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8937: Re: 8935: Re: 8929: White asks question about Truth and Reconcilliation (fwd)

From: Krista White <librisia@earthlink.net>

The following is a response I received to my question

K. White

I am reluctant to post my real name on this website for fear of reprisal based
solely on my views.  That said, please feel free to post my response to you, but
I request that you withhold my name.

Haitians are a vengeful people who relive the past in their daily lives.  What
we are experiencing today with regard to political killings, acts of revenge,
etc are rooted in our history from slavery to our eventual independence in 1804,
the end of US occupation in 1934, the departure of Duvalier in 1986 and finally
to the return of Aristide a few years ago (this last event is, by the way,
believed by many to be the true Haitian independence).  Ingrained in our
mentality is the attitude that we will not allow any dominant group to control
us.  In attempting to safeguard our freedoms, we will go to great lengths to
punish those persons who try to take it away from us.  This rings especially
true for acts of revenge against former Haitian military, and against the
so-called MRE's (morally repugnant elite), a term coined by the US media to
describe the Haitian business elite, a social class which I belong to.

In response to your original question, whether a crime occurred yesterday or 45
years ago, Haitians have a tendency not to forget.  Suggesting that a Truth and
Reconciliation Commission would aid in healing the wounds of crimes past is
noble, but the Haitian reality unfortunately won't allow it to work as
intended.  On an official level, the government might be willing to move ahead
and endorse such a commission, but on a tacit level, reprisals would occur at
various levels of society against those coming out with the truth as they know
or remember it.  I am certainly not against trying, but as with every other
official undertaking in Haiti, I approach this one with caution.  These groups
can rarely operate independently from the government, and there is almost always
a backlash from one group against another.

I have lived in the US for most of my life, and have not been back to Haiti in
the past five years, so I will not claim to know the complete reality in Haiti.
This much I do know, the current situation in Haiti is driven by greed for
money.  It is a very simple assessment of the situation, but history will show
us that the acquisition and/or control of money is at the root of most major
world conflicts.  Until we are able to put our greed for money aside just long
enough to invest in Haiti's infrastructure, we will continue on this downward
spiral until we hit rock bottom.  Unfortunately, that is the point at which the
bloodshed will be extreme.  Conversely, it is also at that point the re-building
of a society will begin.