Archive for the ‘Black politics’ Category

Does Martelly intend to use the El Salvadoran tactic of brutal repression?

“….today’s
effete haitian intellectuals and leaders are content to pander to what haitian
activist Ezili Dantò  refers to as Cholera Democracy, a tendency to
jettison any patriotic sense of duty in order to accommodate foreign interests.”

While the haitian community is abuzz with the news of the electrical glitch that occurred during Martelly’s inauguration, to many of his opponents this was just a sign of the kind of incompetence and lack of focus they expect from a ‘Ti Simone’ regime. Others were more pensive, and some were scoping the crowd looking for old familiar faces such as Martelly’s old buddies in FRAPH and the roaming murderous thugs that terrorized the haitian population so much. Would Martelly now carve a role for them in his administration? And if so, what would be the nature of their roles?

One thing seems to be undeniable; Martelly certainly represents an abrupt departure from the sort of paradigmatic pedigrees we have grown accustomed to for our leaders. If he is indeed to play a significant role in the new scheme of things, what kind of long lasting legacy his policies would have? With his presidency tottering on a paltry electorate support of only 17% of the population, how does he intend to woo the more than 80% of the population with skepticism and reservations about his policies? The reign of populism, it seems, has clearly ended, and the future, far from being uncertain, seems to promise a new wave of right wing policies and an even tighter cooperation between the US and Haiti, a problematic relationship that used to primarily rely on the haitian army to enforce Washington’s master plan for Haiti. And this is why Martelly’s pledge to bring back the army and his old affiliations with so many murderous thugs have alarmed so many. According to Ben Dupuy, the haitian army has always been the crucial and indispensable tool, utilized in tandem with other american organizations such as USAID, PIRED, and other special groups, that America has used to atomize Haiti, stifle dissent, and destroy its civil society to make use for a more El Salvadoran-like state where popular insurrection can be easily suppressed.

Today the CIA is beefing up its stations in Haiti, and whether Martelly, like many other Haitians before him such as Cedras, Michel Francois, and many members of FRAPH, is an operative, or occupies an important position in a New World Order, is uncertain. If the El Salvadoran model is indeed the paradigm upon which any plan for Haiti is likely to be based, Haiti should brace itself for the worst. In the late 1970s, El Salvador was one of the first countries in Central America that began to experiment with the use of death squads to eliminate leftist activists and sympathizers and to deter popular support through intimidation. And now after three decades under right wing policies, the rates of poverty and crime had skyrocketed along with gross socioeconomic inequalities while a small oligarchic business elite benefits the most from the economy.

Although Haiti had already been experiencing similar socioeconomic inequalities, the 1986 insurrection along with the ensuing new interest in democracy, the rule of law, political and
economic reforms has ushered in a new era of activism. Will this after all turn out to be the kind of lengthy democratization process akin to the El Salvadoran model with no coherent anti-poverty policies for the foreseeable future? Will Haiti share the same fate as El Salvador?

After all, Martelly could turn out to be, like so many before him, just an ordinary and inept leader/politician. But far from constituting the progressive vestiges of such a proud culture, today’s effete haitian intellectuals and leaders are content to pander to what haitian activist Ezili Dantò refers to as Cholera Democracy, a tendency to jettison any patriotic sense of duty in order to accommodate foreign interests and the racialized oligarchs. So far Martelly seems to be treading that same political model, and if his significance in american geo-political scheme is to be understood from any neo-liberal or Cholera democracy context, his promise to bring back the army provides the perfect contextual background from which to analyze his presidency.

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The resurgence of Voodoo in mainstream haitian culture could potentially be a game changer.

