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#1354: Why so silent- Dreyfusss comments

From: Joel Dreyfuss <jdreyfuss@ibm.net>

I'm not one of the silent ones, but I do go weeks or months without
responding to the debates on the list. There are a number of reasons, some
my own, others by observation.

1. I'm too busy. The list is helpful in keeping track of events in Haiti,
especially the forwarded articles; it's hard to keep up with all that's
written about Haiti or all the messages here. But I earn my living as a
writer (and not by writing about Haiti). No work, no eat.

2. Too many arguments are familiar. Often, I sense that some list members
are discovering the problems of Haiti for the first time. For example,
dicussions of class, of French literacy, etc.  Believe it or not, Haitians
havce debated these issues ad nauseum for a couple of hundred years. While
there are always new insights, the progression of the discussion is often
quite familiar and there's no point in adding anything. Real change will
come not from debate but from power wielded in the real world (and in

3. I have no interest in points contests. Some of the discussions too often
appear to be about ideological positioning rather than proposing real

4. There's a lot of paranoia among Haitians. After decades of living under
dictatorship and little experience with free expression, a lot of Haitians
worry that what they say will hurt them later. This is not an issue for
Americans, who have grown blasť about their freedom to say what they want
without fear, especially when it comes to Haiti, a free-fire zone for
idealogical mapping, as is any poor country with little access to U.S.