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7543: Haiti violence spreads to provinces (fwd)

From: ndorsinv <ndorsinv@hsph.harvard.edu>

Nancy Dorsinville <ndorsinv@hsph.harvard.edu>

comment on johnny's reply to amy

i was amused and pleased to see the constellation of disciplines and 
perspectives that were added to the mix in analyzing notions of rule of law, 
freedom of expression in the actual polemic between convergence and lavalas 
re. the proclamation of a so-called alternative government

granted, it is a reaction to the may elections, etc....

in haiti perhaps more so than in other developed, ergo industrialized states, 
where economic viability can mitigate other salient issues, any meaningful 
discourse is inalienable from the socio-cultural context

the concurrent discussion on this list about african roots of creole words, 
inferences to the legacy of the "griots", the rich haitian tradition of 
"alternative" communication - proverbs, drums, lambi, chants to name a few of 
our more allegorical than cartesian modes of expression - made me think that 
yet another variable could be added to our already complex national 
language used--

michele montas, in one interview said: radio is a unifying force in haiti

i agree and will add that the oral tradition - radio dyol, tele dyol are for 
us haitians the quintessential "force" of communication

as such, using terms like "alternative president" are received as defiant
and inflammatory to a people whose only social capital thus far, is in 
exercising a democracy they have long aspired to

regardless of one's political stance, the recognition of president aristide's 
adept use of metaphors, of a "language image" that resonates with the poor has 
and continues to be one of his significant attributes

the creation of the alternative government and its consequences, has to be
assessed within the history/culture of haitian political ideology... it has to 
be framed in language congruous with the people's reality

i can imagine the opposition's use of terms like "alternative president" being 
interpreted as a threat by people who have a stake in exercising a democracy  
that promises them "peace in the belly"

gourgue said he is/wants to be a symbol

words are symbols

they need to be carefully chosen

an alternative "voice"--

the label "voice of the opposition" may, perhaps have been more transparent 
less provoking than any modified or qualified term juxtaposed to the laden 
word "president"

of course, the contention here goes way beyond semantics... we need to address 
the root causes of our present crisis and work toward sustainable corrective 

none-the-less, we also need to be mindful of the use of language as a 
strategic tool in communicating with people who are seeking any means for 
sheer survival

even with the most noble of intents... what is said, the symbols used to
convey thoughts, ideology, conviction can be either peace promoting or