A popular biblical story tells us that GOD destroyed the world with water (Flood). Most people were consumed, but the world later resumed on a fresh slate. Today’s world is not only filled with joy and happiness but, with a great dose of horror, disaster, and extreme pain including hurricane, tornado, and tsunami, and man-made atrocities like slavery, the holocaust, subsumed in the first and second world wars. The list cannot be exhausted.
Haiti has had what could reasonably be regarded as an overdose share of catastrophes. She is the first Black led republic in the world, and was founded on post slavery freedoms. Slavery as known during the boom of industrial revolution remains the worst form of man’s inhumanity to man ever. Haiti was a dumping ground or rather a rendezvous for re-grouping free slaves. Consequently it is a nation founded on adversity. Numerous disasters have not even allowed or permitted the filtering of the least modicum of prosperity and wealth from her ostentatious rich neighbor (USA). She wallows in misery and poverty while sitting at the corridor of plenty and life abundance.
The 12th of January earthquake by all indicators is a major world disaster, but also a cue in Haiti’s catalogue of woes. In 1770 Port-au-Prince was devastated by an earth uprooting quake. In 1842 an evil and undesired quake destroyed Cap-Haiten and other cities. 1935 heralded the storm that killed about 2000 people in this inglorious country. A little more than a decade later in 1946, tsunami killed about 1800 homosapiens living in this island. The chain of horror did not stop there because in 1954 She was hit by hurricane Hazel, which killed hundreds of people. It was the turn of hurricane Flora in 1963, and 6000 people lost their lives. Hurricane Gordon hit the Island in 1994 and demised hundreds of people. Haiti’s crops were not spared in 1998 when hurricane Georges struck and wiped out crops. It was double jeopardy in 2004 as hurricane Jeanne and Floods swept this enclave inhabited by ex-slaves. 3000 people died. Tropical storm Noel, triggered mudslides in the Island in 2007, and Haiti was not spared by more hurricanes and Storms in 2008.
The 12th of January quake is estimated to have killed between two hundred to three hundred thousand people. The UN has described it as the worst disaster they have ever engaged. Even their Aid chief in the Island perished in the horror movie.
Haiti has not passed in the polity. She was violated by voodoo magnate Francois ‘papa Doc’, and his creation, Jean Claude. Their 29 year reign of this mountainous country left a trail of infamy, carnage and brutality. Moreover the rule of Jean-Bertrand Aristide among others, of this 10million man Island, conjures nothing different from the regime of the Papa Docs. He was as brutal as Haiti’s opposition could allow him, and presently lives in exile in South Africa.
A form of apartheid exist in Haiti because the French speaking Haitians who constitute only about one and a half percent of the population control nearly half of the country’s wealth. In other words the Creole speaking Blacks are marginalized, vulnerable, and poor and obviously without power, hence live a subservient life. This is a chilling and uncomfortable structure, considering their slave past.
At this time of the internet and search engines, Haiti could easily be invoked, exhumed, and arrested with tags like – brutality, huge wealth gap, collapse of infrastructure, drug trafficking, corruption, tropical storms, severe deforestation, flooding, coup de tat, dictatorship, earthquake, rebellion, slavery, poverty, environmental degradation, violence, instability, extra judicial killings, torture, gang rivalry and confrontations, ineffective judicial system, illiteracy and massive fraud. Simply put- she is a dungeon of cataclysmic catastrophe. I think even Nigeria fairs better than Haiti. Her situation posits a vandalism of decency, peace, calm, and decorum. As corpses lie in the streets of Haiti as a result of this current quake, without due attention and respect for the souls that inhabited them, we can only plead God to have mercy.