Dr. Farmer here documents how the interests of the rich and powerful, including the U.S. Government, have maneuvered to keep Haiti's people weak and destitute throughout the history of the small nation. It's very difficult to read these things. I feel inside me this vast upwelling of rage at the injustice. Dr. Paul, to his credit, simply reports the situation, tells the tale, without any overt anger or outrage, just as an anthropologist reports his or her findings. Like all his books I've read so far, it's a very unsentimental account, rendering the plain facts to us in a simple and straightforward manner.
Father Aristide strikes me as a person very much in the mold of Gandhi or MLK, one whose absolute courage and determination in the face of injustice is beyond human, is divine in nature. The thugs and bullies, they can kill, maim, torture, but they can't change the immutable truth. Father Aristide is one of those who simply, quietly, keeps pointing out the injustice, keeps calling for things to be made right, in the face of death, over and over, with godlike calm, with the implacability of the universe going about its age old multibillion year business.
Does it make it easier or harder to help once we learn our representatives, supporting our interests, have been complicit in exacerbating the problems we want to alleviate? Does it make it fraught with dangers, of doing more harm than good, of continuing to perpetrate the same injustice in the name of its opposite? Or is it even more compelling, the need for us to repudiate the past and make up for wrongs done?
All I know is that the truth matters, reality matters, and information is ever more accessible in the modern technological world, so that the powerful can no longer play the game of stalling, manipulating, blustering, obfuscating while they transfer ever more wealth from poor to rich. The truth will out.