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#3333: Grey replies to Durban on Haitian Stereotyping (fwd)


<< Yet many stereotypes do contain a grain of truth.  When Ms Albert talks of 
Haitians being "honest" and "hard-working" I will certainly agree with the 
latter.  BUT, take 100 randomly selected Americans and 100 randomly selected 
Haitians.  While the Haitians might work harder, I'm betting the Americans 
would be, statisically-speaking, far more honest with strangers.>>

THANK YOU!  Like I said to Guy, there is a Jamaican proverb which goes, "The 
truth always brings offense, but it is not sin!"

Cultural tendencies are NOT stereotypes, they are cultural tendencies, or 
cultural values if you like, they are real and they shape the society.  
Individuals do have a CHOICE, but in the same way that I am unlikely to 
jettison my New Englander's work ethic, and stop working 80 hours a week in 
two high-responsibility positions (when I ought to go to Haiti and live on my 
savings for a few years instead, improving my health and general disposition, 
serving the lwa, and having fun spearfishing for my keep); in that same way 
people who are raised in a culture that values clever deception are unlikely 
to suddenly embrace unwavering honesty.
 <<If then, a level of dishonesty in Haiti exists (which many on this list 
will surely dispute), why could it be so?  I would argue that casual 
acceptance of dishonesty at all levels of Haitian society... government for 
sure, business, religion (Catholic acceptance of voodoo, which in turn is 
weak on moral teachings)... is to blame.>>

RIGHT!  It's not that people don't lie and steal, or politicians are never 
corrupt, here in the USA.  It's rather that here it's considered WRONG, it's 
a scandal, it gets the person in trouble or out of office or something.  But 
in Haiti, it's considered the elected official's privilege of office to do 
"magouj pa li"!

I don't say Vodou is "to blame", I say Vodou has also been affected by the 
same values, and in turn plays into them in some ways.  But I also say that 
it doesn't have to be so - and it is NOT SO in my house.  In my house, I have 
initiated black and white Americans, black Haitians, Hispanic Americans, 
white English and Canadians, and one Jew.  Everyone gets treated the same, 
everyone kanzos the same way.

<<And because the wealthier, educated levels of society are generally in a 
position to be more influential, they probably should receive most of the 

YES!  I think I want to venerate your ancestors.  :-)

Peace and love,

Bon Mambo Racine Sans Bout Sa Te La Daginen

"Se bon ki ra", 
     Good is rare - Haitian Proverb

The VODOU Page - <A HREF="http://members.aol.com/racine125/index.html">http://