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#3212: Question on immigration: Antoine responds to Albert (fwd)

From: Guy Antoine <GuyAntoine@windowsonhaiti.com>

> Guy Antoine posted
> "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. " -

> No Guy, they do not know more than US about US.  And
> when you start to buy into the line that you do not
> know yourself you are gullible to accept the crap that
> is being said about you without challenging its
> authenticity.

Sabine, the quote you cite was taken from a completely different context
than the one your current note is about.  I simply do not buy into the
notion that ALL foreigners who come to Haiti are this way or that way.  I
have met my share of arrogant foreigners, thank you.  In fact, early into
the development of Windows on Haiti, you sent me a commentary, "Letter to a
Blan",  http://windowsonhaiti.com/w98441.htm , in which you very eloquently
decried that imperious attitude from many foreigners who come to Haiti.  It
is still one of my most cherished opinion pieces, and I indicated to you my
appreciation of it at that time.  I would urge everyone to read it. But
ATTITUDE is the key.  Where we may depart (and I insist MAY) is the belief
that all foreigners who come to Haiti are cut from the same cloth.  Nothing
could be further from the truth.  And when you talk about US, be careful not
to generalize (there is Sabine Albert, and there is Emmanuel Constant; there
are the downthrodden who are desperately looking for a way to feed their
children, and there are the filthy-rich who would think nothing of running
over them in their expensive cars).  When you talk about US, remember that
US are very divided, and US are a very polarized nation.

Furthermore, you misunderstand my position.  I never stated that foreigners
know more about US than US.  I would hope that someone would look at the
entire body of letters that I have sent to the list, before jumping to a
conclusion like that.  I was talking about knowing the COUNTRY, and how SOME
so-called foreigners have come to know it better than MANY Haitians would
care to.  I KNOW many foreigners who have shared with the Haitian peasants
their day to day life in obscure corners of the country.  On the other hand,
I have met many Haitians who would recoil from the idea of even being
touched by a Haitian peasant.  That's what I have been talking about,
without making any generalization.  I hope that it is not being said, that
from the standpoint of political correctness, I should not say those things.
And I do not deserve to be insulted for telling the plain truth.

US vs. THEM is way too simplistic and patently false.  I hope that you have
not been gullible enough to buy into that line.

I would also challenge you not to wait any number of days for other people
to challenge what you perceive to be an "insult to the integrity of that
whole nation".  Why would that be more someone else's responsibility than
your own?   Why wait on others to do what you think is right?  Aren't other
people liable to wait on you to speak up too?  I see a certain contradiction
in containing one's outrage, and waiting for other people to vent.  When it
comes to defending the honor and integrity of Haiti, it's a shared
responsibility.  You cannot blame other people for not speaking while you
yourself choose to stay silent.

And when you finally do speak up, you then choose to insult me in the
process, for something I said in a totally different context.  And you are
talking of US !

Am I right or wrong to say that some thrive on divisiveness even where there
was not any division to start with?  This is not the first time it happens,
and it won't be the last.

Peace... Learning to accept each human being for what he or she really is,
rather than relying on facile generalizations, is to take the blinders off
and look at life in all of its complexity, without the comfort of denial.

Guy S. Antoine
Look thru & Imagine!