I’m usually a cold, calculating person. If I have anything to say, usually, I will say it according to the best logic I can muster, with as little emotional envelopment as I can. On contrary, what I hear about in Haiti just about transcends all my ability to analyze, leaving me with nothing but pure emotion.
If the universally believed “God” is compassionate, it’s sure as hell hard to see in Haiti.
If he’s got a sick sense of humor, I can certainly see it in Haiti. As if we weren’t the poorest people in the Western Hemisphere. As if we weren’t already plagued with a largely uneducated populous. As if we didn’t just have an earthquake. To add on to the misery, an outbreak of cholera now spreads across the country.
I am sad and pissed, but my mind keeps returning to an ever-present thought: why do Haitians always seem to act in such ways that are usually counterproductive in distraught situations? What I came up with:
We are a people who’ve seen hate.
And so? We aren’t the first to feel hate. After all, the Jews have, for thousands of years.
But one thing goes unnoticed. There is a Haitian saying that goes like this:
“Menm tounen nan Guinea, nèg rayi nèg“
This translates to: “Even back in Guinea, black people have hated black people.”
The Haitian people are consisted of people who were of warring tribes back in Africa, all sold into the same boat. They have hated each other before, and every once in a while, this surfaces. What makes this even worse is that short after the Haitians gained their independence, they were faced with a large problem: most of the people not only had problems with each other; they were unskilled.
I’ve heard people say that the Haitians are warmongers. This can’t be farther from the truth. We aren’t warmongers.
We are a people who’ve seen pain
After years of oppression, the average Haitian looses hope. What usually ensues is anger, which is why after the notion that the cholera outbreak was caused not by a Haitian, but by a U.N. soldier, the protests began. And understandably so, given the fact that prior to the earthquake, there were little cases of cholera documented in Haiti.
My biggest question now is “how long?” How long will this country lay in ruins, eye-deep in debt, and torn by hate and poverty?
So how long?