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5860: Re: 5852: Re: 5524: Re: 5514: Response to story of attack on journalists (f... (fwd)
In a message dated 11/19/2000 8:14:07 PM Eastern Standard Time, Dave Fonda
<< >It is appalling how many men and women in many capacities but mostly in
>journalism, actually make a living off Haiti and its problems.
This is an uninformed, unthought-out, inflametory statement. Nobody,
outside of the very few (a dozen, maybe?) journalists working for Haitian
publications, makes a living solely off of reporting on Haiti.
I was for a few months in charge of the Reuter's bureau in Port-au-Prince.
This time period included the shootout between the demissioned Haitian Army
and the US members of the United Nations Multinational Forces, at the
Quartier General. I ran down there from what was then the Holiday Inn, and
let me tell you, the shooting wasn't over! I hid underneath a pickup truck
while I videotaped, photographed, and took written notes.
A few weeks previously, for ABCNews, I covered the re-installation of Evans
Paul, and narrowly missed being blown up by a grenade hurled into the crowd
by a member of the Haitian Army. I could go on and on... and let me tell
you, I never got rich. I did all this because I wanted to show the world the
truth about the Haitian military regime, that's why I did it, not for the
money. Who could possibly pay me enough for the risks I took?
<<The plain and simple truth is that relatively few people outside of Haiti
give a damn about Haiti. And if they don¹t care about it, they don¹t care to
read about it.... unless there is something sensational to read about, and
for the general public, sensational means negative. Is it right? Of course
not, but it is the way it is.>>
Actually, most Americans can't even point to Haiti on a map! Journalists and
human rights workers are the ones who brought the truth about Haiti to the
rest of the world, we are the ones who documented the abuses of the Cedras
regime, sometimes at the risk of our lives.
<<The people who are really making money off of Haiti are the business people
taking advantage of Haiti¹s condition, many of whom are Haitians themselves.
And the last thing they want is for the world to know just how unfair things
are there. They would be thrilled if nothing was ever written about Haiti;
if no images ever made it to our door steps; if the first-world knew nothing
at all of Haiti and it¹s problems.>>
That's EXACTLY right! And I bet they are the ones whipping up sentiment
against those evil "blans"! The foreigners one sees in the streets,
reporting and documenting and revealing the truth, are NOT the people
responsible for Haiti's woes. Those who are responsible either don't live in
Haiti, or live up in Montagne Noir or La Boule or someplace like that, with
<<Other than the acedamicians, journalists are the most informed people out
there. A journalists job is to spend the time and effort required to
understand and analyze a situation, and then to interpret it in a manner that
can be understood by, and to report it to, those who can not spend that time
Again, EXACTLY right.
<<Yes, some have become rich because of journalism. Few, if any, of those
who became rich from journalism, were actually journalists.>>
You know how you get paid by Reuters? You keep track of the stories you file
in, say, January. In the middle of February you submit your report. In the
middle of March your employers decide how much they are going to pay you, and
by the end of April you might get a check, unless as usual they make errors,
in which case your check is delayed another month. I'm not kidding! I
worked like the proverbial ox, and I never made more than $300 US in a month.
Likewise my Vodou activities. In the last kanzo, I employed two drivers,
four drummers, one tailor, one seamstress, two cooks, two maman hounyo (since
in the previous kanzo the Houngan who was supposed to pay them gave them
nothing), one videographer, two masseurs, and one laundress. I paid them
well above the prevailing wage standard - for example the mamans hounyo, who
worked for five days, were paid $100 US each, in advance.
The remaining money, that is to say the profits, I divided exactly evenly
between myself and the Houngan who partnered me. And nevertheless I was
treated to a bunch of wanking, principally from those members of the
community who did not make any money because they did not serve in our house,
about how I was "exploiting" Vodou! Not the Haitian Houngan, who by the way
didn't share a damn dime of his money with his la plas or his Mambos or his
hounsis, no, not him - me!
Scapegoating whites in Haiti is like scapegoating Jews in Germany - and the
motives of race hatred and economic jealousy are exactly the same.
Peace and love,
Bon Mambo Racine Sans Bout Sa Te La Daginen
"Se bon ki ra",
Good is rare - Haitian Proverb
The VODOU Page - <A HREF="http://members.aol.com/racine125/index.html">