South Africa is losing its way - Desmond Tutu

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South Africa is losing its way - Desmond Tutu

Post by admin » Wed Sep 27, 2006 7:56 am

S Africa is losing its way - Tutu

Nobel Prize winner Desmond Tutu has warned that South Africa is in danger of losing its moral direction.

He said it had failed to sustain the idealism that ended apartheid and warned of growing ethnic divisions.

Referring to South Africa's high murder rate and the rape of children as young as nine months, he said the African reverence for life had been lost.

The retired Anglican archbishop opposes ex-Vice President Jacob Zuma becoming president due to his "moral failings".

Mr Zuma's presidential aspirations received a major boost earlier this month after corruption charges were dropped against him. He was acquitted earlier his year on a rape charge.

Respect

Archbishop Tutu said the country had achieved a remarkable degree of stability in 12 years of democracy despite problems poverty, Aids, corruption and crime.

But delivering the Steve Biko memorial lecture at University of Cape Town, he questioned why a respect for the law, environment and even life, were missing in South Africa.

"What has happened to us? It seems as if we have perverted our freedom, our rights into licence, into being irresponsible. Rights go hand in hand with responsibility, with dignity, with respect for oneself and for the other.

"The fact of the matter is we still depressingly do not respect one another. I have often said black consciousness did not finish the work it set out to do," he said.

He said government officials often acted like former officials during the apartheid era - treating people rudely.

He said South Africa should oppose xenophobia and act sensitively when place names were being changed rather that appearing to gloat and ride roughshod over the feelings of others.

He also made a plea for people to pick up litter, to care for their own environments and for their fellow citizens.

"Perhaps we did not realise just how apartheid has damaged us so that we seem to have lost our sense of right and wrong, so that when we go on strike as is our right to do, we are not appalled that some of us can chuck people out of moving trains because they did not join the strike, or why is it common practice now to trash, to go on the rampage?

He said that South Africa remained a wonderful country that had produced outstanding people - such as Steve Biko, the anti-apartheid leader who died in police custody in 1977.

"The best memorial to Steve Biko would be a South Africa where everyone respects themselves, has a positive self image filled with a proper self esteem and holds others in high regard."

Story from BBC NEWS:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/a ... 384310.stm

Published: 2006/09/27 09:07:47 GMT

© BBC MMVI

Empress Verite

Self Respect and Self Esteem

Post by Empress Verite » Wed Sep 27, 2006 9:18 pm

One!

Thank you for posting this article Guy. I am thankful that Desmond Tutu has been brave enough to voice this opinion. I feel that he could be speaking to black folks everywhere especially in Miami and in Haiti. The issue of self esteem and self respect or lack thereof is directly related to self love or lack thereof. I write and talk about these issues all of the times because I feel that we Blacks and especially Haitians need to come to terms with that. Even the so-called activists whom you have put on altars on this forum need a good dose of it. They use their positions to bully the children of "lesser" gods constantly. I witness this abuse everyday in Miami. Haitian on Haitian crime at all levels is so high here and so many are afraid to report or complain because it would go against the neo-liberal cause that support the flight of the talented 1%.

On top of it, I am glad that Mr. Tutu felt inclined to voice his disapproval of the presidential candidate. That man raped a woman with HIV and he did not wear a condom. After the act, he took a shower believing that this would cleanse him of the virus. Can you believe that! That is the common and basic prejudice that self-disrespect and self-hate and low self-esteem has brought on in the Black communities everywhere. These well-to-do well-dressed wannabes really believe in the white world. Lily-white and near-white is best and cleanest and black is evil and bad. I deal with this everyday, every moment every hour and I don't know when it will end.

I feel that Mr. Tutu should have spoken as candidely about this issue when he was at Florida International University a few years ago and also when he gave the commencement address at the University of Pennsylvania. These porte-paroles of the high classes say revolutionary words when it suits them but they are quick to get blind sighted by the attention from the establishment. These folks like Mr. Tutu should demand an accounting of black self-determination and how such institutions who invite them to give commencement addresses are dealing with those issues at their schools.

Often it seems to me Mr. Tutu has been used by these establishments to squash the revolutionary voices of Black students who are struggling for self-determination, self-respect, self-esteem and self-love at these institutions of Higher #$%*&. I hope that Mr. Tutu uses the forum that he is given because of his fame and fortune to address these schools directly and hold them accountable for promoting hate among blacks.

