Thursday, January 14, 2010

Maybe I Shouldn't Be Angry, But I am

I’m going to get right to the point here; I’m not in a very reflective mood.

When I think of Haiti, what first comes to mind is that it was home to the first black slaves to successfully take a stand against the institution of slavery. We often times laud the likes of Harriet Tubman and Nat Turner, and for good reason – they are among the very few courageous individuals whose actions led to blacks being free and possessing sovereignty over self. But until they recouped their freedom, no one on Earth could remember a time when blacks were free (that is, outside of Sub-Saharan Africa).

Being the first counts for something more in my book. There was no rulebook or other examples available to show how to successfully gain freedom. Given the societal beliefs and norms (of both slaves and slave owners) of that time, the mere idea of slaves being free was the opposite of logical. Because of these reasons, among others, the combination of desperation and determination within those slaves necessary to take such a stand for their freedom was nothing short of amazing.

So for someone to even suggest that Haitians received their freedom through a deal made with the devil (as Pat Robertson has done) is pure and simple a racist attempt to belittle a group of people. Tossing aside the struggles of the Haitian people like last week’s garbage, and replacing them with such a ridiculous dogmatic notion of a deal with the devil incites a level of legitimate anger in me that I rarely reach. A deal with the devil? Really?? THE HAITIANS PAID REPARATIONS FOR THEIR FREEDOM UNTIL 1947! Now what’s the likelihood that Robertson was referring to the French government when he made his “devil” comment? Is there a percentage less than zero??

Furthermore, to belittle these people during their nation’s most tragic moment (an extraordinary truth, given Haiti’s history) takes ole’ Patty Boy’s “devil” comment to an extreme level of hate-filled opportunism. How can a man who claims to be of God use this tragedy to promote a political end AND GET AWAY WITH IT? Yes, Pat Robertson uses his brand of Christian beliefs as a political weapon on a daily basis; the fact that he’s using the deaths of an entire nation of people as his platform is par for his course. My level of disgust is heightened only because he’s using this tragedy as his platform AS THE DEAD BODIES ARE BEING PULLED FROM THE RUBBLE. The mean-spirited nature of such an action makes Don Imus’ “nappy-headed hoes” comment look like a compliment.

As I write this, I get word that Teddy Pendergrass has passed away. Maybe this song applies to everything going on. I don’t know anymore; like I said: I’m angry and stuff like this usually doesn’t get me angry. My Chi is all effed up.


Brother Smartness said...

Stupid, yes; racist, maybe not.

That aside, I'm rather vexed by these comments myself.

He needs to make a formal apology.

Khurram said...

I don't know if what Robertson said was racist. I could make the case it is, and someone else could respond that it was motivated by a number of other things and perhaps, at length, describe some apparent barbaric customs and traditions of the Voodoo people in Haiti that are unbeknown to me.

What we can probably agree upon is that Robertson's words were evil and malicious. So I would ask people not jump into discussions of the nature of the evil Robertson is suggesting, and simply acknowledge it as evil first and reject it.

As I said on Facebook, Haiti got her freedom the old-fashioned way - she beat her oppressors for it and earned it. This wasn't dispute about taxation and there was no Boston Tea Party.

It is my humble opinion that it takes a different class of people do accomplish what Revolutionary Haiti did as opposed to what Revolutionary America did. Lest we forget, the newly independent United States duplicitously funded and supported both France and Haiti in that war.

Where is your God now, sir? Or, dare I say, your devil?

Juan said...

Whether it's racist or not, Pat Robertson's comments are inhumane. He lost all humanity at this very moment in my perspective. I guess he must have sold his soul to the devil.

Brother Clueless said...

Brother Spotless,

I was at once angry and demoralized by the man's remoteness from any sense of humanity and understanding. Blame the Victims!

'Orders from France', Roger Kennedy, 1990, has a history of Saint-Domingue. The book is a history of French influence in the Americas, particularly in architecture.

Brother Clueless said...


A nice tribute to Teddy Prendergast at the end of the Rex Parker's Jan 15 xword review.

Ken Thomas said...


As unbelievable to me as anyone saying that Haitians "made with a pact with the devil," is that anyone could believe that the statement was not racist. (Yes massah Robinson, you just mean the best for us.)