spirited, but even much well-intentioned commentary too easily slips into blaming the people of Haiti for the oppressive systems under which they have suffered. As Randall Robinson, the founder of the TransAfrica Forum correctly says, “Haiti’s misery is largely not of its own making.”

If you are inclined at this time of tragedy to seek a broader perspective on Haiti’s history, you may wish to consult these resources:

An Unbroken Agony: Haiti, from Revolution to the Kidnapping of a President
Randall Robinson
Basic Civitas Books, 2008

The Uses of Haiti
Paul Farmer
Common Courage Press, 2005

Walking on Fire: Haitian Women’s Stories of Survival and Resistance
Beverly Bell
Cornell University Press, 2001

For a just and compassionate world,

Robert Weissman
President, Public Citizen

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