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5932: Are we, Haitians racist? Bébé Pierre Louis (fwd)
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
Ethnicity should not to be confused with racism or we would be left to wonder
where racism lies in reality?