Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Haitian Intellectuals and the Example of China by Asselin Charles

Haitian Intellectuals and the Example of China
by Asselin Charles
I would like to draw your attention to Dr. Godfree Roberts’ comment at 14:10  minutes into the podcast. Referencing a research published by a physics professor at the University of Michigan, Dr. Roberts points out that in the United States there are about 10,000 top-level people and innovative thinkers, with an average IQ of 160, able to contribute the fresh ideas that are the ferment of progress in society. In China, still according to Dr. Roberts, there are about 330,000 such people. 
I am not sure what formula that University of Michigan physicist used to arrive at these figures; I’ll have to chase down the original paper. I suspect he is right, however. As we know, the number of real thinkers among the educated in a society will always be very small compared to the number of degree  holders and to the total population. That’s par for the course. Even within the university, the premier social institution whose mission is to facilitate the generation, transmission and application of ideas, experience tells us that  it is only about 5%  of the professoriat that generate original thoughts and about  30% that add to and transmit effectively the ideas of these  original thinkers. The remaining 65% are kin to Ibsen’s Jørgen  Tesman, useful sorts in many ways, but hardly the Eilert Løvborg many often fancy themselves to be. (See Henrik Ibsen’s play, Hedda Gabler,  for a portrait of these two contrasting archetypes of the intellectual and academician). Enough said.
The point made by Dr. Roberts is that you need a critical mass of innovative thinkers in a society to help it resolve its problems and move forward, and you need institutions that effectively foster the generation of original ideas and facilitate their transmission and their application. This being the case, it is worth wondering whether we have such a critical mass of original thinkers in our developing and less developed countries (forgive the terminology, but you understand my meaning). It is worth asking whether we have the institutions that cultivate them and make it possible for them to think the thoughts that can change reality. It is worth considering whether we have the institutions that facilitate the transmission of  those thoughts to  students and to society at large (state actors, economic producers, and the creative classes in particular) for action.
I will reiterate the point I have often made: the paralysis of our societies is first and foremost the result of an intractable intellectual crisis, the inability to generate, transmit, and apply the ideas that make for social, economic, political, and cultural progress. In  the case of Haiti, for example, it is clear that an anemic intelligentsia (and this includes intellectuals and professionals both inside Haiti and abroad), whose thought patterns,  weltanschauung, and relations to their immediate social and material environments and to the world at large,  are mired in the late colonial 18th century and pre-industrial-revolution 19th century, is by definition incapable of inventing, transmitting, and applying ideas that  could take their country out of its historical doldrums. It couldn’t be otherwise, in any case, for we cannot expect those products of an educational system whose curriculum, pedagogical practices and ideological orientations are steeped in the 19th century to be able to come up with the modes of thinking, practical ideas, and ways of doing that might pull Haiti into the 21st century. Haitian universities in particular, both the state university and the newer private institutions, maladapted and dysfunctional pale copies of the 19th-century French university with a few haphazard recent borrowings from the American university, are singularly ill equipped to nurture the minds that would be capable of  inventing the ideas and practices likely to resolve the country’s current problems and move Haiti toward a happier future.
The solution? Back to the drawing board to redesign the educational system from kindergarten to the university. And this time, break out of the infernal triangle—France, Canada/Quebec, United States—for helpful educational models and ideas. Look to our neighbors in the Caribbean, Cuba and Barbados in particular, who have managed to develop highly performing educational systems. If you want to go to Europe, go to Finland, a country with a global reputation for excellence in education. Go to China, an old civilization with a much longer and deeper experience in education than France, Canada, and the United States, three polities on which those responsible for education in Haiti seem to be needlessly fixated. We don’t have to reinvent the wheel: borrow, adapt, and emulate to create the right educational system for Haiti and countries in a similar situation. Ultimately, there cannot be political, social, and economic progress as long the current educational system remains in place and keeps churning out and  letting loose the same archaic types of minds into the society.
Bonne écoute!
AC
_______________________________________________________


The Greanville Post (15 July 2016)
http://www.greanvillepost.com/2016/07/15/the-myth-of-western-vs-chinese-education-superiority-godfree-roberts-on-china-rising-radio-sinoland-160714/

THE MYTH OF WESTERN VS CHINESE EDUCATION SUPERIORITY-GODFREE ROBERTS ON CHINA RISING RADIO SINOLAND 160714


                                                                                                


Going back for millennia, civil servants in China used to sport mortar boards and gowns, after passing the grueling state entrance examination, similar to today’s high stakes college entrance test, the “gaokao”. Nothing new under the Sun, in the Middle Kingdom. (Image by baidu.com)

Don’t fall for all the American propaganda about its superiority over China’s educational system and universities. Westerners are clueless. Discussing a deliciously bad article in the Wall Street Journal proves the point, as well as another comparing Jewish and Chinese students in elite prep schools and universities.

