Tuesday, January 25, 2011

state of the human

*this post has nothing to do with my film exactly.....*it is me venting and ranting about politics so be fore-warned*

Obama is doing his annual State of the Union address right now and all around the world, he has the attention.  He is so eloquent, so stunningly intelligent, warm, friendly, and poised.   Compared to his predecessor I feel like I can actually listen to him, like he has considered his words and that they will be unusually inspiring and triumphant! (And yet, oddly vague....)

I have to be honest though - I never make it a point to listen to this annual speech.   I just can't handle the bullshit, if you'll pardon my French.  Republican, Democrat, whatever.  How can anyone stand up there and represent a nation with such dirty hands and yet come off looking so clean?

It is a surreal how the stage is set, the flag and the podium, the perfect suit, the lighting....

Do I seem bitter?

I am.  

It's because of the U.S.'s role in Haiti.

What business is it of ours?  

We should be asking. 

And if President Obama doesn't address this issue tonight, which I very much doubt he will, I have absolutely no interest in hearing a word he says.

That is how I feel about it. 

P.J. Crowley from the U.S. State Department said on the matter of Baby Doc Duvalier returning to Haiti that "this is a matter for the government of Haiti" and when asked about Jean Bertrande Aristide returning he said, "Haiti doesn't need any more burdens". 

The U.S. is blocking Aristide's rightful return to Haiti.  They are the ones who twice removed him after he was twice elected by an overwhelming majority of Haitian people in free, independent elections, and the U.S. now holds the key for his return.  

But just do a simple search on Baby Doc Duvalier  (who has been back on Haitian SOIL for over a week now after 25 years in exile -) and it will be very apparent that human life means absolutely nothing to the United States of America if they have anything to do with this man's return to Haiti. 

I mean come on, it is really that simple.  And I am not in the mood to mince words.  Here's a nation so racked by trauma from sheer bad luck (natural disasters), combined with hundreds of years of slavery followed by over 200 years of economic slavery which leads us to today where millions of people quite literally struggle to survive.  

For politics?

Because somebody makes more money that way?

Duvalier is known to have embezzled millions and millions of dollars from the Haitian government.  Why would the U.S. back this?

He is responsible for the deaths of tens of thousands of Haitian people.  
Why would the U.S. back this?

Oh - that's right - because we're all about freedom!  

And democracy!

That's why........

And I'm sure President Barack Obama is right now just wrapping up the year in statistics, all the ways good, hard-working Americans are taking the economy back, blah blah blah.......

I can't take it anymore.  I don't know what to do about it, but I'll start by publishing this blog post, and I'll finish this post by leaving you with two quotes from Jean-Bertrand Aristide's book, Eyes of the Heart, which I highly recommend:

"We have not reached the consensus that to eat is a basic human right. This is an ethical crisis. This is a crisis of faith." 
 Jean-Bertrand Aristide (Eyes of the Heart: Seeking a Path for the Poor in the Age of Globalization)

"Pa gen lape nan tet, si pa gen lape nan vant (there is no peace in the head if there is no peace in the stomach)."
— Jean-Bertrand Aristide (Eyes of the Heart: Seeking a Path for the Poor in the Age of Globalization)

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

haiti: a love story and a public prayer

all year long i have held you so close to my heart, rocked to my core by the depth of your endurance, of your loss. i have prayed for you daily, sung for you, seen for you, with my third eye, what i also see for myself: access to education, health-care, housing, clean water, sanitation, jobs, and a safe and loving community. oh great spirit that moves in all things!!!! may it be so for haiti and for all humans........ayi bobo!

here we are moving into year number 2 since the catastrophic event of january 12, 2010 occurred.  we all know the numbers, know the money hasn't been given, know it's only getting worse.  

the question i am asking myself is: what will it take to effect real positive change in Haiti?  what is it going to take?

i'm going to take a stab at a strategy and visualize. i invite your input but please be kind because it's only a game:  u.s. out of haiti to start with.  why do we need to be meddling in someone else's democracy?  we say we're going around the world to "restore democracy"  - then why in god's name are we taking out democratically elected presidents and banishing them from the country which elected them?

jobs - rebuilding haiti!!!!  oh it's so beautiful, all the buildings that will be built, giving haitian carpenters and masons a chance to show off their skills.  

ecological sanitation - this one is my personal favorite of course, but think about it - a rebuilt haiti where instead of installing complicated plumbing systems throughout the cities or in the villages, wasting more water which then needs to be treated, and costing lots of money to maintain, there are dry, composting toilets in people's homes, in local schools, churches, at soccer fields and all throughout the country where the wastes are collected and properly treated by trained agronomists until it is safe to be used as fertilizer, and gardens are sprouting up everywhere to feed people and provide more jobs!

cultural revival - haiti begins to shine again more for its cultural richness than for its impoverished condition, and people begin traveling to there to study and learn and to be entertained by the wealth of creative talent, culture, and charm.

for me, it's a matter of principal.  in my thinking, human life is valuable.  i value human life.  and i also value the power of the human mind to affect change.  the more i think about it, the more it begins to happen.  the more i see my life unfolding before me with a full heart resonating with joy and vibrance, the more i experience joy and vibrance........

and so i ask you all to take a moment now at the end of my little facebook note to think about your vision for haiti, how you see it unfolding, and if you want to you can share your vision with us so we can fill up our hearts with it and energize a group mind of healing for haiti, and for us all who share the very cells of human trauma in our own blood (once again transmitted through the mind and because we are all of this earth, made of star-dust, spinning through space on a single orb very, very quickly)....

(and as for my love story with haiti, i had to post-pone my trip, so will be returning the last week of january for just a few days to get just a little bit more footage for the film.  ayiti m' sonje ou e nou we tale'....nou pa bliye ou!!!