The massive earth quake has put Haiti back on the front page. The last time was during the Clinton years when the USA sent in troops to oust a military junta. Why? They didn’t want Haitian migrants to be able to claim political asylum; as purely economic refugees they could be excluded. Nobody, it seems, wants Haitians.
Haiti is the oldest black republic in the world. Yet even Afrocentrists pretend it doesn’t exist or, at least, ignore it. This is because Haiti is also the longest-running existing failed state in the world. This is the plight of Haiti, earthquake or no earthquake..
Diamond Pat Robertson has his explanation for the plight of Haiti: THE DEVIL! According to this shyster, when the slaves rose up against the French, they made a pact with the Devil! The Reverend doesn’t say whether they should have stayed slaves and been content with their lot.
By the way, Diamond Pat was given his nickname nearly 20 years again by THE SPOTLIGHT newspaper, then published by the far right Liberty Lobby. It seems Robertson appealed to viewers of his “700 Club” tv show for funds to save souls in the Congo. Never mind that Catholic missionaries had been active there for a hundred years. Funds raised, Diamond Pat used the bucks for diamond prospecting, hence the apt nickname.
Going beyond the incoherent rants of Diamond Pat, the first in-depth look at the origins of Haiti’s plight came from American racialist writer Lothrop Stoddard in his 1914 doctoral thesis–at Harvard, no less–entitled THE FRENCH REVOLUTION IN SANTO DOMINGO. He described the slaughter of whites by black slaves (with the help of French Jacobins) and said Haiti, then France’s richest colony, never recovered. He termed it “the first great shock between the ideals of white supremacy and race equality.” Haiti today is dominated by its 5% mulattoes. Stoddard today is best known for his 1920 book THE RISING TIDE OF COLOR AGAINST WHITE WORLD-SUPREMACY. Both books are in print.
The counter-view comes from black Marxist C.L.R. James in his 1938 book THE BLACK JACOBINS. James saw economic and class distinctions over-riding the race question. The taking of the Bastille and the French Revolution are seen having a big impact on the slaves. Moreover, you have the white planters allying with the mulattoes in a too late effort to stave off the slave revolt.
THE BLACK JACOBINS is a stirring tale of revolution. But James is mostly silent about Haiti afterwards. Toussaint L’Overture, the leader is captured near the end. His general Dessalines completes the struggle. He then sets himself up as emperor; no workers paradise here.
A good backdrop comes Smedley Butler’s 1940 WAR IS A RACKET. Butler was a Marine Corps general who had won two Congressional Medals of Honor and lived to tell about. His tale is one of the US military in enforcing the writ of New York banks to rip off countries like Haiti, thus stunting their growth and inhibiting any chance of development.
So, you see, Diamond Pat, there’s more than the Devil afoot here.
You, dear readers, decide for yourself.