Wednesday, January 13, 2010


The long-suffering people of Haiti are facing yet another unimaginable natural disaster and the ensuing human crises.

I haven't written anything about this yet because I am so saddened and feel so helpless that writing about it almost seems fruitless. That, and I'm not quite recovered yet from the paralysis I felt upon hearing the news and seeing the massive destruction to the infrastructure of Port-au-Prince and the loss of so many innocent lives.

Haiti is a country that has had a significant presence in my line of work. I have met and befriended numerous Haitians over the years. I have studied Haiti's people and culture. I have had my students study and learn about Haitian life and culture. In fact, this semester my students in one class will be reading Edwige Danticat's first novel, Breath, Eyes, Memory, and will be watching Jonathan Demme's documentary film titled The Agronomist about the great Haitian radio figure, Jean Dominique. In another class, we'll be reading Paul Farmer's Pathologies of Power, which features Haiti as an important case study of his thesis of structural violence.

May God bless and be with the Haitian people in this sad, terrible tragedy.


andrew said...

"Almost three-quarters of a trillion dollars on bombs, guns, and violence?"

Are you sure maybe that foreign aide such as this isn't a part of that amount? said...

The situation in Haiti is dire, and will only get worse over time. It is the poorest nation in the western hemisphere, so it is up to wealthier countries to try to lend support. The United States will undoubtedly play a major role in the recovery effort, but I hope everyone remembers that the United States also has its own problems, like a high unemployment rate and Americans struggling to support their families.