Until then. KILL FEAR AND LOVE SELF.

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Post by admin » Fri Sep 29, 2006 3:13 am

[quote]he questioned why a respect for the law, environment and even life, were missing in South Africa[/quote]
I, too, felt that those words were equally applicable to Haiti and Haitians. Regardless of whom to blame for the deviation, we must return to a respect for the law, for the environment and for life (all life), if we wish to ever have AYITI back, a country to live in or to return to.

But these are times when such values are being eroded openly, seemingly everywhere on the planet. The leadership of the world MUST change. We live in a time when most people have become too complacent with breaches to international and national laws, with incomparable destruction of our physical environment, and with extraordinary assaults on human life. Take for instance the Bush administration's current celebration and global application of TORTURE as an American value. We grew up thinking that such celebration of torture was a banana republic sort of value, one appropriate to the dictatorships of Rafael Trujillo, Papa Doc Duvalier, etc. Turns out the biggest consumers of bananas these days are Republicans and Democrats of the mighty United States of America. When this happens, when all ideals are trashed seemingly with our silent complicity, under what rocks will we expect to find respect for the Law, for the environment, and for LIFE?

These days, LIFE is celebrated only in its fetal and its fatal stages (as in the early stages of pregnancy or in the late comatose stages of brainlessness passivity). Everything in between the fetal and fatal stages seemingly can be assaulted by our governments, and particularly by the currently imposed political leadership of the world. Is there a light at the end of this long and dark tunnel for renewed moral leadership? In the United States, in South Africa, in the Dominican Republic, in Little Haiti's, in our too big for words AYITI?

We live in a world that is totally interconnected. As long as BUSHISM reigns supreme in the United States, where the axiom of a so-called responsible government is that TERROR MUST BE MET (pre-emptively even) WITH EQUAL OR GREATER TERROR, we can expect the valuing of life to continue its spiral of descent and erosion everywhere.


[quote]Even the so-called activists whom you have put on altars on this forum need a good dose of it.[/quote]
Empress Verite, I do not know what you mean by that statement. However, let me say this: You may or may not agree with the positions that I have taken on this forum. That is fully expected. But the only person that I ever feel compelled to put on an altar is my mother, and she died a generation ago.

Please, let us not get into meaningless personal fights. Let us agree on our right to disagree. Let us understand above all that our individual rights are under full assault by the heightened irresponsibility of our government. Let's celebrate love and respect of self and other. In the end, the life you save may be your own.

Empress Verite

Celebrate Life

Post by Empress Verite » Fri Sep 29, 2006 1:31 pm

Thanks Guy:

Regarding your reference to terror and abuse. Here is an article about the legalization of torture and the annihalation of Habeas Corpus in the US. I expect that this law will affect Haitians in the US a great deal.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
US Congress legalizes torture and indefinite detention
By the editorial board
29 September 2006

The legislation adopted by the House of Representatives Wednesday and the Senate Thursday, legalizing the Bush administration's policy of torture and indefinite detention without trial, as well as kangaroo-court procedures for Guantánamo detainees, marks a watershed for the United States.

For the first time in American history, Congress and the White House have agreed to set aside the provisions of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights and formally adopt methods traditionally identified with police states.

This bill is the outcome of a protracted process of decay of American democracy, which has accompanied the immense growth in social inequality and reached a turning point in the stolen election of 2000. In early December of 2000, on the eve of the US Supreme Court ruling that halted the counting of votes in Florida and awarded the presidency to George W. Bush, who had lost the popular vote nationally to his Democratic opponent Al Gore, David North, the national secretary of the Socialist Equality Party of the US and chairman of the international editorial board of the World Socialist Web Site, in a report on the US election crisis said:

“What the decision of this court will reveal is how far the American ruling class is prepared to go in breaking with traditional bourgeois-democratic and constitutional norms. Is it prepared to sanction ballot fraud and the suppression of votes and install in the White House a candidate who has attained that office through blatantly illegal and anti-democratic methods?

“A substantial section of the bourgeoisie, and perhaps even a majority of the US Supreme Court, is prepared to do just that. There has been a dramatic erosion of support within the ruling elites for the traditional forms of bourgeois democracy in the United States.”

The Supreme Court ruling and the refusal of the Democratic Party to oppose it demonstrated that there remained no significant constituency within the American ruling elite for the defense of democratic rights.

The battery of police state measures enacted by the Bush administration, without any serious opposition from within the political establishment, has confirmed this analysis.

The Military Commission Act of 2006 will do far more than set down the procedures to be used to rubber-stamp the incarceration of prisoners at Guantánamo Bay and other US-run detention camps throughout the world. It attacks the rights of all American citizens as well as all legal residents and other immigrants, who will now be subject to the threat of arrest and imprisonment for life, on the order of the president alone, without judicial review.

The legislation now goes back to the House of Representatives for a final vote Friday, to reconcile minor language differences between the two versions. President Bush is expected to receive the bill for signing by the weekend.

Under the terms of this law, the president may designate any person as an “unlawful enemy combatant,” to be rounded up by intelligence agents and jailed indefinitely without legal recourse. The law defines an “unlawful enemy combatant” as “an individual engaged in hostilities against the United States” who is not a regular member of an opposing army.

Given the Bush administration's elastic view as to what constitutes “hostilities,” this definition has the potential to erase any legal distinction between an actual Al Qaeda terrorist, an Arab immigrant who makes a charitable donation to Lebanese relief, and an American college student who clashes with police during a protest demonstration against the Iraq war.

The legislation passed the House Wednesday with the support of 34 Democrats, who joined 219 Republicans in the lopsided vote of 253-168. The Senate adopted the bill the next day, by an even wider 65-34 margin, with 12 Democrats joining a near-unanimous Republican bloc.

Before voting on the overall bill, senators defeated four amendments: to restore habeas corpus rights for prisoners, defeated 51-48; to increase congressional oversight of the CIA torture program, which lost 53-46; to impose a five-year limit on the military commissions, which lost 52-47; and to ban specific, named torture techniques, which lost by a similar margin.

The sweeping legislation meets all the desires of the Bush administration except for an explicit repeal of the Geneva Convention. The White House agreed to slightly weaker language that gives the president the power to “interpret” the Geneva Convention to permit lesser forms of torture.

Its major provisions include:

* Authorizing the president to establish military commissions to prosecute detainees taken into US custody, either overseas or within the United States.

* Giving the military commissions power to determine punishment, up to and including death.

* Rules of evidence that permit hearsay evidence and testimony coerced from witnesses.

* Permitting the use of testimony obtained by “cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment” if the torture took place before December 30, 2005, when it was banned by Congress.

* Allowing prosecutors to withhold from defendants evidence given to a jury, if it involves classified information, and substitute unclassified summaries.

* Stripping US courts of jurisdiction over detainees, and stripping detainees of their right to seek a writ of habeas corpus.

Violations of the Constitution

Many of the provisions of this legislation are flagrant violations of the US Constitution. This was acknowledged by Republican Senator Arlen Specter, chairman of the Judiciary Committee, who nonetheless voted for the bill after his amendment to restore habeas corpus rights was defeated.

Specter said in the debate that in denying habeas corpus rights for suspects detained in the “war on terror,” the bill “would take our civilized society back some 900 years” to the time before the adoption of the Magna Carta—the first elaboration of democratic principles under English law.

“What this entire controversy boils down to is whether Congress is going to legislate to deny a constitutional right which is explicit in the document of the Constitution itself and which has been applied to aliens by the Supreme Court of the United States,” he said.

Article I, Section 9 of the US Constitution declares: “The privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in cases of rebellion or invasion the public safety may require it.” No one in the Bush administration or the congressional Republican leadership has suggested that the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 constituted such an invasion. They simply ignore the clear language of the Constitution.

The bill's other provisions also violate the Sixth Amendment of the Constitution, which spell out the requirements of a fair trial, based on the colonists' bitter experience with the injustices of the British Crown. The Amendment reads:

“In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.”

Prisoners in Guantánamo and other US concentration camps will face trial by a panel of military officers, can be denied the right to see the evidence or witnesses against them, and will have lawyers hamstrung by being under the direct surveillance of the military and working under the authority of the commander-in-chief.

From the standpoint of the Bush administration and the congressional Republican leadership, these gross constitutional violations are not a regrettable necessity but a positive good. They are whipping up public fear of terrorism not merely for short-term electoral purposes, but to lay the basis for a permanent shift to authoritarian forms of rule in the United States.

The role of the Democrats

The votes on four amendments Thursday allowed Senate Democrats to posture as defenders of civil liberties and constitutional freedoms. Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy, for instance, denounced the elimination of habeas corpus protection for 12 million legal resident immigrants, as well as for immigrants without legal papers. The provision “makes a mockery of the Bush-Cheney lofty rhetoric about exporting freedom across the globe,” he said, adding, “What hypocrisy!”

Senator Carl Levin of Michigan said, “The habeas corpus language in this bill is as legally abusive of rights guaranteed in the Constitution as the actions at Abu Ghraib, Guantánamo and secret prisons that were physically abusive of detainees.”

But Leahy and Levin did not explain why they and other Democratic leaders refused to block a vote on the legislation through a filibuster, which requires only 40 votes to sustain. Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid reached an agreement Wednesday evening with Majority Leader Bill Frist to allow votes on the four amendments in return for the Democrats refraining from any filibuster—although the Democrats filibustered on much less weighty issues, such as the appointment of a number of federal appeals court judges.

In his Senate floor speech, Leahy declared, “We are about to put the darkest blot possible on the nation's conscience. This is so wrong. . . . It is unconstitutional. It is un-American.” Apparently not so wrong, or so dark a blot, as to impel the Democrats to actually oppose the Bush administration one month before an election.

Instead, Democrat after Democrat facing close contests sided with the Bush administration. The 12 Democratic senators who voted for final passage of the bill included, besides such open right-wingers as Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut, liberals facing re-election contests such as Robert Menendez of New Jersey, Debbie Stabenow of Michigan and Bill Nelson of Florida.

The 34 House Democrats included a number of right-wing Southern Democrats, but also several members of the Congessional Black Caucus and two congressmen who are Democratic candidates for the US Senate in next month's election—Harold Ford of Tennessee and Sherrod Brown of Ohio.

Brown, a liberal, has sought to appeal to antiwar sentiment in Ohio, a state which has lost a disproportionate number of young men and women in Iraq, including two dozen from a single National Guard unit based in the Cleveland suburb of Brook Park. In an interview with MSNBC.com, Brown said that detainees “are not soldiers, not combatants representing a government, these are terrorists.”

Of course, the ostensible purpose of a judicial proceeding is to determine, on the basis of evidence, whether the accused are actually guilty of the charges against them. Brown, like the Bush administration, assumes that all those seized by the CIA and the US military are guilty, and uses that presumption of guilt to justify star-chamber proceedings.

Brown rejected criticism of his complicity with the Bush administration, saying, “Some people just don't want me to agree with George Bush on anything.”

The New York Times observed, in its editorial deploring in advance the passage of the bill, the year 2006 will go down in history for the passage of “a tyrannical law that will be ranked with the low points in American democracy, our generation's version of the Alien and Sedition Acts.” But the newspaper did not attempt to give a serious explanation for this turn toward tyranny, or suggest a basis for fighting against it.

Nor could it, since the Times, along with the rest of the establishment media and both political parties of the American corporate elite, supports the so-called “war on terror,” which is a political fig leaf for the use of militarism and war in pursuit of the global aims of US imperialism. A policy of military aggression and conquest abroad is ultimately incompatible with democracy at home.

The struggle against authoritarian methods of rule must be taken up by the working class, the only social force within American society that retains a deep attachment to the defense of democratic rights. The prerequisite for this struggle is a break with the two parties of the American ruling elite and the building of a mass socialist movement of the working class.

Empress Verite

Desmond Tutu and Self Respect

Post by Empress Verite » Fri Sep 29, 2006 2:23 pm

One and Respe all:

(Guy, please forgive me for not applying the proper "quoting" technique. I need the instructions in basic language.) Anyway, in my first response to the article about Desmond Tutu's address at the University of Cape Town, I was specifically referring to the following statements that he made.
----------------------------
"What has happened to us? It seems as if we have perverted our freedom, our rights into licence, into being irresponsible. Rights go hand in hand with responsibility, with dignity, with respect for oneself and for the other.

"The fact of the matter is we still depressingly do not respect one another. I have often said black consciousness did not finish the work it set out to do," he said.

He said government officials often acted like former officials during the apartheid era - treating people rudely.

He said South Africa should oppose xenophobia and act sensitively when place names were being changed rather that appearing to gloat and ride roughshod over the feelings of others."

-----------------------------
I felt very much that these words echoed my beliefs that black folks need a good dose of self love. It's not a new idea or concept at all. Various black writers have written about it since Zora Neale Hurston and James Baldwin to Alice Walker. The idea is not to automatically react in disdain and disgust at everything black. Black folks in my experience tend to have little respect for each other's strengths and self determination. As I write this, Homeland Security is using our own kinds to infiltrate organizations in our communities and undermine our self determination. However, I don't include anyone on this forum in the Black folks category. I hope that our continued commitment to dialogue is indicative of self respect and a mutual belief that through struggle we can come to terms with our dilema.

I also wanted to respond to a few statements that you made. First you wrote that " ...[W]e must return to a respect for the law, for the environment and for life (all life), if we wish to ever have Ayiti back, a country to live in or to return to."

Well, I am not a natif natal so I don't envision returning to Haiti/Ayiti to live in or stay in permanently. I love the landscape and the people. I will forever see the place as a mother figure in many ways. The natural beauty and the creativity of the people will always inspire me. I am not sure I understand what you mean by the return to the law? What law, the lwa established by the Haitian governmental body and written in the constitution? Am I even legal in that document? Have women/females been provided with equal protection/access and rights under that law? Can I vote as a 2nd generation transnational Haitian woman? Is my lifestyle legal in Ayiti? I have been browbeaten by so many Haitian lwas whose insatiable appetite and greed has left me drained and bitter. I cannot be held hostage once again to those lwas tanpri. Still, I hope that you are knowlegeable about laws that are progressive and that you choose to respect those.

"Life is celebrated only in its fetal and fatal stages (as in the early stages of pregnancy or in the late comatose stages of brainless passivity)"

I feel that my black children are not respected at all by the laws of this land at any stage. They are threatened when I carry them in my stomach and when they are grown children. The US government through its policy of erasing all civil rights which includes women's rights has continued to tear away at our right to choose. This means that abortion at a certain stage is almost no longer available in certain states. And Black women have been found to have the highest rates of pre term labor and stillbirths as well as miscarriages and for their babies to victims of SID (sudden infant death syndrome). (You probably realize that for Haitians this is probably higher in Haiti for sure (highest infant mortality rate in the Hemisphere and probably the other stuff too) (and for Haitians in the US it's probably the same scenario). They don't respect our bodies or our babies at any stage.

Finally, regarding your response to my statement about how your forum puts certain activists on an altar. I wasn't referring to the 2 prominent ones namely ED and Ja. I feel that I can reason with them. I was specifically referring to others, the more professional ones whose credentials and awards have been listed.

And Guy, when I build my altar, you will be on it.

Thank you.

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Post by admin » Fri Sep 29, 2006 11:17 pm

Thanks, Empress! I'll go back to your comments about "laws" and "lwas", if only to have you clarify them for me. This is what you wrote:
[quote]I am not sure I understand what you mean by the return to the law? What law, the lwa established by the Haitian governmental body and written in the constitution? Am I even legal in that document? Have women/females been provided with equal protection/access and rights under that law? Can I vote as a 2nd generation transnational Haitian woman? Is my lifestyle legal in Ayiti? I have been browbeaten by so many Haitian lwas whose insatiable appetite and greed has left me drained and bitter. I cannot be held hostage once again to those lwas tanpri. Still, I hope that you are knowlegeable about laws that are progressive and that you choose to respect those. [/quote]
Note that you alternate between "law" (constitutional rule) and "lwa" (a spirit in the Vodou religion). If the transposition of letters is not intended and you meant to write "law" every time you wrote "lwa", then my apologies because It is not my intention to highlight some run-of-the-mill typos. We all commit them. But I can't be so sure. If you meant, indeed, to go back and forth between "law" and "lwa", then I would have to confess that you lost me near the beginning of the road and you will have to come back and lead me on the path of true understanding.

Either way, you raise a number of questions in that paragraph which need to be answered. I quote again:
[quote]Well, I am not a natif natal so I don't envision returning to Haiti/Ayiti to live in or stay in permanently. I love the landscape and the people. I will forever see the place as a mother figure in many ways. The natural beauty and the creativity of the people will always inspire me. I am not sure I understand what you mean by the return to the law? What law, the lwa established by the Haitian governmental body and written in the constitution? Am I even legal in that document? Have women/females been provided with equal protection/access and rights under that law? Can I vote as a 2nd generation transnational Haitian woman? Is my lifestyle legal in Ayiti? I have been browbeaten by so many Haitian lwas whose insatiable appetite and greed has left me drained and bitter. I cannot be held hostage once again to those lwas tanpri. Still, I hope that you are knowlegeable about laws that are progressive and that you choose to respect those.[/quote]
However, before attempting to answer your questions, I will wait until you clarify for me whether there is any significance attached in the spelling of "law" and "lwa". Indulge me, and we will talk later.

Finally, have you seen the TV editorial by Keith Olbermann, titled "Bush owes us an apology" ? If you have not, go google "Keith Olbermann" please and see him deliver that scathing editorial. It's absolutely worth the trouble. I will also post the transcript, but before you read it, try to see it first. It is a study in courage. Way to go, Keith Olbermann! Tell the truth like it is no longer in fashion these days.

Empress Verite

Of Laws and Lwas

Post by Empress Verite » Sat Sep 30, 2006 10:11 pm

Greetings Guy:

Thanks for the reference to Keith Olberman. I will check it out on Google. I have seen him demonstrate courage in the past. (I had stopped watching MSNBC and Network news but I guess Keith Olberman's show is worth following.)

Please forgive me for going back and forth between law and lwas. I am not a natif natal and Creole is not my mother tongue but I think that law in English translates to Lwa in Kreyol right? I did not mean to make references to the Voodoo pantheon of gods/goddesses and/or spirits. However, I find the coincidence in the names very interesting.

Thanks again Guy.

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Post by admin » Mon Oct 02, 2006 2:29 pm

Thank you, Empress, for the clarification. Mwen panse ou t'ap fE ekilib ant inivE espirityEl la ak depatman legal la, se sak fE mwen te pale sou anbivalans sa pi wo. Men mwen kontan wE ke se sou lwa (konstitisyonEl ou administratif) n'ap pale, se pa sou Lwa Ginen yo. Men sepandan, men ki pawOl ou di ki te fE-m panse sa:
[quote]I have been browbeaten by so many Haitian lwas whose insatiable appetite and greed ha[ve] left me drained and bitter. I cannot be held hostage once again to those lwas tanpri.[/quote]
It's obvious now that you were personalizing the laws, but you did that in such a literal manner that I was left with the imagery of insatiable and greedy spirits beating you up, as though you were their slave. Finally, you begged me not to let you be held hostage to those spirits again (or so I believe, after reading you) and I was just wondering about how "little me" could get on a high horse and come swiftly to rescue you from those mean spirits. I had never done that before and I was wondering about which library I should go to and find some literature or how-to manual on the subject.

But, unless it's too personal (in which case, you should simply ignore this request), what did you really mean by the statements above?

Empress Verite

Parenn Ak Marenn

Post by Empress Verite » Mon Oct 02, 2006 7:09 pm

Sak Pase Guy?

Well, I am specifically referring to 3 issues. A couple of years ago when the issue of whether that Haitian millionaire Simeus, should qualify to run for president since he had given up his citizenship or had not lived in Ayiti for a long time. Well, I believe that for personal reasons the Boniface/Latortue administration decided not to let him. I could'nt believe that they even fired members of the Supreme court for ruling that he could! Anyway, as a non Haitian born Haitian, I guess I could not run or vote in elections in Haiti unless I got a fake birth certicate or something. And as a Rasta I know that this would not be easy.

Mostly, I am speaking about the issue of children born in or outside of wedlock. It seems that one group has more rights under Haitian social law than the other. How can that be? So-called illigitimate children or better known as "bastards" are just as humans and loved why should they be treated any differently when it comes to bearing the father's name or inheritting his wealth?

Also, a married woman seems to have more rights (albeit limited) than the unmarried fanm plase. Why is that? Isn't time that the Haitian laws begin to acknowledge these kinds of unions. And for that matter, married man with a so-called mistress should seek to give her full rights and "recognize" all of the children that they have together.

Finally, it seems to me that in Haiti and in the Dyaspora, there is an unspoken law. I mean the entire idea of god parents and the fact that one needs them in order to succeed. What is that about anyway? It's this whole idea of success through sacrifice and paying your dues literally in order to climb the latter. This particular issue has been a thorn in my back. One has to brown nose and kiss butt to folks who already have and to buy them expensive gifts in order to gain favor with them. And unfortunately, these include school administrators, bosses and teachers! Can you believe that?

I thank you very much for listening and reading my thoughts on these issue.

Best regards.

EV

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