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5860: Re: 5852: Re: 5524: Re: 5514: Response to story of attack on journalists (f... (fwd)

From: Racine125@aol.com

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. 

Thank you!

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 
armed guards.

<<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 
and effort.>>

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";>