Saturday, January 16, 2010

New Orleans and Haiti

This all looks too familiar. Haiti. New Orleans.

In 2005, watching CNN from Austin, I kept thinking, the city I had just fled, the scene I had almost participated in, looked like a poverty-stricken, dictator-destroyed third world Carribean Island. Looked like Haiti.

Now, again, the photos, dead bodies in blistering sun, arms stretching for water, the background of happy tropical colors.

Here is an article focussing on the similarities and the cultural connections, including a specific family:

We're television-free, so I haven't seen the major network coverage of the Haiti disaster, have only been following it on the NYT website and

But I can imagine the type of overdo discussed in the following article, that I found by googling "Haiti and New Orleans". This one reminds of the differences, especially regarding the responsibility of the U.S. government, the huge Bush f-up, the heck of a job. New Orleans is part of the United States; those people on the roofs, those babies held overhead in flooding attics, those cracked lips and upstreatched arms on the freeway overpasses five days post-disaster, were American citizens.

And now on to the we're-all-citizens-of-the-world portion...

Ways to Help Haiti

Text the word "Haiti" to 90999 to donate $10 to the Red Cross' Haiti relief efforts, and/or visit for more information

More info and aid links at NPR, here.

How to help Haiti without money? Find the Haitian community in your neighborhood, by an online search, word of mouth, visiting Haitian-owned shops or restaurants. Offer to help by listening, making phone calls, doing research, or whatever is needed. Any other ideas, for how to help without money?

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