The poor nation of Haiti has experienced terrible devastation with yesterday’s earthquake. Haiti may seem far away for most Americans, but for a resident of South Florida, Haiti is geographically closer than anything north of Atlanta. South Florida has a large community of Haitian immigrants who, like immigrants from other countries, have been successful when freed from oppression.
Haiti has had a long history of terrible governments that have kept the people of Haiti the poorest in the Western hemisphere. An earthquake of 7.0 in the Richter scale would be devastating anywhere. South Floridians have experience with natural disasters in recent times including Hurricane Andrew in 1992.
The devastation for the people of Haiti is worse. President Obama is sending our military to help. “This is a time when we are reminded of the common humanity that we all share,” Obama said. This is one time when all Americans should agree with President Obama.
There are many charitable organization that are raising money for the earthquake relief effort in Haiti. This evening, my local Publix supermarket was already asking each customer whether they want to donate to the relief effort in Haiti. Donate to reputable organizations.
We know from experiences with Hurricane Andrew in 1992, Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans in 2005 and the Asian tsunami in 2004 that it takes time to get help to the center of a natural catastrophe. It is important to start the process now. The stories coming out of Haiti in the next few days will be terrible and frustration with lack of help will rise, but a concerted effort by the American military and American aid organizations can have an impact and will help the survivors of this catastrophe.