Sunday, January 17, 2010

Cort>Re: [NetworkAztlan_News] Music for a Sunday: Haiti


Gracias for your post Hermano Cort ~ Let the whole situation in Haiti, the generations of imperialist domination, be an example of the immediate and long-term negative results of the continued existence of the Amerikan Empire. Why was and is Haiti the poorest country in the Americas? What are we doing or not doing to forward the global liberation movement, beyond online activism, in our own personal lives on a day-to-day basis?

Haiti had no substantial infrastructure in place in order to respond to a real national disaster because Haiti actually is not a true independent nation. It is still a colony with little to offer the Empire in terms of available natural resources exploitable by the Empire and its cohorts.

We do what we can from where we are at but let us be sure to integrate our own lives as warriors with the real lives of the people on a personal level. How can I feast in comfort knowing my neighbor is going hungry? Where are our machetes?

Venceremos Unidos! Education for Liberation!




 "Those who make peaceful revolution impossible,
make violent revolution inevitable."
~ President John F.Kennedy ~ Assassinated
November 22, 1963


From: Cort Greene <>
To: Venezuela_Today <>; socialism <>; csny <>
Sent: Sun, January 17, 2010 7:31:09 AM
Subject: [NetworkAztlan_News] Music for a Sunday: Haiti

News of the Restless

Haiti- A three minute primer: com/watch? v=ttqexOlqhWM

Quotable: Jean-Bertrand Aristide on Haiti and exile

"As we all know, many people remain buried under tons of rubble and debris, waiting to be rescued. When we think of their suffering, we feel deeply and profoundly that we should be there, in Haiti, with them, trying our best to prevent death. As far as we are concerned, we are ready to leave today, tomorrow, at any time, to join the people of Haiti, to share in their suffering, help rebuild the country, moving from misery to poverty with dignity.

"The spirit of Ubuntu, that once led Haiti to emerge as the first independent black nation in 1804, helped Venezuela, Colombia and Ecuador attain liberty, and inspired our forefathers to shed their blood for the United States' independence, cannot die. Today, this spirit of solidarity must and will empower all of us to rebuild Haiti."

--Jean-Bertrand Aristide, on Democracy Now!

January 17, 2010

Music for a Sunday: Haiti

"Haiti is here. Haiti is not here." com/watch? v=TzlFn-Eq15w

Full lyrics, and translation, here.

BTW, these lyrics, referring to racial injustice in Haiti and Brazil, are especially appropriate in light of a scandal concerning a Haitian diplomat in Brazil a couple of days ago:

The Haitian consul in São Paulo, George Samuel Antoine, not knowing that his microphone was open, commented before a journalistic interview that the earthquake "would be good for" his country, because thanks to it, "we are now more recognized". The diplomat blamed the ills of his country on the fact that "every place where there are Africans is fucked".

The consul also blamed the earthquake on macumba, the religion practiced by a majority of Haitians in spite of official Catholicism: "I believe that because of all this practice of macumba, we don't know if it's that. Africans are cursed in and of themselves."

Upon learning that his words, spoken in confidentiality to an investigator, had been recorded, the diplomat became very nervous and excused himself, saying that he could not speak Portuguese very well, and had been misinterpreted. However, he has been living in Brazil for 35 years, since 1975.

By way of apology, Antoine also recalled that his grandfather, born in Africa, was president of Haiti in the late 19th century, and being so nervous as a result of the earthquake in his country, he managed to avoid getting into an argument.

Throughout the interview, Antoine fingered a rosary. "It's to calm my nerves and receive positive energy," he said.

In Brazil, it is hoped that the government of Haiti takes a firm position on the matter, seeing that this is an offence not only against that country, but against all Africans.

Translation mine.

The reason this is so scandalous should be obvious.

In Brazil, as in Haiti, black slavery, though abolished, still works its malign influence to the present day in the form of racism (and in some cases, de facto slavery still).

A great many Brazilians-- some estimate a majority--are mulattoes, although the higher up the class order you go, the less African and more European faces you'll see. It is possible for many a middle-class Brazilian to look white and still carry a lot of "black" blood, as Caetano Veloso does. But he is just as much a mulatto as his friend and collaborator in the song, Gilberto Gil, who looks more black.

In Haiti, as El Duderino reminds us, "black" is supposed to be a deracialized term (under the Haitian constitution) , and even white-skinned permanent residents of the land are referred to as "blacks", in a radical interracial solidarity and a vehement rejection of the old slave-order of things. When all are black, all are equal, goes the reasoning; no one gets to lord anything over his neighbor, no matter what color. And no one gets to own another person outright, as chattel. To be a Haitian "black" is to be free, or so it should be.

Yet the racism of colonial times persists in the mentality of many. It is an internalized racism, and even a man of known African heritage can and does let it slip from time to time, as Mr. Antoine has done. The fear and mistrust of macumba, or Voudou, plays into this mindset; it is both racist and superstitious, since Voudounsis (practitioners) are largely peaceful and in fact have maintained the religion as a direct tie back to Africa, as well as a means of gaining liberty for Haiti (and by extension, the rest of the Americas). The fact that Voudou is syncretic is also proof of its peaceful nature; it signals a reconciliation of Catholic saints (bequeathed by white colonists) with African spirits, ancestors and deities. Voudounsis pray to both in the same breath and in the same ceremonies; in fact, they recognize that the "two" are one. The power summoned in the practice of Voudou is personal and can also be political, giving the practitioner the strength that a long struggle for liberty demands.

And that's why this internalized- racist statement of Africans being "cursed" and "fucked" by macumba is so offensive. It directly insults the entire Haitian (and Brazilian) struggle against slavery and racism--a struggle that still goes on to this day.

Haiti is here. Haiti is not here.

------------ --------- --------- --------- ----


Yep, that's Rush Fucking Limbaugh and Marion Fucking Robertson, both hating on Haiti. Neither of them has the guts to say nigger, but you can hear them thinking it every time they open their mouths on anything even remotely to do with race; everything they say about blacks is code-worded racism. And of course, Haiti being overwhelmingly black--and the cradle of independentist revolution in the Americas--these guys have nothing good to say about that impoverished country, and no words of solace or sympathy for its current misery. Neither of these racists can forgive those uppity niggruhs for standing up to bullies and setting a good example to the rest of the continent. And for that, no one should forgive them.

Good night, and get fucked, Rush and Patwa.

Court dismissed. Take it away, boys:


Ever wonder why Haiti is poor? Hint: it's punishment for that slave revolt that led to liberty in 1804, the one Patwa calls a "deal with the devil". Turns out, the devil...was France. (Zut alors!) And the deal...entailed a debt that took over a century to pay back, and still has Haiti mired in a cycle of debts, dictatorships and dependency. Only this time, the devil is the IMF. Whaddya know, it turns out that Satan really IS a master of disguise--and no, his name is not Papa Legba! (Legba is actually syncretized to St. Peter. He is likened to Peter because he opens the "pearly" gates to the spirit world, enabling Voudou practitioners to speak with the saintly figures called loa, and also their ancestors. And yes, I've paid him tribute too--and can attest that he is a beneficent old guy who listens. And he doesn't care what color you are, either.)

BTW, the only things in Avi Lewis's otherwise excellent reporting that I'd take issue with is that problematic "some say" bit (who are these "some"? Don't do like FUX Snooze, Avi--let's see "them" say it on camera!) and the part about Toto Constant "claiming" to be on the CIA payroll (uh, he was.)

PS: Far be it from me to not give credit where due. France has just called upon the Paris Club for debt forgiveness for Haiti. A wise move, and good for the karma. Très bien fait!

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