haiti

January 13, 2010

 

When I was in Haiti, I watched American tourists throw nickels off cliffs to watch five year olds dive for them. They were dangerous cliffs. They were dangerous dives. We are talking the ocean, cliffs, mad waves smacking cliffs, fifteen and twenty foot dives, rocks all the fuck over, and five year olds.

For a nickel.

 


 

One of those fat short balding smug Hawaiin shirt wearing nickel throwing bastards said “monkeys.”

 


 

It was the first time I saw “The Ugly American.” The first time I was ashamed to be American. The first time I seriously wished harm on another human being. And not just him. His children. His grandchildren. His great great grandchildren. In that moment I made a small prayer to God that his children would have to leap off cliffs into churning awful killing waters for nickels.

 

12 Responses to “haiti”

  1. Once I was at a meeting where these people told this story about their trip to Hawaii. The man said he had dropped some change and didn’t care about it, but how a few minutes later they heard someone crying ” Sir Sir! ” and how this “little old Hawaiian” lady was running/hobbleing up the street after them with his change in her hand.

    Everyone laughed

    Even me.

    I said, ” my Little Old Filipino Grandparents live in Hawaii.”

  2. Shamama said

    This post gave me chills, dear Max…shall reply to you privately~~~ <3 <3 <3

  3. pooks said

    This just kills me. I have no words.

  4. Doug Solter said

    Thank you for sharing this. Warts and all.

  5. dougrogers said

    yeah… what shamama and pooks said. A scene no one would believe in a movie.

  6. Ben said

    Doctors Without Borders… Send money.

  7. ejalvey said

    beautifully written as always, Max.

    Unfortunately, I feel no surprise at this. This is what power looks like. These are the people who run our country, the corporations, the world…

    They have no feelings except greed. We are their entertainment. This is a perfect example of something that is really not rare at all.

    While many people are mobilizing to help the Haitians, many are looking for a way to make money off their tragedy.

  8. Faig said

    Chillingly lovely post, Max. It set me thinking what the local community leaders or whatever they’ve got there in Haiti (haD got, rather, prior to the quake) are thinking.

    Btw, I’m watching CNN, BBC and Euronews on the post-quake activities there and I figure everybody around is saving Haiti save for the Haitians themselves. Anyone ever heard a single WORD about the Haitian authorities (let alone about the Haitian authorities doing anything)?
    I mean, in case I’m blind and deaf…

  9. Faig said

    Roughly put, the Big Brother is a bad motherf…er, but the Little Brother’s just another little sh…head.

  10. max said

    I know one of the things I thought when I heard about the quake, I remembered all the cardboard houses, and thought, Thank God cardboard can’t fall hard enough to kill or hurt you. And I know this is a bad part of my head, but I was thinking somewhere I try not to notice, Today is better for the really poor who live in cardboard than the wealthy who live in plaster palaces.

  11. max said

    [BTW, nice to see you Faig.]

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