Here we are in a new decade…a time for reflections and realignment…a need to understand our role in the grand scheme of things. 2010 is a time to pull it together for ourselves, our family, the important people in our lives and our people as a whole.
Before yesterday that would have been the banter of an armchair revolutionary - something that is said at the beginning of the year, repeated during Black History Month, and quickly forgotten in March.
Today we are looking in the face of disaster. There is an undetermined number of casualties and injured in Haiti. Buildings in the capital have been leveled and the airport has sustained extensive damage preventing access in to the country. People are trying to reach loved ones and communication channels have been shut down.
We are familiar with disaster – 9/11, the 2004 tsunami, and hurricane Katrina in 2005. There is one shameful distinction in this tragedy – Haitian brothers and sisters can not take in their relatives and offer refuge while the country is stabilized. It’s no secret that darker people face unfair challenges relating to access to this country. It can take months and years to be able to visit loved ones, go to school or to embark on the “American dream.”
I have personally known some heroic folk that have gone into the trenches to help people in need. I am proud of them but don’t expect everyone to be willing or able to take such extraordinary measures. So I am asking all brothers and sisters of all walks of life to do four things in the short term:
1 - Visit and bookmark Wyclef Jean’s website -http://wyclefjean.wordpress.com/2010/01/13/statement-by-wyclef-jean-on-haiti-earthquake/ for updates from the front line. He has boarded a plane to the Dominican Republic so that he can make his way to his homeland. He’s been tirelessly working for Haiti and needs support now!
2 - Donate money through the Yele Earthquake Relief Fund http://www.yele.org/ or by texting Yele to 501501. A text will charge $5 to your monthly phone bill. You can also donate through the Red Cross http://www.redcross.org/
3 - Contact your United States senator by phone or e-mail and demand an emergency amnesty program that will enable Haitian Americans to provide temporary refuge to family members
4 - Wait before you begin assembling clothing donations until the Red Cross and the Haitian government have determined the appropriate transportation and logistics for such an effort. It’s all about the money right now and every dollar will help
Pray AND take action.
With that, I wish you all the best today and always.