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#5210: Re: #5175: Re: #5164: Re: #5148: Babydoc is American, Dato , is Haitian... (fwd)

From: ROODY BARTHELEMY <kreyolco@hotmail.com>

Haitians have never referred to Jean-Claude Duvalier as "Baby Doc" This is 

Haitians have never referred to Jean-Claude Duvalier as Baby Doc; not even 
in private.  The reasons are simple:

1) even in Haiti and in private, Baby Doc was already too revealing a 
derogatory reference for those who had the courage to stand against the 
regime.  They had enough imagination to just not want to stick with such 
sensationalist nickname (in private, above all) though cunning it sounded in 

2)Although there were many other nicknames used to refer to the 
boy-president, Jean Claude's official nickname was already known by the 
Haitians who usually call him "Dato".  In private, unoffically, he was 
called some other names that I don't have to mention here.

3) Thinking of Jean-Claude Duvalier from a not yet diasporically 
acculturated or assimilated Haitian perspective, the nickname of "Baby Doc" 
would be the least on the list.  On a sociolinguistic point of view, "baby 
doc" transliterates and translates a little doctor for the Creole mind, not 
a doctor's son.  On an historical and political standpoint, the nicknmame 
frankly contradicts the perception Haitians have always have of the man: 
Although the son of a doctor, the guy was far from portraying one, in terms 
of intellectual ability.  He was rather seen as an exceptional student, an 
EH or ESE type of nerd. Later on, as president, he will be known more for is 
epicurean tastes, being mentioned as a womanizer, cocaine user, and even as 
homosexual, not mentioning his reckless speed-driving passion.

The name Baby Doc was indeed invented by the U.S. prolific and 
sensationalist media in search of a condescending and quick term as a 
summary that could translate news from Haiti under the Duvaliers (father and 

Born under that regime, I have witnessed most of the atrocities and 
misfortunes it generated for the Haitians of several generations, including 
my entire one, my whole nation.  From 1978, when Jean Dominique was already 
a well-hatred and tracked down official target, to 1987, when Regala 
commandoed the stoning of our small newspaper's office in Ruelle St Cyr, I 
have directly lived some of that regime's misery under the form of direct 
persecution.  I do not remember when I have had the occasion to have heard 
Haitians, in private or in public, using the nickname of Baby Doc to refer 
to Jean Claude Duvalier.  If we look at some videos about the reactions of 
the people of Haiti, and the general epithetes used when referring to Jean 
Claude, you will easily confirm my point. But now that there has been so 
much popularization of this funny name, and due to the forcible 
americanization of Haiti, it may not be surprising to know that the nickname 
of Baby Doc is actually currently used to refer to our lad.

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