Author, analyst and lecturer Jeff J. Brown invited Dr. Godfree Roberts on his China Rising Radio Sinoland show, as a follow-up to their well-received interview about Shanghai public schools being ranked the best on Planet Earth.

Conversation between Jeff Brown and Dr. Godfree Roberts on Chinese education:

http://www.greanvillepost.com/2016/07/15/the-myth-of-western-vs-chinese-education-superiority-godfree-roberts-on-china-rising-radio-sinoland-160714/

*   *   *

Jeff’s and Godfree’s first interview about Shanghai’s #1 schools:



Wall Street Journal article:



Ron Unz article comparing Jewish and Chinese students:



Godfree Roberts’s website:

www.inpraiseofchina.com
Hillary Clinton, another in a long line of unqualified Secretaries of State, informed “governments around the world: we are watching, and we are holding you ...

Ouragan sur Haïti. Lettre ouverte à l'écrivain Makenzy Orcel De Haïti à Israël : la mémoire de l'esclavage

Kabbale-kabbalah (dimanche 9 octobre 2016)
http://kabbale-kabbalah.blogspot.ca/2016/10/ouragan-sur-haiti-lettre-ouverte.html

Ouragan sur Haïti. Lettre ouverte à l'écrivain Makenzy Orcel
De Haïti à Israël : la mémoire de l'esclavage

M. Dominique Blumenstihl-Roth  
Auteur, producteur, éditeur

Le 10 octobre 2016

Cher Makenzy Orcel,

Le 4 octobre dernier j'ai été invité pour la remise de votre prix Ethiophile au restaurant Procope à Paris, mais je me suis retrouvé dans l'impossibilité de monter dans le train. Au dernier moment, quelque chose m'a retenu sur le quai qui m'a empêché… Un autre rendez-vous… Rendez-vous avec cette lettre que je vous écris et que je rends publique.

Rentrant chez moi, j'ai commencé à vous écrire, car j'aurais bien aimé échanger avec vous au sujet de votre conception de la  « reconstruction de l'être haïtien ». Un sujet qui vous tient à cœur.

À peine ai-je commencé la rédaction de ma lettre que j'apprends qu'un ouragan phénoménal s'acharne sur votre pays, Haïti… Des centaines de morts, une population désemparée… mais tellement courageuse.

J'en ai parlé un jour avec notre amie Mme Michaëlle Jean, la Secrétaire Générale de l'O.I.F. (Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie), haïtienne d'origine, comme vous le savez. Ma première interrogation porte sur le tellurisme haïtien. En effet, comment construire — ou reconstruire comme vous l'appelez — l'être sur un territoire soumis à de telles forces tectoniques qui rendent incertaines, instables et vacillantes toutes les résolutions humaines ? Le récent tremblement de terre, exceptionnel dans son intensité, qui a dévasté l'île en est l'illustration. Et que penser des terribles ouragans qui s'acharnent sur l'être haïtien : en concomitance temporelle — synchronicité exacte — avec la remise du prix qui vous a été décerné pour votre ouvrage « l'ombre animale »,  une tempête meurtrière, plus de 900 morts, a ravagé votre pays. Le Poète en vous aura été sensible à ce signe cosmique qui confirme qu'en tant qu'écrivain, maître de la Parole, vous êtes en première ligne pour tenter de construire l'homme haïtien.

Mais que peut faire l'Écrivain face aux éléments déchaînés ? Comment les racines de l'Homme peuvent-elles « prendre » quand le sol se dérobe et quand le ciel lui-même sans cesse dévaste les espérances ? N'en ressort-il pas l'errance de l'âme inquiète, en quête de sa fixation toujours remise à plus tard ? Mais aussi l'étonnante joie de vivre haïtienne, irréductible, comme recours d'espérance face aux cataclysme ?

À la nature du sol et du ciel, qui conditionnent profondément l'âme des habitants — et cela est valable pour toute nation —, s'ajoute à mon sens, pour l'île, la blessure profonde vécue au coeur de l'homme haïtien, la blessure non cautérisée de l'esclavage. Sa mémoire ancestrale semble encore saigner, liée à la déportation, l'exil transgénérationnel, l'assujettisement à la barbarie.

Je ne suis pas haïtien, mais alsacien d'origine. Et je me suis penché sur ces questions au travers de mes engagements par rapport à la Connaissance, le judaïsme et le destin du peuple hébreu. L'enseignement de mon maître, Dominique Aubier, me permet d'affirmer qu'il existe assurément de puissantes analogies entre hébreux et haïtiens, leur histoire douloureuse et le besoin légitime de se reconstruire après les épreuves de l'Histoire. L'exemple des hébreux par son ancienneté et sa longue réflexion, donne des pistes efficaces pour mener une « politique » de la reconstruction intérieure, individuelle et collective. Je serais heureux de partager avec vous sur ce sujet.

