The Almighty UN: When I was young I thought the UN was a powerful entity, like the Super friends from Saturday morning cartoons. I was fed the idea that they provided a solution to arguing nations and would be helpful in taking the side of the underdog, the oppressed and colonized. But as I grew I realized it was just a way of making it look like America and Britain were not acting alone and it rewarded participants who conscripted their troops there. They are a Right Wing punching bag but really that’s duplicitous because they have been used to justify our actions in Afghanistan and Iraq. As if it is full of equal partners who are committed to the mission. Truth is the UN peacekeepers are full of many soldiers who would otherwise be getting paid $100 a week to be a soldier in their own country. The UN security-council resolutions have no teeth without the US’s approval, and sometimes they go to a country (like Haiti) and get a paycheck for doing very little. As I keep having interactions with them, my opinion just keeps on worsening. I by no means had any of those young teenage illusions about them going into this trip, but this is my observation. There is no salvation for the 3rd world in this entity. Truthfully, the UN are a war (with a real country) away from being as much of a part of history as the Hanseatic League. As we speak. They act as the de-facto military rulers of Haiti, with the US leaning over them looking at possible candidates. I think in all honesty they want a Haitian Karzai of their very own so perhaps their weakness is deceptive on purpose and they are just the arm of a face that has not revealed itself yet. “Le temps est un grand maître, dit-on, le malheur est qu’il tue ses élèves.”
Jesus’s Power Broker: Haiti is flooded with Christian missionaries. There were 40 of them on the plane with me headed to Port-Au-Prince. In case you don’t know what a missionary is kids, it’s not just a sexual position. (Although plenty of people have been fucked over the years.) It means someone who goes to other countries and tells people that their religion or native custom is savage and full of useless ceremonies to God’s & spirits that don’t exist. And while I know some of these people mean well, their very existence and purpose is in complete contradiction to what their religion actually teaches. Some are working to build schools and help out with social programs, but always with the agenda to prosthletize and solidify their religious control over the area. So no matter what their intentions are, they look like their peddling Jesus on a fishing pole with foreign aid wrapped in Bible paper on a hook. In the past they were dispatched to countries to make them as Christian as possible in a direct effort to bring them into the colonial power’s sphere of influence. You see Imperial powers could not win by military force, and so conversion directly aided in our subjugation and apparently still aids in our placation. As long as we let other people define God for us we will not only be the physical but also the spiritual prisoner of our oppressors’ vision.
Mission Impossible: Spain, Portugal, England, France and Italy, etc… did this “missionary work” all over Africa, Asia and Latin America. Many of you people reading this who are of the aforementioned faith have them to thank, not divine intervention for what you believe. I am not in any way shape or form trying to detract from the individuals who really have the message of Jesus Christ in their hearts. I honestly believe if we lived our lives by the teachings of Christ this world would be a better place. But there are too many frauds making money off of Yeshua these days. The crazy thing is, that as many Muslim and Jewish charities that are working in Haiti, I haven’t witnessed any effort by them to convert people to Judaism or Islam. What is it about this faith that we hold so dear in America that makes us so insecure about what other people believe in? You’re going to have to stop using the excuse you want to “save people” and just admit that you don’t feel comfortable around someone until they believe in what you believe, spiritually. What gives us the moral authority to go around the world and tell the indigenous people of every continent that their religion is a farce and the only real truth was compiled in Constantinople in 325 AD? Isn’t the most “Christian” thing in the world to give charity to the poor and suffering without asking for anything in return? (Least of all, the culmination of all their beliefs.)
Blood Roots: As I walked through the tent cities full of families waiting for water and cooking whatever they could find for their collective I happened upon a long road. It led me through the scorching slums of the outer area of Port-Au-Prince. While I was walking these two young brothers who ere dressed in red asked me if I was a Blood. I looked at them both and I responded that I wasn’t and one of them then raised his eyebrow, “you Crip then?” He asked with a heavy Creole accent. I said that I was neither and I was more like a Black Panther. After all OG Black Panthers and people from the Indigenous movements have taught me a libraries worth of knowledge. The younger one asked me what a Black panther was. I searched my surrounding for an analogy and there just happened to be a small tree near by. So I walked them over to it. The tree had two branches littered with a few leaves. Holding one branch I said, “this one is the blood” and pointing to the other one I said, “this one is the Crip” and then putting his hand on the trunk close to the roots, I said “this one is the Black Panther”. “Ne de la Revolution” which means Born out of Revolution in my humble French. The young kid smiled at me and asked me more about the Black Panthers. I stood there speaking to him for a little while and then we saluted one another and went our separate ways. Although Haiti is twice as hood as any place in the US, they are such a young country full of children who must become adults before their time. If they are to succeed, someone must educate them to the fact that what people call Black history is in fact world history. I would be honored to be a part of that someday. Don’t worry I won’t NGO them for hundreds of G’s either. I’d settle for a room and some coffee in the morning.
La Revolucion de Latino America: For those of us who are studying Latin American Revolution, Haiti is the prequel, the seemingly invincible power of France being challenged and overcome. The Napoleonic wars gave America a chance to breathe away from the eyes of Europe long enough to affirm itself. France’s assault on Spain weakened the European states enough for us to take the moment that we cherish as our time for ‘Revolucion’. The story of our Revolution doesn’t begin in the 1950’s but in the Indigenous revolts of the conquest era and the early 1800’s when a small island of enslaved Africans showed the world that it was possible. Estudiantes Latinos, estudia esta Revolucion, sus lecciones son unas de las mas importantes para apprender. Tienen te todo, de raza, de classe, de corrupcion, y por supuesto del sacrificio necessario para obtener la libertad.
In parting: I learned something very reassuring about myself in Haiti, something I am proud to acknowledge and leave my people on a good note with. When I meet someone who is a better activist, or Revolutionary, (I’ll be happy to make that distinction later) when I see someone whose actions achieve more than mine, or who has a more complete perspective I become inspired. I don’t get bitter or jealous and think about trying to “out-revolutionary” them. That’s so pointless and yet it is something that I see sometimes in the movement, people who think that because another doesn’t adhere to the same ideology or the same faith that we must bring them down. I am a Revolutionary and I need no one’s permission to be. We were successful at breaking ground in Haiti, but my mission there is by no means complete, I wish to plan further actions with my friends at Arms Around Haiti and the staff at SOBS. I would like to thank Jube, Mario, Cormega, StylesP, Herbie, Clef, Yele, Arms Around Haiti, Parrish, BC, and my Haitian Soldiers there for making this trip possible I look forward to returning soon.
“Le travail éloigne de nous trois grands maux: l’ennui, le vice et le besoin.”
– Peace & Respect, Immortal Technique
Part 1 was in RHHR Issue # 11 and at https://rhhr.wordpress.com/2010/08/30/reflections-on-haiti-part-1/… More info at: http://myspace.com/immortaltechnique & http://twitter.com/immortaltech