Emulating Bouckman, helping Haiti
by John Maxwell
Monday, June 14, 2004
This may seem at first a somewhat bizarre initiative, but after you read the two stories attached I think you may change your mind.
I hope so.
I am sending two articles from the St Petersburg Times which I believe deserve to be reprinted all over the world.
I believe that the world, like the Levite in the parable of the Good Samaritan, is about to delicately draw up up its skirts and pass by on the other side, leaving 8 million human beings to languish and die, all because their ancestors 200 years ago decided to make concrete the idea that every human being should have the same rights as every other.
The Haitian revolution was the only one of the three great revolutions of the eight
eenth century which respected and implemented all of The Rights of Man. It was the Haitians who abolished slavery in the modern world and they have been paying the price ever since. As the cynics say –No good deed ever goes unpunished.
I believe that it is our duty to come to the aid of Haiti.
It is the duty particularly of the oppressed and the disinherited.
As the Cubans have said: "WE CANNOT ABANDON HAITI !"
Haiti has suffered for 200 years from the lies, obfuscation and deliberate misrepresentation of people, organisations and states motivated by a deep-seated fear of real human freedom and a profound inability to appreciate the real genius of a people driven by the urge to bring freedom to all.
The Haitians have managed to survive in the face of the most long-lasting and purposeful genocidal campaign in history. They suffered because they helped Bolivar, because they wanted to send soldiers to help Lincoln free the American slaves, because they understood the indivi
sibility of freedom and liberty; they knew that just as no nation can be half slave and half free, the world itself cannot be half slave and half free.
One of my email correspondents recently described Haiti as an international crime scene, and he is correct.
The United Nations Secretary General, Kofi Annan, and the UN Security Council, have attempted to licence the latest attempt to return Haiti to its prison of unfreedom. We, who claim to be democrats, to love freedom and liberty, will be accomplices in this latest crime if we do not do everything in our power to set Haiti free once and for all.
If Haiti is not free, none of us is free.
When Haiti helped Bolivar – alone and friendless – she gave him all the arms, money and support that she could. She asked only one thing of him – that in freeing America he should also free its slaves.
I suggest that this gesture bequeaths to us an inescapable duty – to free Haiti from its bondage, to allow Haitians to decide their future
for themselves. to give Haiti back its freedom.
We have no arms and we do not need arms.
What we have is more potent than arms.
We have the power to move the conscience of the world, of humanity. We have the power to make a big difference to the lives of the Haitian people and of the oppressed all over the world.
What we need to do is to bring to bear the pressure of world public opinion, to relight the fire that Bouckman lit in 1793, to make it impossible for Haiti to be subjugated once again by stealth, by deceit and double dealing and treachery in the service of racism and greed.
We don't have to do anything spectacular. All we need to do is to try to keep the attention of our neighbours focused from time to time, on the reality of Haiti. And we need to keep on doing it.
We can start with our friends, by circulating stories like the two I send you today which, to my mind, demonstrate how one person can start a movement which can make a fundamental difference
to the lives of a host of other people.
I really believe that each of us can do that too.
Peace and Love
A healer in Haiti
http://www.sptimes.com/2004/02/22/Flori ... aiti.shtml
http://www.sptimes.com/2004/02/22/photo ... age1.shtml
Haiti now, from the inside
http://www.sptimes.com/2004/06/13/Flori ... he_i.shtml
You may also want to read
Mountains Beyond Mountains
by Tracy Kidder; Random House, 2003
Modernity Disavowed: Haiti and the Cultures of Slavery in the Age of Revolution
by Sibylle Fischer; University of the West Indies Press/Duke University Press 2004
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