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#3286: the F-word (A letter to Mihoko) (fwd)
From: Guy Antoine <GuyAntoine@windowsonhaiti.com>
You should have realized by now that Haitians on the Corbett list
are a diverse group, and we do not constitute an official voice for
the Haitian people. If you can, go to Haiti, go to the countryside,
talk to the people, tell them about your work in Japan to spread
the knowledge about their culture, and then do cease your efforts
if they tell you that this is their wish. I doubt very much that this
would be the case.
Tetgren will surely write on her own behalf, but I doubt very much
that this was the message she wanted to convey either.
I do think that you have the tendency to overstate any single
person's opinion or statement, even that of the President of France.
You said for instance, that with one ambiguous statement, he was
effectively erasing three hundreds years of Haitian history and all
the books, most of which written by "foreigners" about our
colonization and revolution to be rid of our former colonial status.
I am glad that not one human being is ever that powerful, and that's
what I tried to communicate to you earlier.
You will find an anti-foreigner sentiment in every country in the world.
In the Haitian community, this goes one step further, as there appears
to be a debate about the essence of our Nationality: questions of
very dissimilar views and attitudes between the Haitian elites living
abroad and living in Haiti, questions of ill feelings or misperceptions
of the Haitian Diaspora, questions concerning the right or ability to
vote in Haitian elections from abroad, questions of dual citizenship.
All questions which make some Haitian nationals feel foreign to their
own country of origin. And certainly many Haitians living in P-a-P are
foreigners to their own country outside the Republic of Port-au-Prince.
And when I read reports about some obscure corners of Haiti from
Corbett himself, and many other "blan" from the list, it gives me pause
to wonder whether those "foreigners" don't know more about our own
country than most Haitians have cared to find out for themselves.
One test would be to throw out to the list the names of some rarely
written about Haitian localities, and ask people, Haitian or otherwise,
to speak about experiences they may have had in those communities...
I can assure you that you would be very surprised at the results.
So who is a foreigner? You tell me... If your love of Haiti is great
enough to incite you to spend "7 years of back-breaking efforts"
to educate Japanese people about the faraway people of Haiti
and their culture, their History, their music, their politics, their
aspirations... and I do know from unimpeachable sources that
this is indeed what you have been doing using your personal
resources and great expense of time, energy, and devotion...
then why would you undo all of this, just because someone might
tell you to get out. Tell me, what about the rest of us?
Please keep the faith,
Guy S. Antoine
Look thru & Imagine!