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Volume 16, Number 1
January 20, 2009

opinion

Also in this section:
Editorials: Gómez was right to catch Sáez; and The legal headaches of climate change
Sirias, Taking the walk
Gilmour, Oranges
Lehman, The gringo lawyer's tale
Leis, The wrong way to power
Jackson, Election rule changes
Grant, Haiti: the passengers of memory
Alvares de Azevedo, Brazil's Haitian cross
Feinsilver, Haitian crisis a chance to improve US-Cuban ties
Esquivel, Bleak prospects for Haiti's recovery
Amnesty International, Protection of human rights must accompany relief efforts in Haiti
Weisbrot, Media battles in Latin America not about free speech
Reporters Without Borders, Mexican radio journalist abducted and slain
Stimson, China can outgoogle Google
Committee to Protect Journalists, China hackers hit media companies and activists online
Oilwatch, It pays to keep the oil in the ground
Chan, Mixed progress toward world health goals
Gutman, Saint Pius XII?
Lerner, Obama wouldn't listen to warnings
Letters to the editor

Haiti: the passengers of memory
by Raymond Grant

Let's be real --- life is something that we must live forward. But to tell the truth, the centuries-ago transatlantic journey of Haiti's black ancestors on their way to the territories of the new continent surely must have been no less traumatic than Haiti's current disaster.

When one is living life forward, one is quick to notice and to praise the willingness and speedy and abundant support being delivered to Haiti's disaster victims. All this is possible by the wisdom and organization of those countries rendering support.

Those lending assistance are organized at regional levels, and at continental and transcontinental levels, and include organizations with specific commercial and scientific interests.

One article said that the present situation in Haiti has some journalists emotionally hit, although they are accustomed to working in disasters areas with corps all over --- but shouts of people trapped and so on are affecting them. And speaking about dead bodies, and because similar type of support may be required again when nature strikes again, it brings to mind my recent viewing of the movie "Passengers."

In Passengers a mechanical malfunction or explosion made a plane crash on the beach of its nearest flight plan location. The following scene shows some several passengers walking around the crash scene looking dazed and dejected. To tell the truth they looked like zombies, kind of half-dead.

The next scene shows the same people in a therapy session provided by the airline company, to help them overcome their grief from the traumatic event. Then, all in a sudden, a conspiracy theory began to surface in the session. Many of them thought that the airline was trying to bump them off due to fear that their statements could make the airline pay a large settlement for negligence.

Nothing was farther from the truth. But as one continues to watch the movie one truly believes the passengers in the therapy group are alive, until it become evident that they are dead and are simply dealing with the transition from one state of consciousness to another.

Their willingness to accept varied. But to incite acceptance, they all faced people from their pasts who were already dead. All in a sudden things began to click for them, one by one.

A movie is just that, a movie. Still, disaster can strike anywhere at any time, and one can't help but to reflect on those countries, communities or groups in which the organization and spirit of solidarity to render support among themselves and for others is either nonexistent or inefficient.

A community exists in only shared memory. So what will the world community remember about the disaster that has befallen Haiti? What will Haitians remember? What is done or not done will define who Haitians are, and who we are.




Also in this section:
Editorials: Gómez was right to catch Sáez; and The legal headaches of climate change
Sirias, Taking the walk
Gilmour, Oranges
Lehman, The gringo lawyer's tale
Leis, The wrong way to power
Jackson, Election rule changes
Grant, Haiti: the passengers of memory
Alvares de Azevedo, Brazil's Haitian cross
Feinsilver, Haitian crisis a chance to improve US-Cuban ties
Esquivel, Bleak prospects for Haiti's recovery
Amnesty International, Protection of human rights must accompany relief efforts in Haiti
Weisbrot, Media battles in Latin America not about free speech
Reporters Without Borders, Mexican radio journalist abducted and slain
Stimson, China can outgoogle Google
Committee to Protect Journalists, China hackers hit media companies and activists online
Oilwatch, It pays to keep the oil in the ground
Chan, Mixed progress toward world health goals
Gutman, Saint Pius XII?
Lerner, Obama wouldn't listen to warnings
Letters to the editor

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