Are Haitians too polarized by politics?

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Are Haitians too polarized by politics?

Post by admin » Tue Nov 22, 2005 7:56 am

In a previous post, I said:
[quote]Haiti is a deeply polarized society. Whenever someone says anything or does anything, the first question that is raised is whether that person has allegiance to Aristide, Lavalas, Convergence, GNB, Andy Apaid, Charles Baker, or whatever and whomever. The merits of what you stand for are always judged secondary to those real or imagined allegiances. There seemingly is no room for independent journalists, independent workers' unions, independent human rights workers, and independent thinkers. That is one fatal flaw of Haitian society, that is shared across board and that generates dissension, disunity, disloyalty, and a crippling inability to unite for the common good. From my personal experience, I have concluded that a substantial sector of our community of Haitians are curiously but irremediably unable to transcend that condit
ion and shift to a new paragdim. [/quote]

In response, Jean-Marie wrote:
[quote]I totally disagree with the idea in that paragraph because it generalizes. I also abhor that practice of boxing people in a political camp or other. But, I cannot generalize it as I am in no particular camp myself.[/quote]

I do invite discussion and disagreements with my observation, but I do not understand Jean-Marie's objection. Yes, I generalize to an extent, but I stated that: 1) I was speaking from my personal experience; 2) I was speaking of "a substantial sector of our community".

Furthermore, when I said: "There seemingly is no room for independent journalists, independent workers' unions, independent human rights workers, and independent thinkers," I thought that it was contextually clear that I was speaking of the mindset of a significant number of people in the Haitian community, and not in absolute terms.

Anyway, I stand by my statement, because it is
firmly rooted in my own experience and frequent interactions with our community. Perhaps, others are fortunate enough to have an entirely different experience of our community. I would be happy to learn about it! Please respond to this thread and let us know.

For my part, unfortunately, I still see a community deeply polarized and deeply suspicious, where real and imagined political allegiances are the tests one apparently must pass for bonding for the common good.

Hyppolite
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Post by Hyppolite » Tue Nov 22, 2005 12:51 pm

Guy,

Youre absolutely right. It's all like a church/faith mentality. It's worse than Manichean; it's utterly religious. The truth is, all sides have something to say but they always put it in the wrong context. By that I mean, they don't say things to help advance the cause of the Haitian people first (i.e. everyone) but instead, they do so to reject and even destroy, kill another side if this is at all possible.

Look at what's going on now in Haiti: those who are on the side of the masses are thought of as chimeres; those who are for the elite are thought of as renegade bastards. Yet, the truth lies somewhere in between. The way I see it:
- each voice ought to be heard through the right channels;
- it is not because someone is on the side of the most vulnerable in society that such a person is anti-elite;
- it is not because someone is for a progressive elite that such a person is against the people (read "the masses");
- the struggle for a strong and vibrant Haiti requires the participation of everyone, even when one disagrees with the other on some fundamental issues;
- saying that you are for the masses doesn't mean that you will apply policies that will benefit them;
- elections in a democratic process means: one-man, one vote;
- government means measures that are a blend of intelligence, knowledge, rectitude, foresight.

We could go on and on but yet, we talk pass each other rather than with each other. When will we realize that Haiti cannot gain anything by exclusionary politics, wherever the spirit of exclusion comes from? Don't know; don't know...

T-dodo

Post by T-dodo » Tue Nov 22, 2005 12:55 pm

As a separate thread, without its original context, the quoted paragraph has a different meaning that would have elicited a different reaction from me. In its original context, the FATAL FLAW was supposed to be the explanation why a human rights activist group's motive was second-guessed. The generalized application of the observation to that particular case was not appropriate. The second-guessing of the group's motive was clearly the consequence of the group's overzealous efforts in recruiting potential sympathizers. While the observation would have been valid in many other cases, when a human rights activist group's altruistic motives were questioned, it was not in this case. The observation was made in one of those, perhaps, not frequent cases when the exception justifies a rule or an observation, for that matter. Therefore, the answer to the question asked in that thread is predetermined to invalidate my respons
e taking out of its context. And, we all know what the response would have been without it? The observation is true in most cases involving our brethren.

T-dodo

Post by T-dodo » Wed Nov 23, 2005 1:08 pm

Serge,

I agree with you and that's what I said in the response above as follows:

[quote]Therefore, the answer to the question asked in that thread is predetermined to invalidate my response taking out of its context. And, we all know what the response would have been without it? The observation is true in most cases involving our brethren.[/quote]

In other words, in a general context I agree with Guy, Hyppolite and you. In the context of the discussion with Ezili Danto I disagree and I gave the reasons for it here and in the other thread.

Ezili Danto
Posts: 197
Joined: Sat May 31, 2003 11:57 pm

What exactly do you disagree with Ezili Danto on?

