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#3233: PINA responds to Wilentz
From: kevin pina <email@example.com>
With all due respect…please. An aside? Look at the connotations between the
lines of what you wrote:
"Aristide is black, and Dominique was what is called "wouj," or red, in
Haitian Creole. Red
comes from the redder hair and skin color of mixed-race people like
Dominique, though the journalist was actually more on the white side of
wouj. During the days leading up to Aristide's election, such differences
counted for little."
"Thus, a light-skinned Haitian, even today, is always possibly suspect
and, therefore, always possibly an easy target as well. That's
what happened to Dominique."
"Traditionally, that card has been put on the table just before the
advent of a dictator, and dictators have arrived on the scene with some
regularity in Haiti."
Now you tell me that you suddenly remember the original reference that had
to do with a statement by the perennial "boogie man" Dany Toussaint. Then
why not be honest in the first place and put that upfront allowing this
article to stand as yet another in the endless series of "boogie man
articles"? Why the circuitous route to make your point? To inject such a
position at this serious juncture in Haiti's history is a disservice and
only serves to foment further hatred and possible violence for the wrong
reasons. Now you can claim that you know many of the elite and lighter
skinned class who really feel that way but I would bet a dime to a dollar
that most of them are putchists or were sympathetic to the coup. I have
heard them posit that line myself!!
As for Toussaint, it is about time people tell the truth or take the time to
do the research or interviews themselves. Toussaint was propositioned by the
CIA in 1994 and spurned their advances. He was then appointed Interim Chief
of Police by Aristide. Preval wanted to appoint him permanent Chief of
Police until the FBI released a "special report" on his involvement in the
assassination of 30 "political opponents" of Aristide including Mereille
Durocher Bertin. Toussaint filed a defamation of character lawsuit against
the FBI but the "disclosure" still made it politically inopportune for
Preval to appoint him permanent Chief of Police. When Lamy was killed
initial "word on the street" was Toussaint was behind it. Now after
Dominique's assassination we see a further attempt to pin the 'tail on the
donkey". All of the insinuations have been tailored, of course, to lead
back to "Tabarre". If you do not work with them you can be guaranteed to be
portrayed as either a murderer or a drug dealer(talk about the pot calling
the kettle black!).
I have tremendous respect for your previous work and will always enjoy a
quiet read of "The Rainy Season". Still I am circumspect with regard to your
last offering. If Toussaint was the inspiration behind "wouj" then stand
proud and declare it so. Do not hide it behind literary prose that only
serves to confuse rather than educate.
My final question is why don't you arrange an interview with Toussaint and
put this to rest once and for all? With your entrée and currency I see such
an interview as a definite possibility. That would better serve your
journalist instincts and would help us all to better understand your point.
It is time for transparency in Haiti and I think you could make a wonderful
In response to Kevin Pina's comment on my LA Times piece on Jean
Dominique's assassination, in which I included an aside on the uses of
the race word "wouj" in Haitian politics.
I was trying to remember just where I got the idea to include that bit
-- it's not something I write about much. I remembered: it was a section
in Jean Dominique's October speech about Dany Toussaint and the campaign
that Jean claimed Toussaint had launched against the following "ti wouj"
(Toussaint's word, according to Jean): "Robert Manueal, Pierrot Denize
et Jean Dominique."
Maybe Jean was wrong, but he ended up dead, and as Graham Greene says in
The Comedians: "Death is a proof of sincerity."
Might I ask: Who is Kevin Pina?
>From: Amy Wilentz <firstname.lastname@example.org>
>In response to Kevin Pina's comment on my LA Times piece on Jean
>Dominique's assassination, in which I included an aside on the uses of
>the race word "wouj" in Haitian politics.
>I was trying to remember just where I got the idea to include that bit
>-- it's not something I write about much. I remembered: it was a section
>in Jean Dominique's October speech about Dany Toussaint and the campaign
>that Jean claimed Toussaint had launched against the following "ti wouj"
>(Toussaint's word, according to Jean): "Robert Manueal, Pierrot Denize
>et Jean Dominique."
>Maybe Jean was wrong, but he ended up dead, and as Graham Greene says in
>The Comedians: "Death is a proof of sincerity."
>Might I ask: Who is Kevin Pina?
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