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7610: Re: President Aristide interview on Jean Dominique [#7583/#7544/#7499) (fwd)

From: amedard@gte.net

Greg's post indicates that he may be viewing the situation from a American, Canadian
or British (i.e., Anglosaxon) viewpoint.  It is important, however, to realize that
Americans are very different from Haitians.  Anglo cultures are more
"what-you-see-is-what-you-get" than the French culture, which is so full of nuance.
This is probably why Sandra picked up on what Aristide (who uses so many nuances and
double meanings) may very well have been saying and why Greg tends to see Aristide's
statements as being more "wysiwyg".

"Participation" to the American people and "participation" to the Haitian people
often have different connotations, particularly in politics.  All you need to do is
to look at history to see what "participation" means to the Haitian people.  What
means have been used to accomplish their political goals?  In fact, just take a look
at what is going on there today ... what do you see in the posts?  I am not talking
about voting, simply stating their opinion.  I am talking about how they are actually
participating in bombings,  assassinations and outright anarchy.  Whether or not the
Anglosaxon may realize it, this _is_ their way of participating in government.  It is
what they see as democracy and freedom of speech.

Aristide has a brilliant way of speaking to his people.  Famous for speaking with
nuance, Aristide's words often have double meanings or meanings that are hidden to
all but his followers, others who know him or those who have followed his actions
closely.   It is a different "double talk" than that of Anglo politicians.  His words
often speak an entire set of books, even though they may be composed of only a

I had only very briefly glanced across JBA's speech so didn't pick it up the first
time, but when Sandra mentioned it and I read the JBA interview with just a bit more
care, it stood out like an incredibly big, sore thumb.  Sandra may have picked up on
something important to which we should open our minds and pay careful attention.
What is transparency for some (people; cultures) may not be for others.  That is the
beauty  ... or sometimes the drawbacks ... of nuance.