Don’t Believe The “Frontline” Update, “The Quake,” about Haiti
(Yes, I know FLOTUS was there recently and that she looked lovely. But let’s face facts. I like Michelle, but she’s still part of the elite. The schoolchildren are of the elite as well; the schoolmistress is a white Frenchwoman. They don’t want their children touched by the reality–and the gulf–between the elites and the poor in Haiti. This is why privilege has to be broken down and leveled in Haiti.)
You know, I watched this much ballyhooed update for like a half-hour to forty-five minutes, and then turned the channel. Apparently, I didn’t miss much that I already knew was going on. You’ve got to take care and not get sucked in by what PBS sometimes tries to concoct on the unschooled masses. I’m all for watching quality television that makes one think, but when PBS (and National Public Radio) fulfills its other role, that being the mouthpiece of the U.S. government and its corporatist interests, one must learn to talk back to the television, or as I did, turn the channel. There are other sources beyond that of the official story they want to tell. Know that.
This is from The Haitian Blogger:
This Frontline “documentary” relied on the same old colonial narratives. Accordingly, they represented that the “corrupt” Haitians “resisted change,” whereas the “reformist,” as seen by Frontline were those bent on instituting harsh structural adjustment and neoliberal policies in Haiti. If you believe Frontline‘s rhetoric, this heroic “reformist” bunch have tried unsuccessfully time and again to bring Haiti kicking and screaming into the light of civilization to no avail. Frontline‘s premise begs the conclusion that Haitians are unable to govern themselves without the benevolent aid and support of the “international community.” Half-way through the “documentary,” the audience is presented with old footage of the brutal U.S. occupation of Haiti that lasted 19 years. From the old black and white footage, one is left with the impression that the pictures are supposed to represent old and abandoned interventionist U.S. policies, but realistically, was there ever a period in Haiti-U.S. history when Haiti was left to make decisions without the intervention of the U.S. government, its representatives or its allies in the international community?
It is Frontline’s version of the political situation in Haiti that some will take the most issue with. In the “documentary” they address the future of Haiti only in terms of what the international community will do for Haiti, but neglect to explore the fact that Haitians are quite capable of determining their own course and finding the path to healing and recovery themselves. This paternalistic attitude is characteristic of the colonial narrative.
If Fanmi Lavalas is barred from any more elections, there will be another boycott and consequently political tension will escalate. Since the earthquake, there have been more than 50 protests. Most have been to protest the inadequate response to the crisis, but many have called for the return of president Aristide. The people want Aristide restored. They want Fanmi Lavalas to take part in any free and fair election. When Fanmi Lavalas was barred last April, the polls were pitifully empty of voters. The Provisional Electoral Council (CEP) could avoid tensions by reversing their course and allowing real elections to take place.
But they won’t. Our government’s got to learn the hard way all over again: you cannot always call the shots, you cannot control people or murder and exile their leaders and their followers forever. You have to negotiate with people that you don’t like, and you can’t have the whole cake.
You’d think that Haiti didn’t know what to do with $700 million, or didn’t have leadership that was competent enough to do something worthwhile for its own people. They do and they can. Their way, not your way or the highway.
What was also apparently missing from the The Quake is that it has been confirmed that Haiti has oil.
Haitian Prime-Minister Bellerive revealed this week (4/6/10) that Haiti has oil. Contracts have been signed and investments have been made by the World Bank and IMF, “for a project worth billions of dollars.”
“Bellerive and a consortium of well-known Haitian figures such as Reginald Boulos, worked on a document concerning the economic future of Haiti. The text does not explore the amazing opportunities offered by the exploitation of Haiti’s mining and oil resources, nor does it mentioned any of the serious studies done on the subject. Instead it presents agriculture as the main alternative to resolve’s Haiti’s problems. By ignoring the question of Haiti’s natural resources, it is as if the message was: there will be looting, pillage but we will give you a little piece of bread. Even more deceiving is that they managed to get the help of left-wing Michel Chancy to [support] this masquerade. The paysans may only receive little leftovers from the NGOs, but at least they will eat bread…one bag of rice against one bag of gold.”
When will our government stop messing with people’s destinies and their rights to self-determination? And aligning themselves again with the worst elements imaginable that will continue to exploit and to kill? You know this ain’t over yet.