The revival of Voodoo in mainstream haitian culture could be a sign that the stranglehold that Christianity has had on the country is rapidly diminishing. No longer confined to mere emollient display on the fringes, the religion of Voodoo has now reclaimed its rightful place in the collective psyche of the citizenry and haitian mainstream culture. Due to its insipidity, maladaptiveness for those of African ancestry, and its reliance on a hierarchical structure that spans the globe, Christian theology could never fully compete with the more colloquial customs and traditions of Voodoo.
Every society has ideas (values and norms) that spell out how its citizens ought to live. The more adaptive these customs are, the more likely that particular society will enjoy success relative to its global counterparts. Voodoo, as with all other religions, arose out of the collective experience of living in a social group, hence its religious practices and beliefs affirm a person’s place in society, enhance feelings of community, and give the practitioners a certain level of confidence. Although a third of the haitian population is reportedly of Catholic faith, Voodoo beliefs and practices were never fully abandoned. In fact, Haitians are known to resort to Voodoo whenever conventional methods can’t provide relief to a serious or life-threatening illness.

By losing their ancestral religion due to the trans-continental slave trade, Blacks around the globe have had the hardest time coping during the past 400 years. Although Voodoo had always been co-opted and hybridized with Christian theology in various forms in places like Haiti and Cuba, such hybrid adaptations never truly provided the type of collective strength and cohesiveness for Blacks that are so typical of the role of religions in the lives of its practitioners. And as much as Haitians tried their best to retain Voodoo practices in subtle rituals in tandem with the Christian Bible during slavery, any gain from it was at best marginal. Voodoo rituals were strictly prohibited then, and there was a great deal of propaganda waged against it. It wasn’t until 1987 that the haitian constitution officially recognized Voodoo, Aristide would later proclaim it a state religion.

In order to fully understand why displaced Blacks throughout the new world insisted on holding on to their former religious rituals and practices, the answer may be found in the new religious doctrines to which they were exposed. Christian identity has always been a loosely affiliated global group of churches and individuals devoted to a racialized theology that primarily encouraged the subjugation of Blacks and other non-whites. One of the central tenets stemming from that theology is the belief that North European whites are the direct descendants of the lost tribes of Israel, God’s chosen people. The KKK , for instance, even used Christianity and the teachings of Jesus to justify their hatred of Blacks. They quoted Jesus as saying to the Jews in John 10:24-27: “Ye are not of my sheep….My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.”
Slavery was also encouraged and condoned by the Christian church, and its main justification is to be found in Genesis 9: 25-27; “Cursed be Canaan! The lowest of slaves will he be to his brothers. He also said, ‘Blessed be the Lord, the God of Shem! May Canaan be the slave of Shem’.” This Genesis part of the Scriptures resonated with Christians primarily because they believed at the time that Canaan had settled in Africa and that his descendents had become black.
It is quite clear that it is impossible for Blacks to collectively thrive in such a pro-European and anti-Black religious atmosphere. Africans who were introduced to Christianity were hence exposed to a culture with customs and religious beliefs that were particularly suited to advance the collective interests of Northern Europeans, not the descendants of Africans. Voodoo, on the other hand, not only suited the spiritual and psychological needs of Blacks, it had also provided colloquial mechanisms to deal with everyday concerns such as anxiety and uncertainty that were handed down from one generation to the next. Its resurgence in Haiti, after four centuries in a hybridized form, may indeed be a game changer and may help foster the kind of deep collective purpose and national identity that are so desperately needed to sustain any long term prosperity and recovery.
The Voodoo pantheon is represented by a combination of remnants of African tribal religions and some elements of Catholic Christianity. It also includes deities, spirits, and ancestor veneration. Spirits fall into two categories; Rada, the calm, happy spirits, and Petro, the animated spirits often associated with black magic. For a detailed rundown on the religion of Voodoo, visit the website http://www.streetprophets.com/storyonly/2010/1/14/12374/8282

Do black republicans lack basic intelligence?

