Haitian (and U.S.) history: A 60-second tutorial


On Rachel Maddow’s show, the Haitian Ambassador responds (above) to Pat Robertson’s revolting and infuriating, but not especially surprising, claim that the earthquake is a result of slaves’ “pact with the devil.” As Alex Balk says, this rebuttal is “direct, intelligent,” and “filled with more history in one minute than pretty much anything you see on most news programs all evening.”

As you’ve no doubt heard, aid agencies are really struggling. Writer Edwidge Danticat spoke with CNN yesterday about the implications of the disaster.

It is a catastrophe beyond measure, because even when we’ve had mudslides or floods, it has overwhelmed the capacity of the country to handle it: to absorb the wounded, to help people find medical care. But this situation is something far beyond anything the country has ever experienced before.

In Haiti, most people cannot afford basic medical care, so imagine now, the primary hospital in Port-au-Prince is said to have been severely damaged. It’s truly an extraordinary catastrophe for a country that’s already suffered so very, very much.

The sad thing is that the country seemed to have been on an upswing. There was the beginning of some tranquility.

Earlier Danticat said she could see “parts of my old neighborhood through this very large veil of fire.” (Via A.N. Devers and Joy Press.)

Give what you can. Doctors Without Borders is on the ground and working already, but lacking shelter and basic supplies like anesthesia, so that organization is a good place to start.


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