Nombre de messages : 8252
Localisation : Canada
Opinion politique : Indépendance totale
Loisirs : Arts et Musique, Pale Ayisien
Date d'inscription : 02/03/2007
Feuille de personnage
Jeu de rôle: Maestro
|Sujet: Kisa Amerik ak lemonn dwe Ayiti. Mer 28 Fév 2018 - 11:52|| |
Nou tande istwa sayo deja. Men se pou nou repete yo pou sa k pa konnen aprann.
E pou nou wè ke Ayiti pèdi prestij ak diyite li te genyen lontan. Se nou ki pou korije sa.
What the US and the world owe to Haiti.
By Paul Ortiz / Special to The Sun
Posted at 2:00 AM
Updated at 8:53 AM
At a White House meeting on immigration, President Donald Trump reportedly asked “Why do we want people from Haiti here?” This came after a June meeting where the president allegedly complained that recent immigrants from Haiti had brought the HIV/AIDS virus to the United States. Unfortunately, this defamation and fear-mongering against Haitian Americans is nothing new in American politics.
If we look honestly at the historical record, we realize that we owe Haitians a debt of gratitude and that there are connections between our nations that should be celebrated.
During the most desperate phase of the American Revolution, a brigade of soldiers of mainly African descent from Haiti deployed to the 13 colonies to serve alongside George Washington’s Continental Army. Trump should visit the First African Church in Savannah, Georgia, to view the monument erected to these Haitian soldiers whom contemporary writers noted “saved the [Continental] army at Savannah by bravely covering its retreat.”
Haiti was the most valuable of France’s overseas colonies. Its sugar plantations were killing fields. In 1791, slaves revolted and, in an epic decade-long war of liberation, defeated forces sent in turn by the French, Spanish and British empires who were determined to re-enslave them. Haiti’s victory forced the French to abandon their plan to colonize North America, and compelled Napoleon to sell the Louisiana Territory to the U.S.
Haiti became a beacon of liberty for oppressed people in the Americas. Haitians provided ammunition, advice — and even troops — to generations of freedom fighters in their struggles against the Spanish Empire.
Enslaved African Americans organized several major slave revolts inspired by the Haitian Revolution. A former Haitian slave, Charles Deslondes, led the January 1811 uprising in southern Louisiana. Revolutionaries planned to seize New Orleans and declare it the first free city and port on the Mississippi River. The Haitian Revolution set into motion the anti-slavery movement that swept the transatlantic world in the early 19th century.
The European powers, with the U.S. as junior partners, punished Haitians for their role in abolishing slavery. The French government extorted over 100 million gold francs from the Haitians between 1825 and the mid-20th century as a penalty for ending slavery.
In 1915, Washington launched an invasion of Haiti ostensibly to protect American lives. In fact, as the Washington Bee, an African-American newspaper noted, the assault was done at the urging “of the National City Bank group of New York City,” to allow U.S. investors to seize control of the Haitian debt and repackage it as an investment portfolio — much as banks did with mortgages in the early 2000s.
Haitians kept the spirit of freedom alive in a hemisphere rife with inequality. In 1938, Haiti offered to accept thousands of Jewish refugees fleeing Nazi Germany — a plan blocked by the U.S. and the western powers. Toward the end of World War II, Haiti sent representatives to a conference in Mexico City tasked with creating a hemispheric-wide accord to ensure “the maintenance of peace and collective security.”
The Haitian delegates submitted a resolution that introduced the idea that the security of the hemisphere hinged on the equality of nations and the equality of people in those nations. The resolution read in part: “Whereas the practice of racial discrimination is not only contrary to the positive reports and conclusions of scientists, but is also in formal contradiction of the Christian doctrine on which our civilization is based ... Therefore, the Conference on Problems of War and Peace resolves to recommend to the governments of the American Republics the complete abolition of all political regulations or actions which make possible discriminations against people, based upon race, religion or nationality.”
The African American and Mexican American civil rights movements seized upon the treaty language to push for equality after war’s end. Lawyers for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People used the treaty to argue for equal housing and education while the nation’s first Latino U.S. senator, Dennis Chavez, invoked it to fight for a permanent Fair Employment Practices Commission.
We have been taught to see Haitians as impoverished, backward and helpless. Instead of seeing commonalities between the two nations, we are brainwashed into thinking of Haitians as inferior. It is time to end this racist travesty. We need to set the record straight and acknowledge the great debt we owe to a nation that kindled the spirit of liberty when it was most imperiled in the Americas.
Paul Ortiz is director of the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program at the University of Florida. Part of this text is adapted from his new book, “An African American and Latinx History of the United States” (Beacon Press).