Much has been said and much is happening. The situation is very grave. Very. This situation is maddening! The January 12th earthquake has devastated several cities in Haiti. There are several others that were struck but are not being talked about, because Port-au-Prince, Léogane, Ti Gouave, and Jacmel have all been impacted so much. As everyone knows, many, many persons have died or disappeared, many have lost limbs, many houses have been destroyed, and many have been left homeless. Many who were working lost their lives, many workers perished at work in their factories, street vendors, public sector employees, store employees, students, people in the streets and in popular neighborhoods… What a huge blow!
We must dispel from the very start any kind of divine interpretation of this disaster as an “Act of God”, a “malediction”… These considerations can only deter us and prevent us from understanding the real cause of the earthquake, which is completely natural and had been predicted by a few scientists. This trend of thought also increases our resignation, faced with a “divine intervention” and leaves us waiting helpless and alienated. On the other hand, these divine interpretations also mask the responsibility of the Haitian State, which had been forewarned and did nothing in terms of contingency planning to address some of these consequences.
Therefore, it’s important to stay level headed, to address the real problems, to think well, together, so that we can uncover the real solutions.
In doing so, we should be clear about:
- In what context, and in what conjuncture we were when the earthquake struck;
- Some of the perils we are facing;
- What we need to do to confront this challenge, and from which class interest.