Post by Ezili Danto » Thu Nov 24, 2005 4:46 pm

mr. florestal,

You've written you don't know our work, that we are "you guess" paid lobbyist, our position on the election is naive, lofty and unrealistic; you even sneaked in that I am just another "downtown" lawyer to you, someone you know not, but presumably a "downtown" lawyer nonetheless- meaning to the reasonable observer, we are obviously a dime a dozen and not noteworthy. You've accused others of name calling, while it appears what you write, purportedly as "observations" tend to amount to a a simple reshuffling of prejudices winding up stating the same zingers over and over again. The only consistent affirmative, from our review of some of your other posts, is that what you do think is "realistic" seems to be that Haitians should accept that the Haitian Constitution is DEAD, and don't resist, but vote for Administrator Simeus!!!.

Jmflores
tal, wrote [quote]As a separate thread, without its original context, the quoted paragraph has a different meaning that would have elicited a different reaction from me. In its original context, the FATAL FLAW was supposed to be the explanation why a human rights activist group's motive was second-guessed. The generalized application of the observation to that particular case was not appropriate. The second-guessing of the group's motive was clearly the consequence of the group's overzealous efforts in recruiting potential sympathizers. While the observation would have been valid in many other cases, when a human rights activist group's altruistic motives were questioned, it was not in this case. The observation was made in one of those, perhaps, not frequent cases when the exception justifies a rule or an observation, for that matter. Therefore, the answer to the question asked in that thread is predetermined to invalidate my response taking out of its context. And, we all know what the response w
ould have been without it? The observation is true in most cases involving our brethren.[/quote]

On the face of it, it is CLEAR to anyone, except those not following the thread entitled "HLLN position on the sham elections"at windowsonhaiti, http://www.haitiforever.com/forum/viewt ... 2100#12100
that Ezili Danto and HLLN are your TARGETS. That your "second-guessing" of Ezili Danto and HLLN's motive "was clearly the consequence of... what? Ezili Danto's "overzealous efforts in recruiting potential sympathizers."

Truly? Is that what we were doing in patiently and politely answering your leading questions, or were they attacks? For, believe me jmflorestal when I tell you I could have broken down each and everyone of your statements the way I will do with this paragraph, but didn't because your illogic and baseless attacks were too obvious. Don't believe, for a nanosecond, I did not register the taunts covered in semantics: ... a lobbyist, a c
orner store lawyer….. I let them go because I DON'T HAVE THE TIME for trading insults with annonymous posters on the internet who are just "watching" what's happening in Haiti. I let them go because Ezili Danto and the Network have become very used to the coup d'etat peoples' constant insults and efforts at distracting us from the work that must be done. I let them go because Ezili Danto and HLLN are so busy with the job of alleviating a bit of the suffering of the poor in Haiti and the refugees in the US, it's impossible and unproductive for us to address ourselves to issues other than to clarify our positions and help educated in order to mobilize support for Haiti's suffering poor and for our human rights work on their behalf. I let them go because long time members of Windowsonhaiti know what Ezili Danto stands for and because no thinking and objective-minded Haitian who knows our work would make these characterizations. But you are insisting on this character assassination thing and using my name
in a disparaging manner, so, ok. Let's start with your latest.

I invite you go back to the thread - HLLN's position on the sham elections at windowsonhaiti:

read the exchange and please SUPPORT, with evidence, what is it that we wrote there which makes Ezili Danto and HLLN the exception to the general rule to Guy's statement. PLEASE. For, the paragraph you say you disagreed with, came from Guy in his efforts to make a point, which I believe, in part was to thank Ezili Danto [quote] "for her personal and tireless advocacy of human rights in Haiti."[/quote] and for letting her voice [quote] "be heard at a time when many have chosen to be silent"[/quote]

Are you saying HLLN and Ezili Danto forced Guy, Jafrikayiti, Padel, Serge Bellegarde, Leonel Jean-Baptiste, who responded favorably to defend Ezili Danto and HLLN against your pre-judgments and veiled a
nd unveiled accusations, that they were somehow "recruited" by Ezili Danto's "overzealous efforts in recruiting potential sympathizers." That my explanations to inform you about Ezili Danto and HLLN's work somehow persuaded these men to a position they would otherwise not have as independent thinkers? This appears to be the logical extension of your comment, doesn't it? For, you clearly wrote[quote] The second-guessing of the group's (Ezili Danto and HLLN's) motive was clearly the consequence of the group's overzealous efforts in recruiting potential sympathizers.[/quote]

So, by your very words, HLLN was "recruiting potential sympathisers when we answered to explain our position on elections? Is that it? But, what if we were? Isn't that our job? But even if that were the case, which it wasn't, is it reasonable for you to discount the posts of "our sympathisers." That is, Guy's statement is discounted as not applicable to HLLN, or the other posts were somehow mobilized unf
airly to support HLLN. Does any of these accusations make good sense, to REASONABLE and un-bigoted persons? No, they're just insults.

