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#3334: Haitian Stereotyping : Reply to Rosanne


Lord forgive them for they don't know what they are doing
 Dear Rosanne. How old are the kids that are "teasing" your kid? This is 
unfortunately nothing unusual in Haiti, even though people are used to seing 
white skin folks. To me this is a blend of jealousy, envy and a little bit of 
malicious delight at getting back at the "blan" whom they rightfully or not 
blame for their chronic misfortune. Believe it or not, this same attitude is 
also manifested towards light skinned Hatians for similar reasons. In the 
case of the latter, the behavior is somewhat more justified because of the 
open contempt with which a sizable proportion of that group treat those with 
a higher skin melanin content than theirs.
  Am I lying, you Haitian folks? 
 As a proof of my initial theory to explain the motives behind this so called 
teasing, just look at the attitude of those with a high melanin content, 
particularly those that come from the lower economic and social strata who 
suddenly make it in the political arena or the military ranks. (Aristide of 
course closed this door). Their new wife or mistress in the majority of cases 
is going to have less skin pigmentation than they do. Does that happen by 
chance? Simple laws of statistics would tell us otherwise.
 Am I lying Haitian folks? 
However, you cannot compare this attitude to that of most  non emancipated 
American blacks which is one of outright hatred towards anything white. The 
difference I contend is simply one of different history. There has not been 
such an outright and open discrimination ( even though some has always 
existed and still does exist) against the black skinned haitians on the part 
of the lighter skinned ones. There has been of course more intermingling, and 
it is not unusual to have members of the same family covering a wide spectrum 
of skin shades. Most importantly, Haitians and black americans have quite 
different historical baggage to deal with. The Haitians are the one that did 
the lynching after Independence and not the other way around. So, Ms Rosann, 
I don['t believe there is really anything threatening in those catcalls your 
son is being subjected to. Tell him to learn to take it, be good  natured 
about it and pretty soon the same cat callers will be vying to be his 
friends. Like trying the shoe on the other foot, so to speak. Everything will 
be fine. If he stays in Haiti long enough and keeps mingling with the masses 
they might one day want to elect him President.
 You Haitian folks this is one of our demons, let's face it and deal with it.