Music for Haiti

Beyonce Halo

I am posting some of the videos from the Hope for Haiti concert to encourage people to buy the songs or video of the fundraiser via itunes. Apple and the artists involved have all waived their fees, so that the proceeds for the sale of individual songs, performances, and the entire telecast will go straight to Haiti relief. I am assuming most of my readers have already given directly and remain overwhelmed by the 1000s of people who clicked on one or more relief programs through this site, proving that we do really care about the world and oppression; however, I thought that you might be able to find a little more to give. Maybe getting something back, besides the obvious, like music, would be a good motivator to give more than you already have.

While the crisis itself was a critical time for Haiti because people were still trying to rescue loved ones and/or dying from preventable complications, now is even more critical because it is the waning period when media interest will turn elsewhere and the world will be allowed to forget while over-militarized efforts in Haiti will continue on. Now is the time to shift from discussion of rescue and relief by any means necessary to by which means and benefiting whom; in other words, when this all started being mindful of who you have money to mattered but the real issue was giving something and giving it immediately. Now we need to continue to be invested in Haiti’s recovery economically and politically, but much more mindful of the fact it must be on its own terms, with Haitian people’s needs centered, and Haitian people in charge. The talk of rebuilding Haiti must not mirror the talk of rebuilding NOLA in which its black and poor communities were shoved out to make room for high rises, new money, and the housing for liberals who came to help but never asked what relocating to NOLA meant for the housing and cost of living of the people they were supposedly helping.

Jennifer Hudson – Let it Be

We have seen time and time again that giving money is not enough and like racially tinged disaster efforts before it, Haiti’s earthquake proved that giving money doesn’t mean that money means those supplies come free of racism, sexism, cissexism, homophobia, classism, or the colonial gaze. From the moment relief arrived right up until today, newspaper articles have included stories of doctors leaving the field and needed food and water not being distributed because people were afraid of “uprisings” and “violence.” Today’s headline included a story of UN workers refusing to distribute food without paperwork being filled out by recipients, paper work many of them could not read. When they pointed this out, they were unruly and subsequently abandoned. The fear of blackness, the colonial imaginary in which black is always akin to evil and dangerous, and the myth of the deserving poor vs. the unruly poor conspire against the world’s out-pouring of concern for Haiti to leave Haitians dead in the streets. The same organizations that failed to inform Katrina survivors of housing funds, provide needed emergency care for immigrants and trans women, and are still sitting on warehouses of supplies meant for Katrina victims are in Haiti now.

Shakira – I’ll Stand By You

We cannot sit back on the fact that we all gave $$ and let Haiti be re-occupied by foreign interests and foreign military. More than that, we need to ensure the incompetence bolstered by racism and colonial fears is not repeated in mass now that no one is watching. There are so many relief workers in Haiti, including Haitian relief workers, who are doing everything they can to decolonize humanitarian efforts and we have to make sure they are the ones in charge and that we do not abandon them. B/c abandoning them is akin to abandoning Haiti to neo-neo-colonialist “rebuild” efforts.

Christina Aguilera – Lift Me Up

If you can afford it, please consider giving again directly to Haitian run or long term Haitian relief agencies. If you need a little extra push to give again, please go to itunes and buy one of these, or other, amazing performances from the Hope for Haiti telethon. (Individual songs cost as little as 99 cents and yeah, I am willing to lay down the guilt like one of those bad commercials about saving a child from poverty if necessary).

I am sorry that this is not a more analytical and informative post like others here, but I am still speechless and shell-shocked by the devastation environmental racism + globalization + neo/colonialism can create in our world and the fact that it keeps getting played out in the lives and on the bodies of black and brown people, women and children that wealthy N. American “christians” have written off as devil worshippers … It reminds me of something my mother always says in the face of privilege “your blues ain’t like mine.” If you can look into the face of dying people, babies crying out for mothers dead at their feet, and turn away with contempt, your God is not my G-d.

When everyone has written a check and moved on, Haiti will still be suffering. Don’t turn away like we did ultimately in Katrina or the Tsunami, please. Give a little more. Keep writing about Haiti. Keep teaching about Haiti. Keep calling in to the media and asking them to do updates on Haiti. And give a little more.

Jay-Z, Rhianna, Bono – Stranded

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