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Let's think a bit

Black Caribbean Literature (BCL)
Newspaper Article
Publication Date:
May 26-Jun 2, 2010
Brooklyn, NY
African American Research Center, Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject Term:
Caribbean area, Economic conditions, Blacks, Haiti, Social conditions, Agriculture, special
For the last three weeks, the readers of this column have been able to follow Dr. [Anthony P. Maingot]'s speech about Haiti's history of war of liberation and internicine struggles which have been such a burden for the First Black Republic. He began with "the issue of the moment," namely the reparation from France for 200 years of slavery. Haiti's political culture, its "developed legacy of behavior, " is not conducive to development. The second issue studied by Dr. Maingot is the U.S. occupation of Haiti, which "rested on the idea of the White Man's burden" - its Manifest Destiny. But, on balance, the occupation was not entirely negative. The very racism of the White invaders was a reality check for Haitian society. Yes, by treating all Haitians (whether dark skinned or light skinned Mulattoes) as "Niggers," no more no less, the foreign invaders reconciled the subjective ideas of superiority and/or inferiority of the Haitians with their own, i.e., their more objective, non involved, opinions as powerful occupying forces. Thirdly, Dr. Maingot analysed a cultural element that had, and continues to have, a great impact on Haitian society. That major cultural factor, of course, is the syncretic religion called vodoo.