Haiti and Assumption

I’ve spent much of my attention recently, and on this blog, especially, writing about Haiti, and the aftermath of the earthquake last week. And before I go on I feel I must state, by no means, do I pretend to know everything, and Haiti is most definitely included in that “everything.”

But I do know, and what concerns most gravely, is the ridiculous amount of assuming I hear and see coming from various “news” sources. “How we” — as if it were up to us — “should rebuild/save/help Haiti.” Are they serious?

I urge people to give today’s 3rd instalment of The Current. Anna-Maria interviewed Rebecca Solnit for an important context in how regular people face calamity;

“Rebecca Solnit has studied the ways that cities respond to crises from San Francisco after the 1906 earthquake to the Halifax explosion of 1917 to New York City after 9/11, and New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. She thinks she’s found another element to the narrative … one that often goes overlooked and undervalued…”

But what I most wanted to address today is an issue I felt I may have inadvertently communicated. That being Haiti needs our help, and without that help, they couldn’t possibly survive. While parts of me aren’t sure that isn’t entirely true, given the extraordinary strength of the disaster they are currently facing, I merely meant we need to help them help themselves…

You may think who am I to be commenting on such matters, and while you are mostly right, I assure you I’m an individual who needs help — not just sometimes, but most times — and I know the difference between when and where help is needed/will be appreciated and when it’s not/won’t be appreciated.

Point is I don’t care for “help” when purely based on assumptions from people not sitting where I happen to live. In fact I’d rather not have any help, if I need to spend time and effort after the fact, with “limited resources,” fixing what anyone has assumed I needed. I don’t know this to be “fact,” but I do suspect this might be the case in Haiti, right now. Especially given Jeremy Scahill’s piece yesterday. What’s worse are the asshole’s looking to profit from Haiti’s continued misery. I digress.

Now’s not the time to assume anything about Haiti. And, most importantly, basing any treatment on what you think you know, by anything you think you see, especially…