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#2203: re selfhelp and benevolent dicts. : Young comments

From: David x Young <Frelgo@interport.net>

It seems the great King Henry Christophe confronted this problem long
ago. His people, freed from slavery, felt then ‘pa beswa travay’--- no
need for work, including nation building.  They were ‘free’.This drove
Christophe into near despotism, becoming almost a slaver himself getting
his people to contribute to his vision  of a  country  equal to that of
the European Kingdoms. For the most part he did a brilliant job, but
also had to deal with the sensual-intellectual sloth and conceits of
the’republic’ to the South, whose mulattos wanted to reconnect with
France and keep the original advantages  that they had  enjoyed before
the revolution. It was not for nothing that they assassinated Dessalines
and drove King Henry to a stroke and  suicide while bayoneting  his one
son like a stuck pig.  The age old iron grip of mediocrity and  greed
won out-- and set in motion a pattern of self destruction from which
Haiti has never recovered. As a model for a ‘benevolent dictator’, color
jealousies aside, Christophe is an excellent one with a firm and grand

And those very color jealousies continue  to our present, with the
mulattos putting in a token and puppet black leader to keep the populace
‘cool’ for better than a century. Of course some of them, like Souloque,
got out of hand, and Richard Morse’s famous ancestor, Guillaume Sam,
made the supreme error of executing his entire mulatto Senate. His
subsequent disembowelment at the joyful hands of a mulatto-encouraged
mob  paved the way for the Marine Occupation of 1915. And it seems
nothing of consequence has ever changed that wretched dichotomy of
mulatto over black until--- hold the short hairs-- Francois Duvalier.

Machiavelli in his hands became crude , clumsy and demonic-- I believe
his early heart attack contributed to this-- yet the device of the
‘Macoutes’ was nonetheless a brilliant strategical move-- and the army
kept the zenglendos firmly suppressed.  I lived in Haiti a long time
during the Papa Doc years and  Haiti was a very nice place to be indeed,
despite the whispers and anxious glances over the shoulder, and I
enjoyed the experience of being the only white American to participate
in  the Carnival of 1962. Baskethead Baby Doc did it better to an extent
because the father had things well organized at the time of his death,
and the years before his foolish marriage 71-78 were flourishing ones on
many levels. What brought him down was his father-in-law Ernest Bennet’s
greed, which began the boat people’s exodus and also, via his airline,
the infusion of cocaine smuggling into Haiti. Thus the high yellows did
it yet again, with winks and nods from the US State Department, and now
we have the present grotesque mess. The original intents of Christophe
and also Duvalier were grand and noble ones, and it is a sad fact of
Haitian history that--to this day-- that pattern of racial hatred
continues even within the confines of the zozo priest.

David X Young