Ppl think that there is a country there that these people are only around when they are on CNN. I don't think that's limited to Haiti. (c) Edwidge D.

So since you've been requesting... Here's another post from one of my favs Mali-BU lol. I know he's awesome, and I would like nothing more than to keep his amazing writings to myself but I figured I wouldn't be selfish...FOLLOW HIM ON TWITTER and stop bugging me about when he's gonna write something else :-p @thegreatone1

I remember when I was about 10 or 11 years old, I watched Good Times nightly around 10:30 before I went to bed for school. My mother put me on to the show, and me and her used to watch it together while my dad was working the night hours detailing cars at Avis at Hartsfield-Jackson Airport in Atlanta, Georgia. One of my favorite characters in Good Times was James Evans Sr. He was the hardworking father and bread winner of the struggling innercity Chicago family. He put his whole soul into looking for whatever work is out there to put his family in the best position possible, much like my father. He even had the same messed up mini fro, sometime rocked the same jump suit and threatened to whoop me, just like my father. I endeared myself to the James Evans character. This was a nightly routine until the episode where...well If you all have seen Good Times, you know which episode I am talking about. The one where James Evans Sr. died when he was out of state looking for a job. At the very same time my own father was looking to take a contract in South Carolina working for PYA Monarch, a trucking company that specialized in wholesale food supplies for restaurants. In any event, I stopped watching Good Times ever since because, essentially when James died doing all of the things my father was trying to do for his family. Shakes me to the core to this day, because the parallels between what was going on, on that tv and my own family. Now take that feeling and fast forward to 2010. The Haitian Earthquakes.

For many people who do not know, I am the son of immigrants from the small west African nation of Sierra Leone. A country made famous recently through the exploits of Kanye West in his song “Diamonds from Sierra Leone”. I, by no means am, Haitian but there is a glaring parallel between the two nations: These are two countries who have been economically decimated for years that have encountered humiliating injustices internally for decades that finally received recognition due to a horrid event. With Sierra Leone, it was a civil war over the control of the lucrative Diamond industry. A war that saw children age 5 through 13 being kidnapped from their homes by warlords. Recruited as foot soldiers for the sole purpose to do the biddings of grown men. These children were given semi automatic weapons, flame throwers and opiates and were told to destroy in the name of an industry which has yielded no benefit to their country men. Homes were burned to the ground and limbs, yes limbs, were cut off from victims who had nothing to do with the diamond trade at all. Why? Because the warlords wanted control. The problem progressed for years until the occurrences of the country were leaking out to news outlets globally. But the strife and terror already served it’s purpose to the tiny nation.

On the other end you have Haiti. Now my knowledge of the countries history is a little more limited than my knowledge of Sierra Leone’s history due to the fact I have family in the latter, however from what I have read and from accounts of my friends whose family and friends are from and, still reside in, the nation, saying “it was a bad situation, would be an egregious understatement. Like, Sierra Leone, Haiti has been ravaged by institutional instability due to an influx of dictatorship, a very limited economy, and an inability to acquire social rest. The unmistakable distinction between the two developing nations is that Haiti has had no natural resources to ease the countries deplorable position. Haiti has been struggling since it’s independence from France.

Now I know many felt for the Haitian people, and I am not trying to win a pissing contest for who cares more, nevertheless my heart hurts for them as if they were family because of the parallels between Haiti and Sierra Leone and my connection to people who have family from those countries. Not many know the similar values that West Indian/Caribbean people and African people share. So it really felt like family. This writer’s point is it took two heart wrenching events for the world to pay attention to these nations. In some ways I understand that home needs to be taken care of first, nevertheless, there are countries out there that are struggling tremendously and even more so than this country. I am not saying take food out of your mouth to feed a child in Zanzibar. My goal is to inspire some of you to pay close attention to the strife and heartache of other’s and be more aware of how bad it really can become. Also I hope that efforts such as the “Haiti Relief” effort can cause more effort into volunteer and relief endeavors in the future. Spend more time in helping these type of countries and areas in the United States (hello New Orleans) become a little more stable and ready to meet with harsh events. I always say that God will keep on giving you a message until you “get it”. Each time you choose to ignore his message or “don’t get it” he will deliver that message ten times stronger the next time. With Haiti, I believe the message should be loud and clear.