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8977: Re: 8957: Re: 8949 & 8955: A call for a general anmesty: Poincy comments (fwd)

From: casey wolf <haitiw@yahoo.com>

i understand what jean poincy is saying in this note
but i think the term "reprehensible ayitianness"
really misses the point.  there is nothing especially
haitian about internalized oppression and the vicious
competitiveness or bland refusal to assist that grow
out of it, which is what he is describing.  i remember
many years ago hearing a joke about first nations
(north american "indians") that summed it up.  a guy
is walking down the road with a bucket of crayfish. 
somebody admires the catch but asks why he has no lid.
 he says, "oh, i don't need one--these are indian
fish.  every time one gets near the top of the bucket,
the other ones pull it back down."

now this is a painful reality for many groups of
people, and it comes as a result of heavy oppression.
negative images of your group, though denied or fought
against, are absorbed nevertheless and eat at you in
various ways.  it doesn't show up the same in everyone
but it's there, from a well-hidden lack of pride to a
fear that they are right and we really are
second-rate, to a preference for marriage partners
from other groups, to actual hatred and sabotage. 
there is also the fact that in our current capitalist
frame of thinking, value is placed on individual
advancement at the expense of or at least without
thinking of how to involve others, which is
emphatically not a haitian-generated problem, and
people react to that over time, eventually seeing
themselves being screwed around just by the fact of
another's achievement, whether it actually harms them
or not.

i think it is important to remember that these
reactions are normal and inevitable in groups of
people who are dealing with oppression, and find ways
to address the oppression and help us to recover our
sense of ourselves as good and as essentially
co-operative people who can fight those attitudes in
ourselves once we see that they are in fact part of
the oppression that keeps us down.  and we need to be
sure that the advancement we are seeking really is in
the interests of all, and is not just another poor guy
getting out of the bucket and then seeking to exercise
ownership over it.  it may be an ugly behaviour
pattern, but that is all it is, and it will not be
erased by adding a further stereotype to haitians, but
by getting under the illusions and discovering and
believing in and encouraging the integrity that is
there and that can grow.

casey wolf

--- Bob Corbett <corbetre@webster.edu> wrote:
> From: "[iso-8859-1] Jean Poincy" <caineve@yahoo.fr>
> Neither revenge nor lack of justice is the handicap
> of
> Ayiti's progress, but the "ayitianness" itself which
> is a self-destructive mentality. 
> Revenge or lack of justice whatever one wishes to
> call
> it is far from being the cause of the problem. The
> nature of the Ayitian mentality is what keeps the
> country behind. For reeducating the people is what
> the
> authorities ought to shoot for. The Ayitian
> individual
> just does not like his/her kind to progress or be in
> a
> better position than s/he.  S/he will go through
> anything to destroy the making of others even if
> s/he
> is not being harmed by it. 
> If it's not s/he who is doing it (progressing), no
> one
> else will or should. The political turmoil is a case
> in point and has been since the first days of the
> Republic. One can observe it in all aspects of life
> of
> the population. Their most common recourse is voodoo
> to stop others short or to commit their horrendous
> evil act.  It is safer since the proper authorities
> will never attempt to trace it. No effort will be
> made
> on their part because it's a common belief and they
> believe that's a mystical act against which they are
> powerless.  
> The peasants and almost everyone else use it as a
> means to have their revenge or make their justice
> prevail. When one decides to destroy another one's
> making just because s/he is in a better position,
> should we call this revenge, justice, a pure
> criminal
> penchant of the individual which is a reflection of
> the People's mentality, or a backward mentality? Do
> we
> think that the most perfect judicial system can
> survive if no work is done to mold the people's
> mentality? No amount of justice or forgiveness can
> do
> without reshaping the Ayitian mind (a
> self-destructive
> one). 
> What makes it worst is the fact that some who think
> of
> bettering themselves correctly prefer not to do so
> by
> fear of being hampered or killed by those who are
> jealous. No society can know progress in such a
> state
> of things. If one is determined to go on with
> his/her
> dream to make progress, s/he has to take the mean
> route to do it. In anticipation of being deranged by
> others, s/he "pro-creates" fear in others so s/he
> can
> go on with their project. 
> This mutual fear, collective fear, or "reprehensible
> ayitianness" (the self-destructive attitude) creates
> a
> state of backwardness and ignorance which Ayiti is a
> victim of since day one. I don't know how long it
> will
> remain a victim if stiff actions are not taken to
> neutralize the grown people and shape up the coming
> generations.  
> Ayiti has lived, lives and will live
> Mozeb  
> Do You Yahoo!? -- Un e-mail gratuit @yahoo.fr !
> Yahoo! Courrier : http://fr.mail.yahoo.com

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