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Haiti’s Earthquake through ‘16-Year-Old Eyes’

 by Bennett Gordon


Tags: Great Writing, Haiti, youth, earthquake, Global Voices, Bennett Gordon,

Child in Haiti

The chaos and destruction caused by Haiti’s earthquake are difficult for anyone to articulate, especially for a teenager. Global Voices points to two teenage bloggers who have provided eloquent first-person views of the earthquake and the emotional and physical devastation that it has caused. Before the disaster, a 16-year-old calling herself Krizkadiak wrote about singing and dancing alone on a Friday night. Afterwards, she wrote this:

I saw my school fall in front of me. 
I saw people running covered in dust, hearing that their houses fell… sometimes with people in them. 
I saw a refugee camp, as they are on tv… people praying, people alive but not really… 
I saw a baby half dead, covered in bandaids… 
I saw a friend at the cemetery burying his little cousin. 
I saw the oldest and prettiest houses of jacmel reduced to nothing. 
I saw pickup truck filled with corpses… 
I saw my teacher walking to the cemetery behind the car where his wife’s dead body was… 
I saw kids from my school, people i KNOW, at the refugee camp… 
And lots of stuff… i hear about dead people every second, tsunami alerts when i know i leave at the beach, stupid people trynna take profit, no gas, no water no food. 
But what I didn't see though… Is the haitian police and the Mayor. shame. 

Source: Global Voices 

Photo by the UN Photo/Marco Dormino, licensed under Creative Commons.

brianz
1/28/2010 2:31:02 PM

Sorry Jay, but Americans need to learn some humility white or black or whatever colour one likes to hide behind for rhetorical sniping purposes. But the problem in America is a lot deeper than just republican presidents and even democratic presidents or the American pretence of helping Hatian and poorer nations. American century old paternalistic foreign policy is part and parcel of the problem that now plagues these poor nations today. That deep-seated problem is called the one-track mind system (Ignacio Ramonet) of patriarchy that claims arrogantly to be the only viable and existing system on the planet and which always ends up being the AMERICAN WAY. Also, it's all about those who support this system that oppresses the American population and other countries on the globe, and worst it's always on an arrogant argument and pretence of always being right and knowing what's good for others. It’s always self-serving and morally loaded to make any criticism go away or instil fear. It's always based on high-level rhetoric that blames the common man, unions, etc.. for all the woes in the world while supporting the corporatist oppressor’s way of looking at things in exchange of a salary and a job (Paulo Freire, Vincent de Gaulejac and Stanley Milgram). Everything is dealt with either one is for the American Way or one is labelled a communist or a socialist. This is how America solves problems exacting stereotypes and then blaming others for doing it. Take care


jay_1
1/28/2010 9:39:21 AM

Well said Brianz, except for the fact that you have stereotyped White America as disconnected, day-dreaming, gun toting robots with no heart and no brains. If I did something like that it would be considered racist. If you don't already live in a third world country, try doing so and see if your education, security and opportunities are the same as here in America. I am a white, gun-toting American veteran and I am truley grateful to be born here and live here. It's not perfect, but my gratitude for America makes it possible for me to show love and compassion for the Haitian people at this terrible time. My heart goes out to them, and in turn, I am contributing to the relief effort, so if it's disoeganized on the ground in Haiti, does that mean I have contributed in vain? I think not. Damned if we do, damned if we don't, right? Remember, the America that you obviously despise ahs done more for the world in terms of disaster relief and aid than all other combined... I'll bet you howled at the things President Bush said and did while he was in office, but remember, he inherited a mess when he came into office as well, so please, stop being short-sighted and stop trying to lay the whole mess of on the last Republican President.


brianz
1/27/2010 5:18:44 PM

I Agree with Rebecca Solnit's article. What we are seeing in Haiti is a disorganized system where some people can get in line or run faster towards the aid groups and air drop offs first while others can barely walk or move. Yet who knows the big picture of what really is happening from our rose colour glasses sitting comfortably in our homes as spectators to a Football match. The fault lies with the disorganized organisations that give aid and not with the ones who are in distress. White America would not act any different in similar circumstances in this gun totting self-entitled nation. We have all seen how American riots turn out. There are no lessons of what is moral and ethical to be given to the Haitian people especially from fundamentalist USA that like to preach what they don’t practice. I'm sorry, but people living over 2 weeks without adequate help in a disaster do not need self-absorbed offended virgins quoting ethics and morals, and certainly not after what American interests have done to Haiti over the last century. No wonder Obama has problems trying to fix the mess that his predecessors have brought on in commodity-addicted, self-entitled and self-absorbed America. Suddenly American people are all up in arms because Obama cannot fix the system fast enough so all can go back to sleep in the American Daydream spending and amusing themselves to death while Haitians and other third world countries are in dire straits trying to survive. The country of the invisible hand of greed needs some therapy and treatment and should not to be quoting ethics and morals like offended virgins to poor countries in a disaster zone.