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5901: Re: 5900: Re: 5879: Re: blan (fwd)
<< Response from Archim...
It appears that Mihoko Tsunetomi did not get the full understanding
my post # 5879. I was writing to explain the Haitian understanding of
"blan" which has positively nothing whatsoever to do with racism. >>
UNTRUE! Anti-white racism is quite prevalent among black Haitians, and
"blan" is the quintessential pejorative. When one Haitian man makes another
angry, the first slur slung is usually "Voleur!" But when a Haitian is angry
at a white person, the first slur is always "Blan!", given in exactly the
same scornful tone of voice. And when a Haitian is angry at a woman of any
race, sexism in Haitian culture dictates that the first slur is "Bouzen!"
Racism and sexism are epidemic worldwide, why should Haiti be any different?
Even when not intended pejoratively, the term is objectifying and degrading.
It indicates that the person is an outsider, which in Haiti means an
acceptable target for rip-offs and exploitation. It stereotypes the
individual and makes them prey to a whole bunch of racist expectations and
assumptions - "blans" have tons of money, are sexual libertines, are unlikely
to lie, can't cook or wash their own clothes, are easily bamboozled, and so
I am sure there are Haitians who use this term without malicious intent, just
as there are whites who used the term "nigger" without malicious intent. But
just as the perceptions of African-Americans must be respected when they
reject this term, so must the perceptions of whites in Haiti be respected
when they reject the term "blan".
I NEVER allow anyone to call me "blan"! I insist that they call me either
"Madame" or "Mambo", and I find an immediate and positive change in attitude
and behavior once this is established.
<<I've heard black Haitians call other black Haitians "blan".>>
Used by Haitians about other Haitians, the term is usually a nickname for a
light-skinned mixed race man, who might be referred to as "grimo", and NOT
for a black man.
<<Yes, a Japanese person who is deeply interested in Haiti can be refered to
as a "blan">>
Asians in general in Haiti are generally referred to as "chinwa" (Chinois).
Black Americans are referred to as "Ameriken nwa" and not as "blan".
Hispanic people of any nationality are generally referred to as "panyol". We
need to stop making excuses for this term, and call racism what it is, no
matter where it appears.
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">