At first glance, it may seem to an observer that when it
comes to a correlation between black politics and intelligence, W.E.B’s
talented tenth are certainly riding the big elephant of the party of Lincoln.
After all, they seem to be ubiquitous in the upper echelons of the media world.
You can’t turn to a mainstream network and not find a black face proclaiming a
profound disdain for fellow lazy blacks while proudly welcoming the GOP’s
message of hard work and entrepreneurship. The problem is, that observer would
be wrong. Black republicans have made one critical mistake that, in more ways
than one, calls into question their ability to rationally think. If you engage
anyone of them into an argument over racism against Blacks, the first thing
they do is to immediately redirect the conversation from “Blacks” to “horrible
blacks” or “bad Blacks” by focusing squarely on the same racist propaganda techniques
that most racist whites have been using to justify chattel slavery, Jim Crow
laws, and the overall subjugation of the African race; blacks are lazy and lead
a destructive lifestyle. By now, these propaganda claims often sound cliché to
many Blacks. The problem with that approach is that it’s not only pure racist
propaganda but it had also never been supported by any empirical evidence,
statistics or credible scientific research. Blacks are no more likely to be bad
parents than whites are, in fact, some of the strictest parents in the US tend
to be minorities. Furthermore, Black youths are no more likely to be more
mischievous than white youths; as a Criminal Justice student in the nineties, I
often came across sociological research findings that even showed that white
teenagers often engage in more serious and deadlier behavior, but law
enforcement agencies, annual FBI statistics show, mostly target minority
neighborhoods which then result in a higher proportion of black teens being
arrested for less serious behavior. For instance, even though whites make up
more than 80% of all drug users, they account for less than 50% of those
arrested for drug use.

So, why do black republicans think that Blacks lead more
criminal lifestyles than Whites? The answer is simple; they simply lack the
basic intelligence needed to grasp nuanced concepts. Moreover, there is a school
of thought that blames black self-hate on such failure to give one’s own kind
the benefit of the doubt, particularly when there are so many examples of systemic
racism and the powerful role it plays in precluding upward mobility for
minorities in the US. An interesting example is an undercover investigation
conducted by the ABC network that had shown that most white employers would
rather hire an unqualified ex-con white male before they would hire a qualified
law-abiding black male citizen. Ubiquitous signs of systemic racism permeate
everywhere from law enforcement biased policing tactics, the private sector,
banking institutions, to even governmental agencies as thousands of black
farmers found out the hard way when they applied for business loans at the
department of Agriculture. The agency had finally admitted to have
discriminated against them for decades last year and settled a long running
lawsuit in favor of the black farmers. So why would anyone, let alone a black
person, ignore such obvious piles upon piles of racism perpetuated against Blacks
and instead try their best to redirect the focus to “bad Blacks’ whenever they
are confronted with claims of racism against Blacks? Again, the answer is
simple; they have simply bought into the propaganda techniques used by racist
whites for the past four centuries to justify whites’ subjugation of Blacks. Hence,
Whites, both good and bad, have always been reticent to address the issue of
racism and discrimination against Blacks and minorities for fear of being
forced to admit wrongdoing and to also share their comfortable dominant
position and monopoly on the resources. It is certainly true that an effective
and UNIFED black denunciation of racism would certainly have a big impact on the
privileged lifestyle of Whites. The Jews, by relentlessly presenting a UNIFIED
rebuke of anti-Semitism, have been able to take control of their own lives in
all possible aspects. Thus, there is no question that if all Blacks UNITE
and denounce racism the way the Jews have done it, they will certainly see
meaningful progress toward racial equality and upward mobility, which would, in
turn, potentially bridge many gaps. As things stand right now, it’s not just
young college black male graduates who are being discriminated against because
of racist practices in the job sector, but black entrepreneurs, as the case of
the black farmers have shown, are having an hellish time getting loans and
other pertinent resources to start their own businesses  due to racism as well. Hence, a UNIFIED
black denunciation of racism would certainly aid in the effort for upward
mobility. There is no doubt that most racist whites understand the potential
ramification of a UNIFIED black voice against racism, and it must scare the living
daylights out of them. In a way, their reticence to address racism is almost
understandable, however what does account for a black person’s deceptive use of
propaganda tactics to take the attention away from racism and to redirect it to
“bad Blacks” (drug dealers, bad parenting, etc) when these racist claims are
not supported by any sociological statistics and in light of so many ubiquitous
signs of systemic racism? Is it lack of basic intelligence? Self-hate? Or a
combination of the two?