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#2340: Young responding to Jean-Jean (fwd)
From: David x Young <Frelgo@interport.net>
So how do you know I'm a good filmaker? Have you ever seen one of my
films or is it just hearsay?
Regarding Carnival 1962 I was not a tourist. True, there were hardly any
tourists about then and thank god for it. I was living then under the
grace of the great Mme. Georgette Jean Charles at her Flamingo
Restaurant and myself and my new friends who were the workers at her
establishment formed a group called Les Resignees. We made our own masks
and costumes and floats and practiced weekly for two months on the road
between Bizoton and Carrefour and back with a wonderfully vulgar
marching song. For this artist it was a direct means of getting close to
a culture that I venerated with joyous reward, and many of the group
have remained lifelong friends. Definitely no 'tourist' activity.
Re all the bad-guy litanies and victim-think that have suddenly
resurfaced re the Docs be assured that with my own eyes I have witnessed
even superior horrors which details would require a book-length effort,
but since no publisher is shelling out advances for me to write it,
you'll just have to take my word for it, for I'm not going to waste
energy here. But also by my own witness I maintain that life in Haiti
was far better then than now. I have worked with historians like Arthur
Schlesinger Jr and know quite a bit about 'revisionism' and in this case
am reporting from direct experience. Be sure of what you are basing your
opinions on before you accuse and presume revisionism.
And the central point of my letter has become confused in response. I
was writing about Henry Christophe as an excellent model for a
'benevolent dictator' but who had to deal with mulatto hostilities, and
then pointed out how these hostilities have continued throughout Haitian
history to the very present, with Duvalier the only other who tried to
redress that imbalance. That's fact not celebration. He most certainly
did not do it like a country gentleman but
ALL GOVERNMENTS ARE KILLERS. It's a question of degree.
That internecine racism has been the root cause of Haiti's divisive
problems since the time of the original revolution. Laid-back self
indulgent sensualist Boyer, the 'Republican' of the South, too cowardly
to deal directly with King Christophe, had to wait until the suicide to
enter and destroy that Kingdom. And by offering reparations to France
(by way of a wooing) in excess of demand, broke the back of the Haitian
economy which gallops right into today. It was the black leaders who won
the revolution, not the high yellows.
And what have we got today? A corrupt killer police, inept judiciary,
armed zenglendos wandering the night, poverty worse than ever, and a
society asoak in cocaine-smuggle. Some upgrade!!
The conceit about Democracy solving all problems is, after all, a
conceit of the Boyer tradition. But until that root problem, that racist
core of Haitian internal distrust and contempt is somehow dealt with,
all other problem solving methods and conjecture are just hogwash.
David X Young