This is one of those moments which is defined by the doing of a thing and not by much of anything else. Today is Martin Luther King Junior Day, a national holiday in the United States of America. It is also the end of the first week since the huge Haiti earthqake. Anything above 7 on the Richter scale is a truly devastating event and we must have compassion for those affected by a cataclysmic shaking of the Earth on which we are all so dependent.
To channel some of that compassion consider the following:
To find out about particular victims and survivors call this hoptline provided by the US State Dept.1-888-407-4747.
To help some follks I know doing long- term work in community development : http://www.societyofourlady.net/missions-caribbean.html
To find out how the Red Cross sees this situation,and maybe connect with their efforts:
I am not including direct donor links but I feel that you can find them from what i ahve given you here. Some donor links work in large areas but few work everywhere and my small and diverse readership would not be best served by that approach.
Haiti has been through many phases in its development and has had many milestones in its development. There was the period in which Touissant L’Overture and the Man who became King Christophe struggled over the revolutionary heritage and there was the effor by Christophe to extablish a real Negro West Indian Kingdom of Haiti and then mostly there has been the chaos ever since. Prior to that there was the colony of sugar and other plantations which had a ten percent white population, a substantial free colored population and a still majority negro slave population. Almost half of that slave majority was born in Africa at the time of the Revolt and revolution.
I am a citizen of the United States and of Louisiana and there are many ties between me and my home and nearby Haiti. I think that this earthquake occurring so near to Martin Luther King Day on the first observance of that holiday when a half Negro (or Mulatto) is President of the United States for the first time is very notable. As a Roman Catholic with a lot of French ancestry and heritage I also think that there is a Catholic component to Haiti’s strengths and weaknesses. America contributes to Haiti’s problems by enabling overly easy immigration and an insane equality in this nearby country and having bad aid policies, the Catholic Church contributes to the problems by not taking better responsibility for population control. Haiti also manifests the racial differences that really do exist.
I wish I did not feel that the world was careening in a drunken stagger towards ruin. However, I do believe that it is. Haiti has suffered a catastrophe but it problems predated this and have made its natural disater worse. It is time to help but also to think.