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#1410: The labeling of Haiti - Antoine comments

From: Guy Antoine <GuyAntoine@windowsonhaiti.com>

To the correspondent who reminded us that Haiti is not the focus
of the entire world, and that labeling it "the poorest country in the
Western Hemisphere" was a useful way to distinguish "Haiti" from
"Tahiti", all I can really say is that I deplore such a singular lack of
imagination from the people she is referring to.  If Haiti ascends
to being the second poorest country in the Western Hemisphere,
what havoc would this create on their mental processes!  Perhaps,
Tahiti, for lack of identification, would then succumb to nuclear
bomb testing, without a whisper from the suddenly handicapped
people of the world.

Paradoxically, someone reminded me that given the state of
geography awareness among many living in the "First World",
"the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere" was indeed
useful in reminding people just where the Western Hemisphere
was located, or which hemisphere they resided in.

Think of the poorest members of your family.  In your conversations,
do you constantly refer to them as such?  I want to issue a challenge
to the many reporters on the Corbett list that work for Reuters and
other wire services, as well as the editors of major newspapers
and television programs.  We KNOW that you are listening.
Therefore, you could either give us your rationale for perpetuating
this labeling of Haiti, OR (within the limits of having to make a living...)
you could engage your editorial staff in a discussion to eliminate
this over-used PHRASE, which in my opinion can only serve to
make Haiti poorer than it already is, or to at least maintain the
status quo.  You have been riding Haiti's back long enough,
suggesting her physical misery at each and every turn, even when
writing on unrelated topics.  It is high time for Haitians to take care
of their problems, but please get off our back.  By senselessly
and relentlessly repeating the phrase, "the poorest country in the
Western Hemisphere", you simply become part of the problem.

How many among you could quickly tell me which country is the
"poorest country in the Eastern Hemisphere", which is the "poorest
country in the world", which is "the most violence-ridden country in
whichever hemisphere", etc, etc ?  Either create a slew of new
labels fast, or get rid of them altogether!  On the eve of a new
century and her bicentennial, Haitians MUST find a way to eliminate
HAITI'S MISERY, but we can do without your labeling, thank you!

Guy S. Antoine
Look thru & Imagine!