Friday, January 15, 2010

Micros and Macros

Well kids, here i am, hijacking free internet at the county hospital. It's been a week of crappy craptasticness full of actual, literal crap.

We all have developed some stomach thing that we think may be food poisoning. Other cousin is in the hospital. She's doing okay now, but....

In the midst of the nastiness that prolly came from giardia infected tomatoes (as diagnosed by us since the docs seem to think there is nothing weird in a family of 9 having 7 members come down with stomach yuckies and the only people who have escaped the yuckies didn't eat the pico de gallo I made. (Yes, there is no small amount guilt I am carrying because I just had to have roma tomatoes and not those sucky, watery beefstake kind) we also: had the cable disconnected (not a big deal for me, but sick people do like to lounge in front of the noise box) and then the water and then the the fridge died as sad death. Now the dogs (who ate our leftovers) are sick. And in all this vomity mess i didn't get the comment platform changed and I have no idea if we have comments or not.

But while all this is going on Haiti, a country that I have loved from afar for a long time because of the brashness of some slaves a few hundred years ago 1) was one of 3 and only 3 democratic revolutions to have happened in the late 18th early 19th centuries- see also French and American and 2) was the site of the only successful revolt of African slaves in the New(ly colonized) World, has a massive earthquake and tens of thousands are dead. the bodies are stacked in the street to protest the lack of assistance. Water is as hard to come by as gold and much more needed.

Someone said on the news "how much longer will Haiti be punished for having overthrown their oppressors 200 years ago?" And they are right, about the punishment. You only have to look at the different economics of the Dominican Republic and Haiti to see how poorly we treat those who manage to thrwart the kyriarchy for a while.

But like physics, oppression works in the small as well as the large. Haiti's punishment from wealthy white nations isn't much different from the scorn heaped on beaten women who finally kill their husbands. While we might cheer their successful escape initially, we don't want them to pass on the idea that violence works to end oppression. It's bad for business as usual. Wouldn't it be better if that woman went to the authorities instead of grabbing a gun? Wouldn't it be better if Haiti asked for another round of "free trade" assistance and the international military police force to enforce it?

I think of Haiti as the little country that could. I have sobbed my eyes out at the news reports coming from Port a Prince. I hope when all the bodies have been buried and the tears have run dry that Haiti gets a chance to rebuild itself. A real chance.

But I fear that this horrible tragedy will prove what we already know, that Obama is as Chicago school, disaster capitalist as Bush was and that Haiti will continue to be punished for the offense of seeking freedom on it's own terms.

And if you want to give money to help, I suggest giving to Partners in Health, whose staff is mostly native Haitian and whose goal is an indigenous reform of the country's health care infrastructure.