We are Haitians. We are Like People Like Anybody Else
"The past is never dead-it's not even past."
-- William Faulkner
From the ground, people hear the sound of helicopters above. Twenty Black Hawk helicopters circling the airport!
Water! Food! Medical supplies!
The people wait as the helicopters of the 82nd Airborne division land and hundreds of U.S. paratroopers become visible. But the paratroopers are in combat gear and armed with automatic machine guns.
There they're at the General Hospital and the Palace.
Water! Food! Medical supplies!
No food or water or medical supplies until Haiti is SECURE! The U.S. announces that over 2,000 paratroopers will be followed by 8,000 more heavily armed U.S. Marines. Almost two weeks since the earthquake hit Haiti, whole communities have yet to receive water, food, or medical attention. But the whole world watched the U.S. show of power:
Watch and listen Cuba, Venezuela, and Bolivia-Haiti belongs to the U.S.!
This is Haiti several days after the January 12, 2010 earthquake hit Port-au-Prince and surrounding areas. Over 2 million Haitians are starving. Hundreds are dying from lack of medical attention. It's estimated that over 200, 000 Haitians died as a direct result of the 7.3 earthquake.
But the U.S. thinks as an Empire thinks! It thinks militarization, invasion, occupation, corporatization, privatization-more resources and an expanded labor base. It thinks: HAITI NEEDS TO BE SECURE. Is it really a surprise that the U.S. command at the airport in Haiti 3 times turned away 5 Medecins San Frontieres (MSF) planes carrying 12 tons of much needed medical supplies?
Can we expect anything else from such an entity? Haiti needs to be saved from U.S. militarized security!
But Peace Man announces his priority: to search and to rescue US Embassy personnel! The people of Haiti can wait and wait and wait. But do keep this in mind Cuba, Venezuela, Bolivia-and, oh, yes, you Haitians-the U.S. will be there for you! "We will be resolute in our response, and I pledge to the people of Haiti that you will have a friend and partner in the United States of America today and going forward."
"Going forward" only means that Amerikkka has its target set on the poor and working class of Haiti.
On January 12, 2010, shortly after sundown, news reached the world that the epicenter of an earthquake hit Port-au-Prince and surrounding areas. And the world watched as the Haitian people called for immediate response to its plea for assistance to rescue those trapped under the rubble of concrete. Days later, gun-toting paratroopers land with more epaulettes of American flags than rescue equipment or water and food.
Then another announcement from the U.S. Cameras please! Out walk three virtuous warriors posing before the television cameras and photographers while speaking of peace and the humanitarian greatness that is Amerikkka! Smile! Peace Man, Bush Jr. and Bill Clinton shake hands.
The economic plan for Haiti isn't about empowering the Haitians and leaving the country to its popular democratic party Lavalas. Before the earthquake, the Lavalas leadership had been imprisoned or in hiding. The economic plan came with an AGENDA. According to independent journalist Kevin Pina, "a wholesale campaign of violence [was] waged against Lavalas... [yet it was]...largely maintained through the silence of human rights organizations and the international press."
The economic plan isn't about rights for workers, higher wages for workers, and the nationalization rather than privatization of Haiti's industries. Aristide tried to do this work for the majority of Haitians and look how the U.S. responded! He was an evil monster and Levalas was a lawless mob of militants-albeit representing the Haitian majority!
The economic plan calls for Haitians to submit to the U.S.'s political and economic agenda to see Haiti one big sweatshop operation, too weary to organize through Lavalas to demand a return of Aristide and Haitian sovereignty. As Ezili Danto writes in his article, "Haiti, Genocide and the New Slavery Model," for Pacific Free Press. Com, 70 percent of Haiti's working class earn 22 cents (70 gourdes) an hour, and they are "forced to pay the Haitian Oligarchs for food to eat at high U.S. import prices, starvation is a given. It's economic slavery. The slavery in Haiti the media won't expose."
But they will show the world looting when people are trying to eat something after almost two weeks of starving!
The dead of this earthquake didn't die in vain.
Look, they said.
And there's a camera to see and show the world how the U.S. security and economic plan comes together to humiliate the Haitian people.
Follow the trail of the dead...
Amidst the "overwhelming" smell of the dead, independent journalist Amy Goodman of Democracy Now! and her camera person catches a view of a helicopter that had landed but proceeded to take off again. Goodman and her crew stopped in Léogâne to speak to a group of citizens and the mayor when the helicopter begins to drop one package of bread at a time over the area.
"Instead of delivering food when it was on the ground," she said, "where hundreds of people had gathered, it lifted off, circled overhead, and dropped bags of bread on the hungry people below."
The people are rightly furious. One Leogane man steps in front of the camera:
‘The other countries in the same situation as us, when there's an aid that comes, they don't do that. They don't humiliate people like that. We are Haitians. We are like people like anybody else. Even though we're in a bad situation now, those countries are supposed to have another way to treat us.
‘The helicopter came down to the ground, landed, and they should have given to the responsible on the ground to distribute to the rest of the people here, and not when they go back up in the air, throw the bread out like they were throwing bones to dogs.' (translated).
Another man approaches the camera:
‘We are very frustrated with the way they drop these little breads, throw them down to the population, like it's bones they're throwing to dogs.'
Goodman asks about the helicopter. Who owns it? "‘Who was it in those helicopters?'"
Mayor Santos Alexis answers: "‘It's a private plane from New Mission. New Mission is an institution of United States. You know, it's a church.'"
A church! A U.S. church! New Mission-so much like the old, grand Amerikkkan humanitarian missions to save the uncivilized, the dead say.
Something happened a long time ago in this New World. Europeans escaping the corruption and devastation of their home lands crossed the Atlantic bringing with them an abhorrence of racial difference. In the wilderness, they swore an allegiance to the survival of the Aryan race. This they called-progress.
But the Haitians never learned to fear the U.S. and Western world's characterization of them as intolerable anomalies.