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#5245: Things were so much better when... Part 2 (fwd)

From: Racine125@aol.com

An open letter to:


Haiti Observateur 
Brooklyn Navy Yard (Bldg. 58)
Brooklyn, NY  11205
FAX 718-834-8853

To the Editor:

On Bob Corbett's excellent electronic Haiti discussion list, I recently said something like, "Some right-wingers seem to have adopted the term 'democracy' to describe any discourtesy, arrogance, or just plain sottise committed by a majority class Haitian".  Well, here is a perfect example of this campaign to demonize the true meaning and significance of the word 'democracy':

Haiti Observateur 27 Sept. - 4 Oct., 2000, Page 6 Kreyol section, Men Keksyon an, by "Ti-Renm", sports a rather cold-blooded account of the death of Fonkonze courier Amos Jeannot.  Prominently placed at the head of the article is a quote attributed to "Papa Doc", "Et la revolution mangera ses propres fils".

Taking note of the fact that Jocelyn McCalla, Executive Director of the National Coalition for Haitian Rights (NCHR) wrote an open letter announcing the recovery of Jeannot's body, the anonymous "Ti-Renm" launched a polemic!  Apparently McCalla is a sore spot for "Ti-Renm", because he will "never forget how Johnny and Jesse Jackson appeared on a program on Channel 25 in New York together with me to show what a reactionary I am ..."

He then comments, "Bon, men jodi a, se yo-menm ki viktim pwop demokrasi yo a.  Kounnye a nou nan faz 'La revolution mangera ses propres fils' ".

I will translate this imbecility as "Good, you see today, it's they themselves who are victims of their own democracy.  Now we are in the phase, 'The revolution eats it's own sons'."

Again we see the use of the word "democracy" tied to activities which are anything but democratic.  Murder and mutilation were the tools of the Duvalier and Cedras regimes, repetitive proof of the banality of evil!

Or does this "Ti-Renm" suggest that Amos Jeannot was murdered for voting?  Were his arms cut off for declaring his candidacy for a political office?  Was his eye gouged out for talking on the radio about another candidate, or an elected official?  Was he killed for yelling, "Down with the President!" in front of the National Palace?  Was he mutilated merely for promoting elections in general?  Any one of these actions was enough to get someone killed and or mutilated during the Cedras regime, not to mention Papa Doc's!  

But Amos Jeannot was not murdered for any of those reasons. He was not a "victim of democracy", he was a victim of armed criminals!  How conveniently "Ti-Renm" forgets that organizations like Fonkoze were persecuted during the coup d'etat years, along with any and all activities intended to furnish majority class Haitians with access to financial services.  It is only since the UN intervention that organizations like Fonkoze and the other multiple and normal organs of civil society have again been able to function and flourish.  I wonder if "Ti-Renm" can stop his disgusting dance on Jeannot's body long enough to remember that under the military regime as in the Duvalier years, credit unions and labor syndicates and women's organizations and so on all were persecuted.

Things were NOT better then.

And you know what?  I just can't resist noting that this article appears with a cartoon of Aristide as a pop-eyed malevolent monkey with a skinny butt, swinging impudently from a tree outside a castle marked "Tabarre".  The way it's drawn it's a very funny image, and I admit I laughed.  Now I would like "Ti-Renm" to tell me what he thinks would have happened to the artist, the newspaper publisher, the street sellers, and the buyers of any newspaper if in late October 1993 that newspaper featured an image of Michel Francois as a frantic shaved ape galloping down Grand Rue toward the airport between ranks of cheering Haitians?  I think we all know the answer.  I repeat, things were NOT better then.

Peace and love,

Kathy S. Grey, M.S.
(Bon Mambo Racine Sans Bout Sa Te La Daginen)

"Se bon ki ra", 
     Good is rare - Haitian Proverb

The VODOU Page - http://members.aol.com/racine125/index.html

(Posting from Jacmel, Haiti)

CC: Jocelyn McCalla, Executive Director, National Coalition for Haitian Rights
Anne Hastings, Executive Director, Fonkoze