“Brown Man Thinking Hard”: Don’t Believe Everything the Media Says About Haiti

Don’t believe everything you hear or see about the Haitians in the aftermath of the earthquake. That’s what Brown Man is saying above. There’s a lot of mainstream media focus about the looting and fighting among Haitians, and continual focus on the hungry, impatient, and horribly wounded black masses.

Everyone is wondering how and why things got the way they did, and the MSM is only too ready to suggest the reasons why, coming from the usual band of detractors, liars, and dividers. Do yourselves a favor. Turn off the TV. Read a book or two–and I don’t care whether you read it on Kindle or not–about the true history of the Haitian people. Read something about your own nation’s history and its relations with Haiti from independence all the way up to now.

Then, question why former Presidents Clinton and Bush II are being brought in to coordinate humanitarian aid to the country when they are the ones who helped create some of the problems that Haiti has had to face within the past 20 years.

At a loss for reading material? Or where to start?

  • Wikipedia: History of Haiti
  • James, C.L.R. (1989) The Black Jacobins.
  • Heinl, Robert Debs, Jr; Heinl, Nancy Gordon; and Heinl, Michael (Rev. & Exp) (1996). Written In Blood: The Story of the Haitian People, 1492–1995 (Revised edition). Lanham, MD: University Press of America.
  • Dubois, Laurent. (2004). Avengers of the New World: The Story of the Haitian Revolution.
  • Nicholls, David (1996). From Dessalines to Duvalier. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press
  • Robinson, Randall. (2008) An Unbroken Agony: Haiti, from Revolution to the Kidnapping of a President
  • Farmer, Paul; Chomsky, Noam; and Kozol, Jonathan. (2005) The Uses of Haiti (3rd Edition).

And in particular, regarding voudou, anything by the following authors: Maya Deren, Alfred Metraux, Zora Neale Hurston (Tell My Horse) about the subject, and even the Complete Idiot’s Guide to Voodoo. Try to shy away from the sensational, because at bottom, that is not what voudou is. It is spiritual, healing, strengthening.  It is the vestiges of the original religion of the slaves who were brought there against their wills.

Yes, the rebels did worship their gods and made solemn oaths before they started the revolt in Haiti, but isn’t that what people all over do in the commission of some purpose they were going to carry out? They pray. They light candles. They make offerings. They ask god or any divinity for spiritual guidance and to be of service to them in any way in a time of need or a crucial moment.

Most of the slaves in the United States were robbed of their religions and cultural identities by the time the second generation was born here. Not in places like the Caribbean, Mexico, and Central and South America. They became Christians, while they secretly or openly continued to give homage to the gods of their forefathers in a land, Africa, to which they would never return. And at a crucial time, they would call upon them once more.

Learn to talk back to your TVs.

So when your churchgoing aunt/sister/daddy/brother/granddad tells you that those Haitians sold their souls to the devil and that they need some Christianizing first, give her/them the fish eye before you start in on them. That’s talking back to the television, too.

~ by blksista on January 19, 2010.

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