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5932: Are we, Haitians racist? Bébé Pierre Louis (fwd)

From: Moibibi@aol.com

When one accuses the population of a whole country, one has to be very 
careful not to fall into expressing stereotypical ideas well know to be often 
generated by own frustrations and feelings.  

I feel profoundly offended to be called a racist and I can't help reflecting 
upon certain ideas such as racism and ethnicity?

Racism resides in the belief that some groups of humans are genetically and 
intrinsically less able:  less intelligent, healthy, or physically able, less 
worthy: more violent or less trustworthy (thieves and liars), hardworking, 
conscientious, provident, etc. than others. 
Ethnicity is a universal principle. It is a principle of social organization, 
and as such does not appear worse than other principles such as wealth, 
family, class, formal credentials or bureaucratic position.
Life worth living depends on culture, and culture on ethnicity. Without the 
common habits and understandings that constitute culture, society would be a 
battleground of animal like, asocial individuals. The cradle of culture is 
the complex of prerational connections that people develops through long 
common history.  Though ethnicity and race are different, they unfortunately 
cannot be completely separated because they are both consequences of a 
people's long life and struggle in common. Since all cultures are tied to 
ethnicity, and therefore at least somewhat to race, to give culture its 
rights is to permit race to have significance. 
Ethnic culture cannot survive without penchant for one's own people and their 
behavior, or without settings in which a particular ethnic people sets the 
The relation between culture and power, like that between culture and race, 
is not simple, but it cannot be abolished altogether. Culture exists when men 
sharing a common history rely on common values and habits and hold one 
another to shared principles and tradition. When reduced to the private taste 
of anyone it is not culture at all. It requires the observance of local, 
cultural, and somewhat ethnic traditions, like it or not.
Things that knit society together are therefore difficult to extricate from 
implicit racial distinctions. Ethnic habits, allegiance and ideals command 
social life whether we admit it or not. To prohibit discrimination with 
respect to such matters is to demand that things that are fundamental to 
social life be overlooked, a demand that cannot be satisfied. It is 
impossible to prevent the habits and beliefs of the majority from deeply 
affecting social life, putting some societies at a disadvantage, without 
opposing to them other beliefs of equal strength too often backed by the 
power of dominating powers.
The New World Order advocated today is not simply a matter of technology, 
self-interest, and lust for supremacy. It is tied to general cultural changes 
that encourages anti-racism by weakening the traditions that allow ethnicity 
to ground community. Community is based on bonds that precede the specific 
choices men make. Those bonds are at odds with basic inclinations of modern 
life, with questioning things and demanding plain answers, and breaking 
things apart to make them easier to package and sell. Such tendencies promote 
impulse and expediency at the expense of immemorial beliefs. 

As a result, standards of behavior not freely chosen by individuals have come 
to be thought oppressive, and the moral norm has become dismissal of whatever 
transcends the concerns of particular men. Even a man's own culture, the 
understandings and habits he was born to, now seems an imposition.

However and si Bondye vle, in the end we will find ways to live a tolerable 
life, even under the circumstances modern advancement is creating, and, since 
Haitians are embodied social and religious beings, the pattern will 
necessarily include traditional 
local communities. 

Ethnicity should not to be confused with racism or we would be left to wonder 
where racism lies in reality?

Bébé PL