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5527: Re: 5519: Two Americans Injured in Haiti (Saint-Vil) (fwd)

From: Jean Saint-Vil <jafrikayiti@hotmail.com>


As I read these messages about "good blan" feeling for the first time some 
of the consequences of sponsored abject poverty, political instability, 
gun/drug trafficking and lack of justice infrastructure in Haiti, I can't 
help but think about the hundreds of criminals exported to Haiti in the last 
few years.

Some speculate that the recent violent scare felt by white "visitors" may be 
linked to politics but is this really probable? Perhaps there is another 
simpler explanation. Perhaps!

Perhaps all these years, the Haitian thief had been a "blan fearing", "blan 
mystified/blan worshiping" poor man looking for his daily bread in the 
streets of Port-au-Prince. However, we must remember that thanks to our good 
"friends of Haiti", a new breed of seasoned criminals roam the streets of 
Haitian cities. This breed of young black men have no such fear or 
admiration for the "blan" because he has lived with real blan all his life. 
He has been framed by them, jailed by them, ghettorised by them, deported by 
them, sold drugs for them, shot by them. He is not at all impressed.

>From accounts reported in the news media, it seems these gifts of young 
fearless black American/Canadian/French exports are now the new lords of the 
streets in Haiti and they are making an army of irreverant pupils that are 
bound to also lose their blan appreciation of yonder years.

Perhaps, what we are witnessing here is a case of «baton ki te toujou ap bat 
chen nwa a ki kòmanse ap bat chen blan an»? Tout moun jwenn! (no one is 

Indeed, the issue of safety must be a number one priority for the Haitian 
government. Not because a few blan are, for the first time, feeling 
threathened but because 8 million Haitians deserve the right to live in 

Politically motivated or not, a case of «chicken coming home to roost» or 
not, Haiti cannot afford to let this situation continue unchecked. 
Especially, if a Bush administration crawls its way into the White house. 
You can bet your money these stories of black on white violence would be all 
over the U.S. media and Haiti can definitely kiss peace and traquility 


«Chak mèb gen pis yo»

----Original Message Follows----
From: Bob Corbett <corbetre@webster.edu>
To: Haiti mailing list <haiti@lists.webster.edu>
Subject: 5519:  Re: Subject:5433 Two Americans Injured in Haiti : an 
addendum (fwd)
Date: Fri, 17 Nov 2000 10:28:27 -0600 (CST)

From: Racine125@aol.com

I recently took two American Vodouisant initiates to Grand Cemetiere for Fet
Gede, on November 2 of this year.

I used to go every year, and I always had a ball!  There were drummers there
sometimes, and Houngans and Mambos and hounsis, and just ordinary people
serving.  There were food offerings of bread and coffee and boiled eggs,
which were often shared with participants.  There were bawdy songs and wild
dancing!  And I never, ever once felt afraid.  Things were kind of heated 
one could expect to be jostled, but that was all.

This year, though, was horrible.  As soon as we entered the cemetery, we
began to give gifts of money, mostly 5 gourde coins.  Instead of receiving
the money, the people present grabbed my initiates by the wrist and ripped
the money from their hands!  Oh well, we thought, bad manners.

We went to the Cross of Baron, and to my disgust instead of the usual
humorous chants of "Zozo!  Coco!  Anba langyet zozo!" and other typical
phrases, we were treated to a gang of young men yelling "Touye blan!  Kraze
blan!  Touye yo!  Touye yo!"  My American initiates bravely completed their
service to Baron, and we moved on to the Cross of Brigitte, where things
calmed down a bit.  I met one of my "fiel kanzo", a godchild of mine (not an
initiatory child) from Port-au-Prince, and we danced together.  A Haitian
Houngan who accompanied us made a food offering of smoked fish and pepper,
and from what I am told both Baron and Maman Brigitte manifested in my head,
although of course I don't remember that part.

When we attempted to leave the cemetery after our service, though, the crowd
surrounded our car and demanded two thousand US dollars to permit us to
leave!  They tried to break the windows with their fists, they climbed up on
the car roof and on the hood and the trunk.  One man thrust himself bodily
inside!  My Haitian friends panicked, and I had to take the wheel.  I
actually had to gradually accelerate the car and then hit the brakes to send
our unwanted guests tumbling before we could depart, and even then the man
inside the car kept trying to grab our things, and had to be evicted by a 
strategic pokes with Baron's baton!

It was revolting.  I can't imagine ever taking anyone to Grand Cemetiere
again, and this was supposed to be one of the highlights of my program (for
which these two brave souls paid money, by the way).  I noticed that there
were almost no Haitians in the cemetery cleaning up family tombs, I saw no
visits from Haitian Houngans or Mambos either.  In fact, in contrast to
previous years, no one was parked outside, we had all the streetside to
ourselves.  The whole place was taken over by these little gangs of junior

I do understand how Haitian Vodouisants may be weary of photographers and
videographers who don't give much in return for what they take, but this 
of aggression has nothing to do with Vodou, and everything to do with a sort
of "politik anti-blan" apparently being promoted by the Lavalas party
nowadays.  Considering that a whole lot of "blans" sacrificed a lot of time
and effort, not to mention risking their lives, to bring Aristide back into
Haiti, I think this sort of scapegoating is absolutely revolting.

Peace and love,

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

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