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#2959: Griot Chirac and Ayiti (Antoine comments) (fwd)

From: Guy Antoine <GuyAntoine@windowsonhaiti.com>

>Chirac said Ayiti has not been, so to speak, a french colony. He did not
>speak of 1804 or 1825 or made comparisons with current departments of
>Guadeloupe and Martinique, as far as I can tell. And even if he did, we all
>know our history. So why are we bending over backwards to try to explain
>what Chirac might have wanted to say?

Jean, your exposé of the wrongs suffered by Haitians (pre-Haiti) is superb.
I particularly liked your recall of the fact that France has hosted the
all those years, just as it did so many African dictators, and it comes down
pretty much to crass materialism.  However, the fact remains that errors in
language bedevil all of us, and the issue of intent should always be
This is by no means a defense of Chirac, but would it not benefit us all to
know what he meant by "a proprement parlé (sic)"?  If anything, the answer
to that might provide even more fuel to the fire.  I, for one, would like to

Could someone on the list, who is familiar with French protocols, outline
the most effective way to address a letter to Chirac, that would invite a
response to the question we have been debating?

As you said, we know our History and quite frankly, I don't think that
is going to change that if that was indeed his intent.  And I would not be
"surprised when some of our friends, in the near future, will inform us that
racial slavery was nothing but a myth created by black « extremists » like
Charles Rangel and John Conyers..."  The Jewish holocaust has been
denied many times.  But I don't believe that the preponderance of historical
evidence is that easy to be dismissed in the eyes of reasonable people.

Jean, you are justifiably angry about a lot of injustices that our country
has suffered at the hand of many.  However, if change is what we want
( I think that we can agree on that ), then the most important thing is to
channel this anger in a constructive way... because, after all, the world
does not give a damn about how angry we get, until we learn the
MEANS of obtaining the reparation that you seek.

And, as I mentioned before, we need to be ready on our end.  We need
to revive our judicial system to properly handle the judgment of those
who have committed grave crimes against our people.  Otherwise, they
will slip through our fingers again.  We need to have a forceful legal
representation, so we will not be told again that "this or that person
could not be extradited" or that "these monies could not be returned"
because the plaintiff (Haiti) has failed to cooperate or to produce the
requested legal documents.  (As I said, the world does not really give
a damn, WE have to discover what makes things work.)  We need to
create the structures to handle small or large sums of money for the
direct benefit of the masses of Haiti, AND NOT FOR THE ELITE OF
P-A-P, starting with our own investments.  If we fail to do so, what
would happen to any large-scale reparation from the colonizing
countries, even if it came to that?  Do you want to know my guess?

I am sorry if it appears that I am bending backwards to try to explain
what Chirac might have wanted to say, but it is precisely because I
do not at all condone those who would revise History to suit their
fancies, that I feel that I must be sure of what the man is really saying.
It does not hurt to ask.  I am not sure how to do so.  Can someone
provide the answer?

Guy S. Antoine
Look thru & Imagine!