For, Guy, it seems, was also directly referring to Ezili Danto and HLLN, defending our positive contributions, persuaded, no doubt from a simple reading of (my characterization) jmflorestal's attacks and disparaging remarks, to defend the independent voice of HLLN and the "merits of what we stand for" when he wrote [quote]Haiti is a deeply polarized society. Whenever someone says anything or does anything, the first question that is raised is whether that person has allegiance to Aristide, Lavalas, Convergence, GNB, Andy Apaid, Charles Baker, or whatever and whomever. The merits of what you stand for are always judged secondary to those real or imagined allegiances. There seemingly is no room for independent journalists, independent workers' unions, independent human rights workers, and independent thinkers. That is one fatal flaw of Haitian society, that
is shared across board and that generates dissension, disunity, disloyalty, and a crippling inability to unite for the common good. From my personal experience, I have concluded that a substantial sector of our community of Haitians are curiously but irremediably unable to transcend that condition and shift to a new paradigm.[/quote]

What is it precisely with this statement from Guy you agree with in a "general context" but not in the context of Ezili Danto and HLLN, which you've already admitted and illustrated you are uninformed about, except presumably for our position on the elections?

What's the basis and verifiable evidence for you, jmflorestal to question Ezili Danto and HLLN's altruistic motives as human rights activists?

Let's look at brother Hyppolite's statement for a moment:

In response to your disagreement with Guy's statement, about the constant Haitian fratricide and Haitian tendency to judge people, not on the merits of
what they stand for but on real or imagined political allegiances as if there's no room for independent journalists, independent workers' unions, independent human rights workers, and independent thinkers,
Hyppolite wrote[quote]You're absolutely right (Guy). It's all like a church/faith mentality. It's worse than Manichean; it's utterly religious. The truth is, all sides have something to say but they always put it in the wrong context. By that I mean, they don't say things to help advance the cause of the Haitian people first (i.e. everyone) but instead, they do so to reject and even destroy, kill another side if this is at all possible. [/quote]

JMflorestal wrote[quote]In the context of the discussion with Ezili Danto I disagree and I gave the reasons for it here and in the other thread.[/quote]

jmforestal, my friend, I am not clear at all why, in the context of Ezili Danto and HLLN, Guy's observation is not applicable in its positive, va
lidating sense. Why do you say adamantly that Guy's observation is [quote]... true in most cases involving our brethren."[/quote] but, that Ezili Danto is the "exception" to the rule.

I get this from you. You wrote, that your "OBSERVATIONS" (how is it you've "observed" our un-altruistic motives, jmflorestal?), but you wrote in somewhat a mumbo jumbo way, but clearly another disparaging zinger that[quote]The observation was made in one of those, perhaps, not frequent cases when the exception justifies a rule or an observation, for that matter[/quote]

Anyway, I am confused and not clear how to correct some fault which jmflorestal has found personally with HLLN and Ezili Danto. What is obvious, from the last thread, is that Jmflorestal says he has no real knowledge about our work.

Inquiring minds wanna know then, why the continued unprovoked, unfounded and very personal attacks. Why? Will it alleviate the suffering of the people of Haiti? Does
it have anything to do with our position on the sham elections?

What's the provocation for jmflorestal "second-guessing" this "human rights group's motives? - the human right's group being, according to jmflorestal, HLLN and Ezili Danto? He writes[quote] [/quote]

Where, my dear friend jmflorestal, is your PROOF that our "motives" in defending the human, civil and cultural rights of Haitian living at home and abroad is about some nefarious, self-serving purpose? Or as you put it about[quote]fighting for POWER[/quote]. What makes you come to the conclusion that Ezili Danto and HLLN are not fighting[quote] to free Haitians living in the countryside of Haiti or the slums of its cities from hunger, malnutrition, healthcare, decent living, education, hope, respect by other countries, etc.[/quote]

What makes you write this in response to our position on elections. Why do you question that Ezili D
anto is not acting based on conviction, courage, self-lessness and principle. That our work is about a "political ambition," " a personal choice." Is iit possible Ezili Danto had a different human rights platform before this coup d'etat http://www.margueritelaurent.com/presskit/kit_01.html
but felt COMPELLED to revive HLLN in order to give voice to the voiceless and systematically criminalized peoples of Haiti? What makes it impossible for you to believe there are Haitians who believe in protecting the weaker amongs us and standing on principle simply because it is THE RIGHT THING TO DO. Is it fair to saddle other Haitians with your limitations, jmflorestal. For example that you can't IMAGINE that there's NO DREAM TOO BIG TO ACHIEVE; Can't imagine, you write [quote]young Haitian teenagers from Saltrou, Marmelade, Pointe-a-Pitre, Anse-à-Galais, as an example[/quote] dreaming about [quote]becoming as rich as Bill gates when he grows up![/quote]

Perhaps some teenager in Saltrou wishes that dream, and can imagine it, why not? Ever heard of the maxum reach for the moon and you might reach the stars! Although, to be precise, ours at HLLN is a socially redeeming mission and we work towards promoting dreams of value to our communityl But it appears jmflorestal your conception of the universe and its vast abundance is truly limited. Ours isn't so limited. Is that a good reason for calling us "unrealistic." Could "realistic" like "beauty" be what's in the eye of the beholder. It is Dessaline's big dream we here at HLLN claim and work to promote - the rule of law and Haiti as a Black ruled independent nation. We put our lifeforce behind that purpose and act daily, as best we can, to push it into manifestation. We accept the possibility we may not see the harvest, but to work for a cause that will outlive one is an acceptable, noble and valuable use of our lifeblood.

Our work defends Haitian human rights, cultural rights and i
s certainly not political beyond pushing to mobilize people, money, power so that Haiti's sovereignty is returned, our Constitution is implemented and Haiti's peoples are respected. So, why strum Haitian fratricide, jmflorestal? HLLN and Ezili Danto have never attacked you, only defended that our position on the sham elections stand on principle and that Ezili Danto and HLLN does more than talk. We answered your questions about why we hold our position very directly and succinctly and listed links to what HLLN DOES because you questioned and disparaged our advocacy work basically saying that HLLN was taking political mileage out of advocating for the people of Haiti. He wrote, [quote]I have read many posts on this forum denouncing his unjust arrest and asking for his liberation without trying to take political mileage out of it. I also read in many news accounts of people, haitians and non-haitians alike, asking for his release. So, HLLN d
oes not have a monopoly on his defense. In fact, your efforts in using his name are kind of late, since so many people preceded you and tried harder.[/quote]

We answered these accusations at: Ezili Danto's post entitled A question of lack of knowledge or pretense?

But you've continued with the attacks on this thread, in answer to Guy's statement and now directly identifying Ezili Danto, above, as the subject of your "exception" to Guy's generalized comment. Again, in sum, jmflorestal, you hold that the Haitian Constitution is dead, and that going to elections under this climate of oppression - with potential candidates in jail, the majority of the population excluded by high tech balloting and Haiti under occupation - is a better choice than not having elections. Ezili Danto and HLLN, who are on the battlefield everyday, and are not simply "watching" as you, jmflorestal admits to be doing,
have not disparaged you, jmflorestal for these views whatsoever. So, why the continued personal attack and illogical and unprovoked hostility?

If you'd like, since, in your post above you named Ezili Danto and not HLLN. JMflorestal wrote[quote]In the context of the discussion with Ezili Danto I disagree and I gave the reasons for it here and in the other thread.[/quote][/quote]

I, Ezili Danto, shed my HLLN hat and invite you to explain your concerns with Ezili Danto in the context of Guy's statement. I shall answer for Ezili Danto.

Respect,

Ezili Danto
li led li la, li pa freda

T-dodo

Post by T-dodo » Thu Nov 24, 2005 10:52 pm

Ms. Danto,

I am not a politician. I write on Ann Pale for the knowledge and fun of it. The way this discussion is going, it is no longer fun.

I figure the time it took you to post this rebuttal means that something important is at stake here. If I knew something that important was at stake, I would not have got into that discussion. I will get out and you can have the last word on it.

Before I do so, I will reporduce below what you wrote which lead me into stating:"..group's overzealous efforts in recruiting potential sympathizers," even though I am not very "educated."

[quote]But, it is a hard reality also, that there are far too many, ostensibly very "educated" Haitians, at home and abroad, who seem to willingly be closing both eyes while extending both arms and legs for the shackles to be put on. Falsely believing their willingness to "be good," "moderates" and cooperative, to be "
less-than;" willingness not to fight the occupation and their rigged elections, willingness to, in essence, deny their own unalienable rights, this, they seem to say, is an acceptable ALTERNATIVE because what? It means not making the tyrants more insane! It means, they do nothing and let things role on, AS IS, without rocking the boat to make things WORSE!.[/quote]

Quoting your own words will be my answer to all your tirade. I will also add that Guy, Leonel, Serge, etc, are entitled to their own opinions. I am entitled to mine as well. I have no interest in changing your opinions about me. After your last post, you lost all the political capital you earned in my eyes during our previous exchanges. If your intent was to win me to your cause, you failed miserably. I could care less whether or not you find my opinions agreable to you. And, by the way, feel free to ridicule, distort or spin them as much as you can. I have nothing to lose from that, for I am not a politician.

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