The Haitian Professionals of Philadelphia have secured a jumbo jet, but need $100,000 to get it off the ground.
They insist, though, that providing help to Haiti should be a moral imperative not just for the Haitian diaspora, but for all Americans.
“When you look at W.E.B. Dubois and a number of different activists in the black community, those leaders were talking to Saint L’Ouverture in Haiti, they were talking to Dessalines,” says Momperousse. “They were inspired by the fact that this country, Haiti, had the first successful slave rebellion. Haiti’s example was really the impetus for freedom here in the United States.”
In the back office of Vivant Art Collection, a drowsy Morisset summons the energy to pour through more than 500 emails that she and HPP have received since the crisis. A particular message catches her eye—and her ire. It’s an online article from the New York Times.
“I would like to see ‘First Black Republic Suffers Earthquake’ instead of the New York Times reading ‘Quake Ignores Class Divisions of a Poor Land,’” she says.
She says that Haiti does not need pity—it needs relief, the kind that HPP is working on a daily basis to provide.
When she speaks of Haiti's possibilities, her eyes light up; no longer are they the heavy windows to a tired soul that has been working 16-hour days. “This is an opportunity to rebuild,” she says, invoking classic Haitian resilience. “This is an opportunity for rebirth.”
The New York Times notes that the Haiti quake seems to be leaving the U.S. in the position as the only power — internal or external to Haiti — that can possibly impose some kind of rough order there. But what happens in the long term? My friend and nemesis Jim Lakely offered a suggestion [...]
The Daily News reports that 13 Haitian-American Philly cops are leading city efforts to raise help for victims of the Haiti quake: "The 13 officers 'all have families over there. For them, this is a labor of love,' said Chief Inspector James Tiano. Tiano said that the doors of the city's 22 police precincts will be opened today to accept donations for the starving, injured and dying Haitians, after another aftershock rocked the island yesterday. ... Sgt. Rodney Poliard, who heads the police Haitian relief squad, said that a preliminary list of needed items include: baby food, baby formula, diapers, baby wipes - for children and adults - nonperishable food that does not require a can opener, first-aid supplies, tents, tarps, new sheets and blankets, solar-powered flashlights, shoes, sandals and cases of water. No clothing will be accepted, and cash donations should be made to the American Red Cross, said Tiano."
We have secured a private jumbo jet to transport supplies to Haiti which is leaving in the next 24 - 48hours. We are in need of DOCTORS, NURSES and DONATIONS to go to Haiti in order to provide medical care. Vivant & HPP is currently coordinating with The Haitian Coalition of Philadelphia, the Haitian Clergy of Philadelphia, Beyond Boarders, the Mayor's Office, Temple Haitian Student Association, University of Pennsylvania Haitian Student Association, Congressman Brady's office, Philadelphia Young Democrats, political officials and other Haitian organizations in the surrounding area to devise a plan to provide assistance to Haiti.
Yahoo! Sports reports that 76ers center Samuel Dalembert is a native of Haiti who still has relatives in that quake-stricken nation. "This had been the most tortured, cruelest day of Dalembert’s life. He wanted to charter a flight to Port-au-Prince, but it wasn’t possible. His family has mostly moved to the United States through the years, but there are still so many relatives, so many friends. He used his platform to tell the story of Haiti, and he did an endless run of interviews and pleaded for support. In something of a daze, Dalembert played in the Sixers’ 93-92 loss to the New York Knicks and delivered 12 points and 21 rebounds. The game had been over an hour now, and Dalembert had slipped on an “NBA Cares” gold shirt to tape a public service announcement in a side room of the Wachovia Center. When tragedy hits, the NBA is good this way. It had Yao Ming(notes) tape a message when an earthquake hit China, and now the league wanted Dalembert to do it for Haiti. Within hours, the PSA will play everywhere. It will reach the corners of the globe, and in a lot of places, for a lot of people, Sam Dalembert will be the face, the voice, of his anguished, suffering people. Hundreds of thousands could be dead in Haiti, and millions more will need help for sheer survival."
When wild pigs and dogs eat a human corpse, they leave the feet. The photo is too gruesome to print here. The torso and head are missing. The pelvic bone, thighs and legs have been licked clean of all skin and muscle, leaving just bones that, without size perspective, could easily be mistaken for well-devoured chicken wings. Except for the left foot, still intact, and the right foot, still wearing a sock. Local immigration lawyer Tom Griffin took the photograph of the dismembered corpse in 2004 on the road leading out of Cit� Soleil, the Haitian neighborhood sometimes called the "Calcutta of the Caribbean." New victims appeared on that road and many others in the Port-au-Prince slum almost every morning. You can't blame anyone for not wanting to go back there. But the very notion of helping someone avoid returning was enough for Canada to want to imprison a local 65-year-old grandmother for the rest of her life....
Just 12 when she moved with her family from Haiti to Brooklyn, Edwidge Danticat, now 35, can't seem to shake the island's ghosts. She comes to town this week to read from her new book, The Dew Breake...
Jimaní became the back door route in and out of Haiti for thousands of people making their exodus, and thousands of others trying to get in. I was one of those trying to get in with a group from Cooper University Hospital in Camden, N.J.
Savage Love: Sondheim is solace