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From: Gina Ulysse <gulysse@bates.edu>

        Thu, 10 Aug 2000 10:47:55 -0700 (PDT)
        Robert Corbett <bcorbett@netcom.com>
        Bob Corbett <rcorbet@ibm.net>

Since it takes me forever to write long messages and I am not interested 
in starting a fencing match over semantics, I'm replying to Poincy and 
Corbett ansanm
because the same issues overlap and I really really hate to type. 

lemme just say thank you and respect to Mozeb for his honourable defense 
of the Ayitian State and Corbett for sharing his opinion on the term 
"development".  I
want to point out to Poincy that I am not at all on the offense and to 
Corbett that if he recognizes that our definitions of "development" are 
indeed inconsistent, then
his riposte is based upon a series of assumptions (about I meant) that 
are predicated upon our very semantic difference, so I ain't going 
there.  I don't claim that
"development" is impossible or undesirable, economic or otherwise. I do 
however think that the term is highly problematic and I strongly advocate 
from its use. Historically, this word has also been used 
counterproductively. Arturo Escobar has an interesting book on this 
matter. My "issues" have to do with the
fact that words like development/modernization are loaded with racist and 
classist connotations that romanticize blan "developer" the savior and 
often disregard and
deny what "developed" people on the ground, have to, can and should offer 
to such processes. That isn't to say there hasn't been any progress in 
Haiti.  I am not at
all negating the work that has been done in Haiti, a great portion of it 
was and is being done by blan. Generally, the moresuccesful examples are 
often smaller
attempts that are not tied to well-oiled macrostructures. (Let me just 
say that Schumacher's "Small is Beautiful: Economics as if People 
Mattered"  is the reason I
became an anthropologist). This may sound contradictory to you but the 
fact is we have to discuss "development" critically and we wanter more 
results.  I'll admit
that if anything, I have a tendency to romanticize local situations (here 
I am often referring to the people on the ground. I certainly don't mean 
state level). 

I'll jump back to Poincy here and reassert a similar point vis-a-vis his 
concept of the Ayitian state which he warns me not to confuse with those 
who manage it. If I
read him correctly, then the Ayitian state as an apparatus is a "good 
thing" as Martha Stewart would say.  Although past representatives 
were/are mostly vampires
and lack morals, the structure that is the state was affected by them and 
has by now become something else. So much so that simply changing leaders 
won't cause
the drastic changes we need. Don't get me wrong. New leaders will make a 
difference but they can't give quick results. Changes won't be visible 
for at least for a
long while. I do believe they will come over time (I may never see them 
but I think that my unborn kids will and their kids will definitely dig 
it ).  

How do you fix  a country, without recreating the same power structures, 
that is simultaneously the Wild Wild West, a Drug Trafficking Zone, a 
Police State, a
Neocolony in the backyard of the most powerful nation which rules this 
hemisphere. Don't forget to add sabotage from inside and outside. 
Nearsidedness is mild in
comparison to the other ills that could plague us. I haven't forgotten 
that Rome wasn't built in one day to use a cliche. With so much going on, 
can we think of the

My critiques come from the fact that I have a lot of hope which stems 
from people who want to see their kids grow and realize their dreams 
rather than relive the
misery they grew up knowing or people who know that it can't keep going 
like this and whatever happens something new will emerge. If they can 
believe in
something they cant see despite their realities then hell yeah!!!!   One 
interviewee told us "we can't see the changes because we have such a 
heavy burden, it's really
hard to see the small steps that have been and are being made".  I happen 
to be one of those people who believe it is the steps or cricks that will 
lead to cracks
which will eventually shatter the mirror. So don't assume that I devalue 
the recent changes that have occured. I just think that it's gonna be a 
wild ride for a while. 
As a good friend says "you can't have change when everyone is 

I do have a question for Poincy. Since there is no magic wand to fix this 
whole mess. The state is non responsive and will never be according to 
Corbett and you
see the state as monitor/regulator,  how will we make the Privates become 
providers since they have also become a structure, concerned with 
recreating itself? 
Haiti does not have a history of philanthropy so what are we talking 
about here? Retributions? Redistribution? Total privatization? Welfare 
systems... Please share 

Finally, just for clarification, Bob are you saying that dialogue is 
non-progressive and a waste of time.  I stress it everyday for one reason 
and one reason only.
Those of us with ties that bind there (whether native or not, nwa ou 
blan) are all in this mess together and none of our hands are clean like 
Sweet Honey in the Rock sings. So if we don't continue to dialogue (even 
some of the trivial stuff), how will get to the point where we will have 
even more
intergroup dialogues among those who have never stood together anba tonel 
la.  For three days mid-july (14,15,16) Quisqeya hosted the first 
national congress of
young people. They came from all over.  They talked amongst themselves 
about numerous issues. The intent was that they'd eventually make 
recommendations to
government about some of their concerns. I eagerly await for updates on 
that effort. No matter what happens it was a very necessary first step. 

My mission as I embarked on my last voyage to Haiti was to capture the 
hope that I know lingers there on film. I met young old and middle age 
people who were
as frustrated as they were optimistic, what many of them shared was an 
organic understanding of the country's condition and why the future looks 
bleak.  In some
places the hope was real clear in others it was wrapped with frustration 
and then there were places where there was none. People just desperate 
for a way out. I
was surprised to hear any of them say in 10-20 years Haiti will be good 
again. They plan to come back home. I call it nearsided hope--  hope, 
despite the present
state of things and the chaos they forsee in the short- term...  Change 
have been made and there is more to come they believe.  Give it time one 
of the touristart
artist said. "Ahhhh ma che peyi ap chanje wi pa koute sa yap di lot bo 
lap chanje pitipiti" and that's enough for me 

Max ResPekt 

Dr. Gina Ulysse African-American Studies Bates College 
Lewiston ME 04240 Ph: (207) 786-6436 Fx: (207) 786 8338 
                                                                                                            HAITI: EXPLODING THE MYTHS 
                                                                                                                                  SEPTEMBER 28-30, 2000 
                                                                                                                                    BATES COLLEGE 
                                                                                                          LEWISTON, ME 

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