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#1590: Re: article from the Dutch press... Antoine comments (fwd)

From: Guy Antoine <GuyAntoine@windowsonhaiti.com>

Good article from the Dutch Press!  I imagine, though Linda 
Polman does not make it clear, that it is her own.  Thanks for 
respecting our sensibilities and focusing properly on the myriad 
other problems that we do have in Haiti, that are not at all based
on per capita income statistics, but largely on a lack of national

I was not so much making my statements based on actual 
observation of the European press (and it certainly may vary from 
country to country), but mostly of American media (newspapers 
and television) to which I am a great deal more familiar, due to 
constant exposure.  I described a condition to which I have been 
subjected to for so many years that I can no longer count them 
(I wonder who first originated THE PHRASE, and if its author had 
any idea that IT would be so "successfully" copied verbatim).  I 
know for a fact that most Haitians that I have spoken to over those 
years have resented the labeling, but have hesitated to challenge 
the press on this particular point, because they knew all along that 
the answer would be "Well, Haiti IS, isn't it? "   Paradoxically, I 
have never met a Haitian who was delusional enough to deny 
most of the country's extreme poverty.  What they resented was 
something else, something about the process they thought quite 
unfair.  So after a very long time, I tried to articulate those feelings 
which were also my very own.  I hope that I have succeeded to a 
certain extent.

However, some may point to Michael Norton's recent article and
yours and say: "THE PHRASE is not in there!"  So what... should
this situation actually induce wooziness?  Who made the claim that
BEEN PUBLISHED ABOUT HAITI?  Can't we deal with a serious
situation in a serious analytical manner?  Perhaps the usage of
THE PHRASE has already diminished, which would be a relief,
but also did it occur to anyone that by venting on the Corbett list
we may actually make an impact on the very process that we are
decrying.  I believe that the list is made up of some 900 people,
quickly approaching a MILLENNIUM of sorts (I do hope that we
will not soon be singing Corbett's Y1K blues).  The vast majority
of those do not contribute to the list, but are drawn to it due to
their professional (read journalistic) interests.  You think that they
are impervious to our observations?

I believe that it is a principle of quantum mechanics (the 
physicists in the group can correct me if I state it improperly) 
that the observation of matter has an impact on the state of matter, 
so we can never be quite sure what we are "seeing".  So if you 
were now able to point to a majority of articles about Haiti without 
THE PHRASE embedded in it, some may rejoice in proving me 
wrong, but I would greatly rejoice at learning this new reality, 
without any trace of wooziness whatsoever.

Guy S. Antoine
Look thru & Imagine!