Thursday, April 24, 2008

Plant trees in Haiti

Everyone rips on Haiti for being deforested. They never mention how the U.S. government overthrew the democratic government of Haiti so that U.S. corporations could run roughshod over the country and its people. They don't mention the incredible history of exploitation of the Haitian people by the governments of the U.S., France, Canada, multinational corporations, etc. We're supposed to be a bunch of racists and just say, "Oh, those dumb Haitians - they're all black - they're all stupid - they knew they were deforesting the country and they didn't even care."

Don't be a racist.

We have enviros running around like crazy trying to plant trees all over the world, but none that I know of have ever suggested planting trees in the very country that the U.S. government destroyed. Sure, multinational corporations - some based in the U.S. - can be blamed for various forms of deforestation in Brazil and Africa and even Haiti, but the case in Haiti is clearcut - the U.S. government is responsible for overthrowing at least one democratic government that was showing real promise in the areas of social justice, including limiting deforestation. The U.S. government could not tolerate the 'threat of a bad example' - so Haiti is now in a bad way - not only deforested, but experience food riots.

If you want to do something that ends up planting trees in some foreign country - and you want to feel good about donating your time/money to such a cause - stop - think - and then start sending your money to projects that can help reforest Haiti. And if you are a citizen of the U.S. or France or Canada or any other country that fucked the Haitian people, then beg forgiveness while you hand over your money.

1 comment:

Ken English said...

Operation Green Leaves is a non-profit organization based in Miami, Florida. Founded in 1991 by Nadine Patrice, a Haitian, the organization is dedicated to environmental education and reforesting Haiti. For information, check out www.oglhaiti.com.