FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Haiti’s Ongoing Emergency

by DANIEL WOLFF

I last worked in Haiti as the co-producer of the Jonathan Demme documentary, “The Agronomist.” And since then have been working with him on “Right to Return,” a film about people trying to return to New Orleans. These projects affect how I see — and mourn — the disaster in Haiti.

We need to get medical aid to Haiti immediately because Haitians have so little to fall back on.

The United States government was criminally negligent in its immediate response Hurricane Katrina in 2005. There were a number of reasons, including a general lack of organization, but one can’t help but wonder if the lack of response had to do with the socio-economics of those most affected — they were poor. It was as if the U.S. government only recognized its wealthier citizens, while the poor were considered less important. No one said that, but no one had to: the images broadcast over TV and reproduced in the media showed low-income families left to fend for themselves in the post-Katrina heat and destruction.

In the brief time since the earthquake, Haiti has already produced similar images. And I’m afraid we’ll see more in the coming weeks: the remains of a country which we have long neglected.

The U.S. can’t repeat the mistakes of New Orleans. We need to get medical aid to Haiti immediately; indeed, with urgency and compassion because Haitians have so little to fall back on in this time of need.

Floods and earthquakes can’t be stopped; what we can do is help make sure the basic resources and educated citizenry are there to respond.

While I’m concerned that government corruption may mean that aid and relief won’t reach those most in need in Haiti — that was true before the earthquake. Our real challenge is not only the disaster, but the on-going, everyday emergency.

DANIEL WOLFF lives in Nyack, N.Y. His newest book is How Lincoln Learned to Read. His other books include “4th of July/Asbury Park: A History of the Promised Land.” He is a co-producer of the forthcoming Jonathan Demme documentary about New Orleans, “Right to Return.” He can be reached at: ziwolff@optonline.net

More articles by:

Daniel Wolff‘s new book of poems is The Names of Birds.

Weekend Edition
February 23, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Richard D. Wolff
Capitalism as Obstacle to Equality and Democracy: the US Story
Paul Street
Where’s the Beef Stroganoff? Eight Sacrilegious Reflections on Russiagate
Jeffrey St. Clair
They Came, They Saw, They Tweeted
Andrew Levine
Their Meddlers and Ours
Charles Pierson
Nuclear Nonproliferation, American Style
Joseph Essertier
Why Japan’s Ultranationalists Hate the Olympic Truce
W. T. Whitney
US and Allies Look to Military Intervention in Venezuela
John Laforge
Maybe All Threats of Mass Destruction are “Mentally Deranged”
Matthew Stevenson
Why Vietnam Still Matters: an American Reckoning
David Rosen
For Some Reason, Being White Still Matters
Robert Fantina
Nikki Haley: the U.S. Embarrassment at the United Nations
Joyce Nelson
Why Mueller’s Indictments Are Hugely Important
Joshua Frank
Pearl Jam, Will You Help Stop Sen. Tester From Destroying Montana’s Public Lands?
Dana E. Abizaid
The Attack on Historical Perspective
Conn Hallinan
Immigration and the Italian Elections
George Ochenski
The Great Danger of Anthropocentricity
Pete Dolack
China Can’t Save Capitalism from Environmental Destruction
Joseph Natoli
Broken Lives
Manuel García, Jr.
Why Did Russia Vote For Trump?
Geoff Dutton
One Regime to Rule Them All
Torkil Lauesen – Gabriel Kuhn
Radical Theory and Academia: a Thorny Relationship
Wilfred Burchett
Vietnam Will Win: The Work of Persuasion
Thomas Klikauer
Umberto Eco and Germany’s New Fascism
George Burchett
La Folie Des Grandeurs
Howard Lisnoff
Minister of War
Eileen Appelbaum
Why Trump’s Plan Won’t Solve the Problems of America’s Crumbling Infrastructure
Ramzy Baroud
More Than a Fight over Couscous: Why the Palestinian Narrative Must Be Embraced
Jill Richardson
Mass Shootings Shouldn’t Be the Only Time We Talk About Mental Illness
Jessicah Pierre
Racism is Killing African American Mothers
Steve Horn
Wyoming Now Third State to Propose ALEC Bill Cracking Down on Pipeline Protests
David Griscom
When ‘Fake News’ is Good For Business
Barton Kunstler
Brainwashed Nation
Griffin Bird
I’m an Eagle Scout and I Don’t Want Pipelines in My Wilderness
Edward Curtin
The Coming Wars to End All Wars
Missy Comley Beattie
Message To New Activists
Jonah Raskin
Literary Hubbub in Sonoma: Novel about Mrs. Jack London Roils the Faithful
Binoy Kampmark
Frontiersman of the Internet: John Perry Barlow
Chelli Stanley
The Mirrors of Palestine
James McEnteer
How Brexit Won World War Two
Ralph Nader
Absorbing the Irresistible Consumer Reports Magazine
Cesar Chelala
A Word I Shouldn’t Use
Louis Proyect
Marx at the Movies
Osha Neumann
A White Guy Watches “The Black Panther”
Stephen Cooper
Rebel Talk with Nattali Rize: the Interview
David Yearsley
Market Music
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail