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As I go to bed tonight...
Posted: Mon Nov 01, 2004 11:36 pm
I am hoping for an end to the nightmare of the last few years in the good ol' United States of America...
for all people with good conscience.
The fight for global social justice will continue, as it must...
but without the extremely serious handicaps the Bush/Cheney team (incl. Donald Rumsfeld, Colin Powell, Condoleezza Rice, Paul Wolfowitz, Roger Noriega, Otto Reich, Elliott Abrams, Karl Rove, John Ashcroft, and others) poses for its attainment.
I think that I can safely speak on behalf of many on this forum and I hope that you join me in expressing the following:
We say NO to the War on Iraq.
We say NO to coups d'etat in Haiti and elsewhere.
We say NO to the continued embargo on Cuba.
We say NO to the mayhem in Haiti, paid for in dollars by the U.S.A. and in blood by the poor people of Haiti.
We say NO to the closing of a medical school in Haiti for the egregious excuse of hosting U.S. Marines. We say THANKS to Fidel Castro for rescuing the affected medical students and for the generous assistance of Cuban doctors, veterinarians, agronomists, and other professionals who are providing to Haitian countrymen the essentials for public health and a sustainable rural economy.
We say NO to the continued repression in Haiti and the arbitrary arrests of priests and other citizens by a non-constitutional "technocratic" government imposed on Haitians by the U.S. government.
We say NO to the total humiliation of the people of Haiti in the year of the bicentennial of independence.
We say NO to the inhumanity of detaining Haitian minors under the pretense that they constitute a danger to the national security of the United States.
We say NO to the never-ending fabrication of pretexts for having gone to war, and for going to other wars in the near future.
We say NO to GREED and unchecked ambitions.
We ask Mr. Bush why his twin daughters are not fighting in Iraq, and tell him that we are glad that they are not, but that we wish that our sons and daughters as well would not be asked to sacrifice their lives for reasons that simply insult our intelligence.
We say NO to favoring the balance sheets of large corporations over the health, education, and gainful employment of ordinary citizens.
We say NO to Bush, a thousand times NO! Your policies have harmed this country and the world more than enough.
We say NO to the tyranny of the Christian Right and the imperial aspirations of the so-called neo-conservatives.
We say YES to all civic liberties made possible by the free exercise of our civic responsibilities, in the absence of government-manufactured fear.
We say YES to intelligent measures that will truly improve our SECURITY from terrorist threats, without rushing to wars under false pretenses that create greater instability in the world and more hatred for the American people.
We say YES to respecting the Haitian and Venezuelan peoples' right to self-determination.
We say YES to engaging in meaningful dialogue with the government of Cuba, instead of the cultivated adversity and tiresome clichés that have produced absolutely nothing beneficial for either Cubans or Cuban-Americans.
We say YES to the end of that fateful war on Iraq and the safe return of all those young men and women to their families, just as you, Mr. President, feel the comfort of the presence of your twin daughters dutifully campaigning by your side. Every American deserves the same comfort as you, Mr. President.
We say YES to the creation of millions of new jobs, paying substantially more than minimum wage.
We say YES to a happy and well-deserved retirement for you, Mr. President. It is time for you to go back to the ranch, work on your golf drive, catch some fish, repair that mountain bike, play with the family dog, write a book or two, go hunting with Justice Scalia and Vice-President Cheney, try your luck once more at managing a new oil venture, take an English syntax class at the local community college or the public high school's adult school program, meet some new immigrants, read more children's books to first-graders or kindergarteners, shoot the breeze with Papa Bush, try on your jetfighter vest again, declare your mission well accomplished, and stay far, far away from Washington, DC.
And Mr. President, don't eat any more pretzels.
We wish you well, very sincerely, as we will be greatly relieved from the downward pressure of the nightmare we have lived in the last four years. When John Kerry invites you to his presidential inauguration on January 20, 2005, please say "no". We will understand.
As I woke up this morning...
Posted: Wed Nov 03, 2004 12:54 pm
The previously "selected President" Bush is now "duly elected President" Bush. It is virtually certain now that he has won both a majority of the electoral votes needed, and unlike four years ago, the popular vote as well.
Sad, sad, very sad... but true!
I recall a speech from Bill Moyers at the Inequality Matters Forum, New York University, June 3, 2004 [ ]. He concluded by saying:
"What we need is a mass movement of people like you. Get mad, yes -- there's plenty to be mad about. Then get organized and get busy. This is the fight of our lives."
In essence, that is what a great many of us have been saying all along. We are sick and tired of U.S. Foreign Policy. While, in my opinion, the U.S. domestic policy has been disastrous as well, in essence we have stuck to our global outlook. It is true however that those two perspectives are not disconnected: to continue to reward the very rich, American foreign policy needs to ruthlessly pursue its aims of world domination and global exploitation. Should the focus for change then turn inward to our grave domestic inequalities or continue to spotlight the worst of the Empire (not strictly American)'s orchestrated horror in Haiti, in Iraq, in Sudan, in Palestine and elsewhere?
For the majority of us who will care to read this message, the temptation is strong to simply continue to denounce U.S. Foreign Policy (and clearly, we must). However, let's be frank, the 2004 U.S. elections have clearly proven that the majority of Americans could not care less what the rest of the world thinks about them and are not moved by the injustices, of a massive human scale, occurring in Haiti, in Iraq, in Palestine, and elsewhere. I have come to the regrettable conclusion that while a great many Americans care and are moved, the majority however do not care and are unmoved. We have witnessed perhaps in the U.S. a fatal blow to idealism, just as we have witnessed its death in Haiti. True, the corpses are still rolling in their graves, but as we wake up today, November 3 2004, the depressing reality in both countries may well be summarized in Sweet Micky's lyrics: "I don't care. I don't give a damn" (or whichever four-letter word he may have used).
It always seems to come down to "What's in it for me?", "A Fistful of Dollars" or tax cuts, "For a few Dollars more", in a never-ending replay of "The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly". So, we too will have to address those issues more adequately. We will have to make people see that what they don't want to know about will come back to haunt them. We will have to demonstrate that the tree that falls in the forest, unbeknownst to them, has indeed fallen and will never provide to them or their children the shade that they will seek one day.
American people will one day understand that the history of the world did not begin on September 11, 2001. They were many other "September 11" in years fore, when American bombs and guns killed thousands more than the number of theirs who regretfully lost their lives at the World Trade Center in Manhattan and at the Pentagon, in Washington DC. The blood of that fateful day's victims was red, but red too is the color of the blood of tens of thousands of Iraqi citizens killed by U.S. military might, red too is also the color of the blood of U.S. soldiers and international civilian workers that has been shed and will continue to be shed in the service of a bloodthirsty empire. Sooner or later, in Iraq as previously in Vietnam, the majority of Americans will come to realize that the price of U.S. foreign policy, of its crass inhumanity is simply too great to bear. But how many thousands more will die before we stop prostituting our conscience for a few dollars more?
Is idealism dead? Why are we then still rolling in our graves? May an army of zombies rise to defeat once and for all the victorious, selfish, and unthinking forces of George W. Bush, that is "the greater than half of U.S. Americans" to which we do not belong.
Guy S. Antoine
Windows on Haiti
Posted: Wed Nov 03, 2004 2:08 pm
Perhaps, idealism is not dead but reality is alive. Perhaps, we have not lost the war, we just lost a fight or an election. In a separate forum, I just indicated my surprise at some findings from the elections exit poll. The finding is that in the minds of voters, in general, the gay marriage issue was more important than Irak and the economy. There are lessons in that for all. I believe Americans are sensitive to empathy. But they have to be led by the right people for that empathy to be maximized. Those who aspire to that job would have to do a better one! To be continued......
Guy...AS I hope to sleep tonight
Posted: Thu Nov 04, 2004 12:34 am
One and Respe Guy:
I thank you again for providing us with this forum to express our views. I wrote to you in a reply to your email and I will try to state those same views and then some here. I truly feel that as a member of the miami dade community who participated in the voting process this year that the whole thing was rigged from the get go. Many of the problems in Broward county including some of the computer malfunctions were designed to intimidate folks to stay away from the polls. I found the entire process to be stacked against the disempowered. For instance, I found someone a good Haitian fellow who was volunteering with the Kerry Edwards camp to drive me and my family to the polls. He was nice but he seemed bent on trying to make me seem dumb. I explained to him that I did not realize that there was a vote on the Florida Supreme Court justices and he tried to tell me that I should have reviewed my votes before pressing the button to put the votes through. Now, I understand English perfectly well, and I know that he understood what I said, I explained further that I left those votes blank since I did not know the issues well enough. He continued as if I had said that I voted wrong. He wanted to appease my man who was in the van with us.
I attribute this mistreatment to basic sexism which Haitians like everyone else have to combat. Unfortunately, he was trying to help me by taking me and my family to the polls! I wish that I had walked or taken the bus. Unfortunately, I felt afraid of going alone and I did not want to become a victim to voter intimidation. And there was voter intimidation at the polls. Several people tried to trick me and I persevered and went on to do my civic duty. I voted and I felt thankful that I did not suffer more violence.
Nevertheless, I truly feel that the Democrats could have won Miami Dade county if they had done a better job at rallying their base at the grass roots level. I heard John Kerry admonish folks for not doing their works at one of his rallies. Some Rastas say this just to sound knowledgeable when they are guilty of ineptitude and laziness. The Kerry camp did not reach to the bottom nor to those folks who had been disenfranchised in 2k. One of the most obvious ways that this was done was the fact that the Republikkklans had a commercial on HTN but the Democrats did not. In fact, this could have been done for free had the Kerry camp sent someone as a guest on one of the HTN political shows such as Frontline Avant Garde or the special news programs that were aired to educate the Haitian voters prior to the selections. I am positive that Kendrick Meeks or anyone of the Kerry camp in South Florida would have been very welcomed. In fact, Mr. Meeks was running for reelection for a congressional seat in a district with many Haitian voters. He had been very active in the Haiti issue and he travelled to the nation on various occasions. However, the Haitian politicians specifically Representative Philip Brutus seemed to feel slighted. He mentioned on his show on HTN that Mr. Meeks did not invite him along nor did he discuss the trip with him or other issues about Haiti. Therefore the Democratic Tent in South Florida may be large but it is not a toss salad or a melting pot in any way. There are problems and Haitians seem to experience the same kinds of discrimination that we do in other social situations.
It is really too bad that prejudice and self hatred is costing us so much. Marginalized folks who can't see their way out of the downpression of the powers that be are using the same tactics against the rest of us. The new black voters who supported the Republikkklan party this time around were to a large extent encouraged to go that way because of misguided moral values. The supposed homophobia and heterosexism that exist in our minds and hearts as well as plain old wanna be mentality has to be destroyed because it is killing us. Let us not forget that many of our intellectual heros and sheras were homosexuals. Folks like James Baldwin, Langston Hughes, Angela Davis, Audre Lorde to name a few have contributed a great deal to the black intellectual tradition with their works and in many other ways. I would not be the person that I am without their input into the arena of academia. Therefore I could never vote against gay marriage or issues of that kind.
I don't like the fact that there were no receipts given after the vote in the electronic machines. The receipts were the only form of proof as to how my vote was counted. In fact, there are many computer viruses that could disrupt the process and Representative Wexler tried to fight this in court but he did not succeed. In fact, that voting system was so flawed and contested that many decided to vote with absentee ballots and others found that the exit polls were not a good indicator. In reality, this is the second time that exit polling has proven that something is wrong with the system. In 2k exit polls showed that Al Gore won but he was cheated because of technical difficulties and other tricks. This time around, the technocrats worked to redirect the vote against the Democrats and in favor of the Republikkklans. The exit polls are correct, folks have no reason to fear telling interviewers who they voted for. In fact, they close the gap between the pre election polls that try to predict the outcome. They give us a more accurate picture. However, since they are primarily counted on by the underdogs they are dismissed and their effect is minimalized. And the high turn out does work in favor of the Democrats the examples are in states such as New Hampshire, Wisconsin and Minnesota. In these states the turnout exceeded the 70% mark which put the Democrats over the top. Therefore, the high turnout in South Florida should have favored the Democrats to ensure a high return for the Kerry Edwards ticket. There were many tricks and we have to analyze them all. The powers that be which seek to prove that black folks are ignorant of the politial process and that we need to eduate ourselves and contribute more money are just trying to become members of the status quo. These are sell outs who want to downpress their own kinds for some basic gains.
This entire thing is a sad situation for Haitians who have to struggle for another 4 years with a situation at home that is not good at all and who are suffering in foreign lands. I pray for the best for all of us and that we can survive these turbulent times.
Until next time. And sleep well Guy.
Posted: Thu Nov 04, 2004 2:18 pm
[quote]But it shows as well, the death of the Democratic Party as we know it. As a suggestion, it would be better if many people involved in the DP can work together to completely reform it and to find other people, especially Haitians and other caribbean communities, US citizens with African heritage, latin american heritage and Native Americans and other people to form another party to counter the self-righteous "Born again Christians" movement. [/quote]
I understand your disappointment. But, the democrats just need to do a better job than they are doing right now. See some suggestions I posted in the "POLITICAL NOTEBOOK (WORLD)" forum in the topic:"A Toast to the "Greater than Half" U.S. Americans." The democrats, ideologically, have a better goal and a higher purpose. Although they are weaker economically, but they can outperform the Republicans because their positions are more defen
Posted: Fri Nov 05, 2004 3:21 am
My opinion is not the fact that the DP did a bad job, but it spells: FLORIDA.
The anti-Castro Cubans and the Haitians from Duvalierville (SW MIAMI).
I don't remember the right number, but I think it's about 30 electoral college votes. Do the math, the democrats kept their States or ground.
But Florida still played a major role, not Ohio, because Ohio is more Republikkkan.
Bush had about a million votes over Kerry in Florida, and I believe some Haitians and most Cubans contributed to that.
Again, the DP showed where they stood honestly and truthfully. Kerry could have lied about gay marriages, Fidel Castro and so forth. He did not, and I was proud of him.
On the other hand, Bush, I leave to your judgments...
One special note to Empress, don't run away or hide because of them... Remember this: "YOU CAN NOT HAVE EVERYTHING, WHERE WOULD YOU PUT THEM".
I hate to say that, America is not the only problem or obstacle. The world is, with "White Dominance", everywhere is influenced by their supremacy (Europe, Asia, Africa). We need to be smarter than THEM. We need to reload and rearrange our lifestyles and thinking processes. We need to denounce the Traitors, for instance: Rice, Powell, C Thomas, JC Watts, Latortue, Chamblain, G Philippe etc. Then, we can really have the real:
L'Union fait la Force
Simply Never Give Up
Posted: Sat Nov 06, 2004 2:01 pm
In response to my "As I woke up this morning..." piece, I received the following response, which I would like to share with you:
Simply Never Give Up
To all my brothers and sisters
Living in the occupied territories
Like Iraq, Haiti, Darfur and Chiapas
And to all of you who woke up one day
And found yourself living in Fortress America
A word from Father Gerard Jean-Juste
A Catholic Priest arrested in Haiti recently
Who lives in a jail cell with 18 other detainees
With no beds and no toilet (only a bucket in the corner)
But he wore a rosary around his neck, and a smile on his face
As he told an American lawyer,
“I feel just like St. Peter or St. Paul—
My body is in prison, but my spirit is free!”
So remember, they can take away your rights,
They can take away your freedom or even your life—
But nobody can take your spirit—unless you give it to them.
Bardstown, KY USA [/quote]
Posted: Sat Nov 06, 2004 4:51 pm
I don't remember the right number, but I think it's about 30 electoral college votes. Do the math, the democrats kept their States or ground. But Florida still played a major role, not Ohio, because Ohio is more Republikkkan.
Bush had about a million votes over Kerry in Florida, and I believe some Haitians and most Cubans contributed to that.[/quote]
Here is a link to the actual number of votes Bush beats Kerry in Florida:
Difference: 381,147 votes more than Kerry
Florida Number of electoral votes: 27
http://network.ap.org/dynamic/files/ele ... N=POLITICS
You will need to register with The Herald to read it, but it is a simple process and free.
Kerry and the Shrub in Florida
Posted: Sat Nov 06, 2004 6:59 pm
Greetings and Respect all:
The fact is that Ohio would have probably been a lost deal for the Democrats simply because the many new blacks who voted are fundamental Christians and about 1 out 6 voted for Bush because of the Gay marriage issue. Funny thing is that Kerry supports civil unions and not gay marriage and so him and the shrub agree on that issue however the MA supreme court voted for gay marriage. Still the real issue is hidden under the right wing moral agenda of white supremacy. They want us to believe that they have the moral high road when they agree with slavery and all kinds of isms.
They also want us to believe that their marriages are alright when their men step out and have affairs with other men and sometimes women. The fact is that more could have been done to reach out to all possible democratic and Kerry voters in Florida particularly in South Florida. Something went wrong in the campaign just like it did in the Senate race when Alex Penelas and Peter Deutsch were ousted in the primaries! I was shocked. I hope that they both run for governor in 2006 and I will work to elect them. They are progressive white folks who work with the Haitian community. Alex Penelas is educated and well spoken. He even reached out to the Haitian artists. When I gave a reading along with others at the well known Books and Books in Coral Gables as part of the Butterfly's way anthology he sent a representative who was his Haitian liason and she was very nice and kissed me and congratulated me a Haitian Rasta who spoke such radical views!
The DemocRats need to rework their BASE and Rock the Vote more strongly and they need to get more grassroots ASAP.
Response to Pernell Mc Farlane
Posted: Mon Nov 08, 2004 5:03 pm
[quote]Friday, November 05, 2004
To Guy S. Antoine,
Yes, it is sad, sad, very sad and regrettable, and the tragedy of it all, is that the majority of Americans don't care, (an expletive would be more appropriate here, but I won't give in to my anger and outrage.)
I totally agree with you that the result of the elections clearly demonstrates that the majority of Americans have no regard for what the rest of the world thinks about them, and that they obviously have no concern about the the injustices or human rights violations taking place in places where their powerful government can take steps to make changes for the better, specifically, Haiti, Iraq, Darfur to name a few.
They seem to lack human compassion for the suffering of the people in these countries, some of which are direct results of the actions of their government . The word on the street is that they voted their 'moral values' ! Will someone explain that to me? Does it mean that by embracing our greed and selfishness, while we look the other way, and put on blinders when it comes to other people's suffering and dehumanization, that we are living our 'moral values'?
I simply cannot reconcile the reports of the injustices, carnage in places like Haiti, Darfur, Iraq, Palestine, and the widespread acts of terrorism which have taken place under this adminstration's watch, and the mandate for 4 more years of the same. There is so much that has gone wrong in this place - the economy, the environment, education, healthcare among others - and this administration has not addressed these domestic problems, but instead have opted to throw its weight abroad in other countries.
I am just so curious what does the US have to gain by detroying Haiti? But I don't believe idealism is dead in Haiti. As Studs Terkel said, "hope Dies Last", and to borrow from Dylan Thomas "Do not go gentle into oblivion Haiti, but rage, rage against the forces of evil, for freedom and democracy" (my words mostly, not verbatim).
And Mr. Antoine, I join you in daring an army of zombies to rise to defeat the victorious, selfish, unthinking and greedy forces of George W, Bush, who are the majority of Americans to whose ideology we do not subscribe.[/quote]
Dear Pearl McFarlane,
I find some comfort in knowing that mine is not a lonely voice in the desert and that this army of zombies is growing.
We do belong, whether we like it or not, but we choose to represent other ideals.
I love your rephrasing of Dylan Thomas, and I appropriate its call: "Do not go gentle into oblivion, Haiti, but rage, rage against the forces of evil, for freedom and democracy"
Thank you. Our army of caring zombies is growing. They will find out sooner or later that we never were truly dead.
Guy S. Antoine
Posted: Mon Nov 08, 2004 5:16 pm
[quote]Sunday, November 07, 2004
Dear Guy S,
I feel honoured that you should consider my comments worthy of note.
I am still angry, outraged. and frustrated about the current state of affairs here and around the world, particularly in Haiti, Darfur, and Iraq. I am not a writer, but I do feel very deeply about the injustices, genocide, carnage, and all the other evils which are taking place in the name of democracy and religion (?), and what is most disturbing, is the fact that the majority of people just don't seem to care.
I am very concerned about human affairs and the planet of which we are co-inhabitants, and I, unfortunately (perhaps) speak from my heart and not my head, when I express my outrage. But where is the outrage of the majority, or in the case at issue, 51% of the American people(?)
At the moment, I am experiencing mixed emotions. I am still hurt angry, and outraged, but I am heartened because there are people like you who share my pain. Somewhere I read that what one heart cannot bear alone, a hundred loving hearts can bear with faith. Besides "Many hands make light a heavy load" yes?
I do not particularly trust the main stream media, but I was encouraged by Bob Herbert's column in the NY Times which admonishes us to get back to work. In part he says "you have had a couple of days to indulge your depression, now, get over it, the election has been lost, but there is still a country to save" - in short Back to Work.
John Passacantando Exec. Dir. of Greenpeace, expresses it thus "when you listen to President Bush and feel disenfranchised, and that your government doesn't represent you, when you feel that it is no longer your country, savor that feeling. Before Gandhi, King, Lewis, Parks, Muir and Thoreau went on to great things, they all felt that way . They felt it, it made them angry, and then it motivated them. Now it is our turn. Feel pissed off. Then together, we will turn it into something".
So, I realize I am not the only one that feels the way I do, and I am consoled by that knowledge. The issues might be different, Haiti, Iraq, Darfur, the environment, HIV/AIDS, but ultimately, it is the same goal, the preservation of human dignity and peaceful co-existence.
Someone asked in a column "how could poor, underpaid, and unemployed Americans, vote for a tax cut for the wealthy?" and then Scotts' poem came to mind "breathes there a man/woman with soul so dead, who never to himself/herself hath said, this is my own my native land". The zombies obviously havn't been thinking or have not thought in those terms, otherwise they wouldn't have voted it away.
So, now it is our job not only to get it back, but save Haiti in the process.