Thursday, January 21, 2010


I have not known how to speak about the disaster in Haiti. But have been deeply moved by two articles. I am asking you to read the following quotes:

On Oct. 17, 1989, a major earthquake with a magnitude of 7.0 struck the Bay Area in Northern California. Sixty-three people were killed......
...........a major earthquake, also measuring a magnitude of 7.0, struck near Port-au-Prince, Haiti. The Red Cross estimates that between 45,000 and 50,000 people have died. This is not a natural disaster story. This is a poverty story. It’s a story about poorly constructed buildings, bad infrastructure and terrible public services
. ( David Brooks )

Why have Haitian farmers been run out of business? Why is the Haitian soil stripped and the country plagued by mudslides? Why are Haitian girls sold into slavery? Why is 80% of the Haitian budget going to pay other countries? Why are the people there eating mud? Why is their government corrupt? Why are there hardly any jobs in Haiti? Why are there no supplies to build decent buildings? Why is it so hard for kids there to get education? Why are there no roads? And when we discover that the answers to many of those questions are unjust U.S. trade and military policies, it can be hard to swallow. We can brush it aside as just trying to pass blame and point fingers – and continue to give aid and remake the country in our image. Or we can own up to our collective sins and take responsibility for making amends.
( Julie Clawson )

Weep for those who have died.
Weep for those who survived and now have less than nothing.
And weep for those of us who have more than we need and cling stubbornly to our riches.

1 comment:

Cecilia said...

I respect David Brooks so much, though at times I disagree with his more conservative tendencies. He is a thoughtful and compassionate conservative, and this article was spot on.

Thank you for highlighting these.