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#2243: Re#2222 Poincy on Duvalier: Josiane Hudicourt-Barnes replies
From: J Barnes <email@example.com>
Mr. Poincy's point of views defending Duvalier cannot go by without a
response. First of all we Haitians need to recognize that we are not immune
from the ills of racism. Because racism comes from a black person it
doesn't make it right. Do not look at people by the color of their skin but
by the content of their character (loosely coming from MLK). Martin Luther
King may be a hero but Duvalier is not. The result of his regime has
changed nothing for the most Haitians. Very few dark skinned Haitian
families changed social status and the economy and the environment in
general suffered most deeply during the Duvalier era. I think what we
Haitians should learn is to see each human being as an individual. Rather
than seeing someone making judgements and before knowing the person because
of stereotypes, we must think and give each one the benefit of the doubt.
Our unfortunate habits will continue to dig us deeper into
My family suffered deeply during the Duvalier era. Two uncles were arrested
and never seen again: Rosini Pierre-Louis former depute of Bainet on
suspicions of conspiring against Duvalier and Lucien Scott for being a
member of the Magloire military command. One cousin, Jean Pierre Hudicourt,
joined a revolt against the Duvalier government with young Riobe and was
captured and killed; his family had to hide and leave the country.
Throughout my childhood my father was the single male left to offer moral
support to his 4 sisters and their families, and to the family of his
brother after Jeanpi's involvement in the Riobe affair. He had 11 children
of his own. On my mother's side my uncle Jean Desquiron and his wife were
arrested on suspicions of planting bombs because they supported Jumelle. My
aunt and her husband Bernard Diederich were expelled for his being a
journalist. My father was detained for one day and released for some
reason. He could have left the country. He had a "green card" because he
lived in the US for 5 years during WW 2. He spend a couple of months in
Chicago when the tension was high but he returned. My father loved his
country and had traveled in the US and witnessed the Jim Crow laws.
Francois Duvalier was a great criminal who learned his lessons from Hitler.
He and Hitler both claimed to be defending a race of people while ordering
attrocities. Their accomplishments in terms of social progress are
practically inexistant. While Duvalier was claiming to be against the light
skinned mulatto elite almost every Haitian family suffered the terror of the
Tonton Macoutes. Fear belonged to everyone. I just hope that some day Mr.
Poincy and others get over the easy positions of racial politics. All
Haitians are children of black slaves by blood line or by choice.