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5977: All or nothing in Haitian culture (fwd)
What is it in Haitian culture that compels an "all or nothing" approach to
For quite a few years, I have been making posts to this list that could
reasonably be characterized as "pro-Aristide". However, recently I made a
post accusing the Lavalas movement, quite justifiably in my view, of
WOW! Immediately my email account is showered with angry communiques
accusing me of being pro-Macoute, in league with evil forces, a racist, and
so on. Vulgar personal comments were not out of bounds, either.
I would be surprised, except that I have noted this phenomenon over and over
in Haiti. One must be either for, or against, any particular movement, group
or phenomenon. No shades of grey, no ifs ands or buts are allowed,
Of course this is not a uniquely Haitian phenomenon, but it does seem to be
more... well, more determinedly enforced there. And I wonder, where does
this come from? Sometimes it's cloaked in a guise of nobility, as when a
group of people go out together, one of them misbehaves, and the others stick
up for him or her until they get home.
Other times, it's criminal, as when a Lavalas political funtionary in Jacmel
criticized the party's decision to refuse to do the second round of voting in
the legislative elections - and promptly died of poisoning despite being
Medivac'ed to Miami!
What is it that makes criticism, any criticism, so odious? What is it that
makes qualifications and reservations so insupportable? I think it is basic
insecurity, the insecurity that was developed through slavery, and then
through a miserably class-conscious social environment.
I suppose now I'll get another round of personal emails telling me what a
rotten Macoute/Lavalas/fraud/whore I am (I'm not KIDDING!), but I don't care
a fig. If everyone in Haiti felt free to say what they think, and was
willing to let other people say what they think, it would be a better place.
Peace and love,
Bon Mambo Racine Sans Bout Sa Te La Daginen
"Se bon ki ra",
Good is rare - Haitian Proverb
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