Friday, January 15, 2010


Haitian Detainees, Lexington KY

Think of Haiti, pray for Haiti
Haiti’s right here, Haiti’s not quite here.

- Caetano Veloso

I have had the opportunity to be in contact with the people of Haiti on two occasions. Once, I was sent to a detention center in Lexington, KY, where a large group of Haitians was being held prior to possible deportation. In 1995, I went to Haiti with a Cincinnati Post reporter to do a story on a church group that was doing construction work on a school.

In Lexington as we approached the holding facility a voice cried out, “What news do you have for the Haitian people?” We had none. Only questions and the sound of the camera’s shutter greeted these people who had made it safely to the shores of the U.S. only to be rejected, detained, and sent back.

In Port-au-Prince as we drove near the ocean, the driver remarked that because most Haitians don’t swim it was testament to their desperation that they would undertake such a perilous trip in order to reach the United States.

I don’t know whether or not most Haitians swim, but I have seen the conditions under which they live. The recent earthquake is just piling misery and death upon misery. We can send our prayers and our condolences but we need to send our money and goods to those legitimate organizations that are set up to get help to these most unfortunate people.

Melvin Grier

No comments: