>”Disaster” is too small a word for what has happened and is happening in Haiti. The images I have seen on my computer screen are truly horrifying, and the suffering of the people is unimaginable. The Red Cross has estimated that as many as 50,000 people have died, and it’s clear that Port-au-Prince will have to be completely rebuilt.
All I know about Haiti is what I’ve read, and much of that is from the work of Edwidge Danticat. I wanted to see what other books about Haiti might be available and found this list on Amazon compiled by Kyle Minor, a writer friend who knows Haiti well. Also, check out this NPR interview with Danticat and related links for more information.
I believe that most Americans are appalled by the revolting comments made by Pat Robertson. You would think that someone who claims to be a Christian would find something more helpful to say in this time of catastrophe. The world should shun this charlatan. The always-offensive Rush Limbaugh has also behaved badly, being critical of President Obama’s quick statements about Haiti and attributing the government’s speed to Obama wanting to please African Americans. Rush Limbaugh is an idiot, and a racist to boot. Boycott Rush.
I’ve seen on Facebook and elsewhere expressions of frustration that there isn’t more we can do to help. As individuals, few of us have the skills that are needed in this moment of crisis, where search and rescue, medical treatment, and the delivery of food and water are paramount. But we can help by donating money to the organizations who are on the ground in Haiti administering aid. I gave to the Red Cross. Some friends have given to the excellent organizations Partners in Health and Doctors Without Borders. The White House Website also has a list of organizations you might consider supporting. Please do what you can. One popular method of contributing has been the simplest: by texting “HAITI” to “90999” you will contribute $10 to the Red Cross that will be charged to your cell phone.