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The Caribbean Crisis

Hurricane Sandy caused major devastation in the USA, but the Caribbean got more than its fair share too

Haiti was particularly hit by Hurricane Sandy • Photograph: IOM Haiti

With the digital age taking hold, and people being able to find out everything they need to know on a particular topic after a search on Google and a couple of extra clicks, you’d think that it would be nigh on impossible to miss big news, no matter where in the world you were.

Unfortunately not, it would seem, as the aftermath of Hurricane/Superstorm Sandy shows us just exactly what the media wants us to know.

Lesser is it known that en-route to the United States, Sandy also hit the Caribbean countries of Haiti, Cuba, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, the Bahamas and the Dominican Republic, causing massive destruction to lands already ridden with poverty and homelessness and still trying to recover from previous bouts of natural disaster over a year ago. These countries are in a sorry state, but the media seems to think that nobody cares. This is despicable, surely you’d agree. Yes, 80 people and counting have died in the United States, but on Wednesday, 71 had also died in the Caribbean as a simple result of the hurricane. Month-long states of emergency have been declared – people who had nothing now have less. But we get to hear about people who think they had nothing complain about their car being flooded and not being able to get to work and having to go through the annoying process of insurance claims and never being able to get anything back.

What if you had nothing anyway? And then the ground on which you slept became a swamp or a sea of water. Regardless, the mainstream media focuses on our brothers and sisters in the United States, who, of course, are far worse hit.

However, not all media reports are ignoring this other side of the crisis. Channel 4 News presents an excellent report on the unreported devastation of Hurricane Sandy:

Channel 4 released this video to highlight the relatively unspoken effects of Hurricane Sandy

I’m not saying that the United States weren’t hit bad, and that they don’t need support and help and companionship through this difficult time. And I’m not calling everyone ignorant, or even blinded, I’m just saying that we need to look further than our mainstream media websites and television channels to get the full picture. Humans are malleable; you will believe what you are told unless you have sufficient reason to think otherwise. The media industry is clever and manipulates its messages to get you thinking a particular way. And it’s even something we’re aware of but do nothing about. Perhaps it’s something we should start working on.

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