Haïtiens et hébreux furent esclaves. Des analogies symptomatiques peuvent s'en dégager, des parallélismes dans les processus politiques fondés sur la violence subie, aboutissant à l'aliénation, la soumission, mais aussi à la révolte.  

Les deux peuples eurent à affronter une puissance dominatrice et à s'en libérer. Les hébreux, de leur côté, ne furent pas « déportés » en Egypte, ils s'y étaient rendus de leur plein gré du temps de Joseph qui en devint le vice-roi. Ce n'est que plus tard que la situation se dégrada et que les servitudes se transformèrent en esclavage. À la différence d'Haïti où les Africains furent amenés de force et réduits dès le début à l'asservissement programmé.

Par la suite, après l'épisode égyptien, le thème de la « déportation » frappa les Juifs à plusieurs reprises. Bien qu'ayant regagné leur terre, ils en furent déportés à Babylone. Il y eut trois exils successifs dont le dernier ne prit fin qu'en 1945. C'est dire que les choses se répètent. Et que la délivrance est un processus lent, qui a ses rythmes, ses cycles, ses rechutes : on pourrait, pour l'histoire des hébreux, en retracer le scénario historique avec précision et en relever les déterminations, les caractéristiques. Le tout traçant une ligne de destin maintenue pendant 3000 ans par une puissante espérance métaphysique de délivrance physique et spirituelle allant de la Révélation du Sinaï faite à Moïse jusqu'à l'ouverture des temps dits « messianiques ». Lire à ce sujet : « de l'Urgence du Sabbat ».

L'analogie entre hébreux et haïtiens se maintient au niveau de la quête de liberté et d'affranchissement de la servilité. Il existe cependant une différence dans la réalisation de cette libération. L'hébreu, peuple unitaire, fonde sa cohérence sur un texte, sur l'écrit. Et vous savez quelle est la force de l'écriture ! C'est un monument capable de résister aux pyramides. Les Haïtiens, eux, n'eurent pas de texte sur quoi centrer l'esprit si ce n'est la philosophie des «Droits de l'Homme », une faible déclaration utopiste qu'un Napoléon Bonaparte — pharaon aux petits pieds — méprisa copieusement puisqu'il réinstaura l'esclavage après qu'il eut été aboli par la République.

Les haïtiens eurent à se libérer sur un territoire fermé, une île. Une impasse géographique. Tandis que les hébreux eurent devant eux un espace de fuite possible. Une telle « sortie » était impossible aux Haïtiens, confinés sur leur île sous la domination coloniale. « Celui qui part n'est point coupable » écrit le poète René Char. Encore faut-il pouvoir partir !

Les efforts admirables de Toussaint Louverture ne connurent pas le succès. Il portait un nom prédestiné pour réussir la délivrance. Du moins en concevoir l'ouverture. Et puis cette question métaphysique : ce Dieu qui sauva les hébreux, qui opéra des miracles contre Pharaon, n'aurait point secouru les Haïtiens quand ils furent dans la même situation tragique que les hébreux ? Où était-il passé, « le bras puissant » de l'Eternel ? Je crois surtout que Louverture réalisa, comme son nom l'indique, l'ouverture du processus, laissant à d'autres la responsabilité de l'accomplir pleinement. Je reconnais dans ce cas le déroulement d'un « Redoublement » archétype du réel où les choses se passent en deux temps, une instance d'ouverture informant l'avenir, suivie d'une instance de réalisation matérialisant les informations instillées en première instance (voir La Face cachée du Cerveau).

Les hébreux, à l'issue de la  « sortie d'Egypte », furent contraints à errer dans le désert pendant 40 ans. Non qu'ils s'étaient perdus, mais Moïse estimait que son peuple n'était pas prêt pour la liberté. Haïti est-il prêt pour la liberté ?

Moïse conçoit la libération par une sortie faisant rupture. La grande Yetsiat Misraïm est fondatrice de l'abolitionnisme. Fin de l'esclavage. Fin de la tyrannie. Mais l'esclavage intérieur des hébreux se poursuivait. Il fallut pratiquement attendre que les derniers d'entre eux ayant connu l'Egypte disparaissent pour que l'entrée se fasse. L'entrée dans cette « Terre promise » ne fut pas aisée, et cela prit encore des générations pour que se réalise la jonction entre le territoire et le peuple revenu. La reconstruction de l'être, après le traumatisme collectif de l'esclavage sur plusieurs générations nécessite peut-être autant de générations libres, pour que s'opère la réparation. La reconstruction de l'être est lente, la mémoire perdure et 3000 ans après ces faits, la tradition hébraïque continue de commémorer la « sortie d'Egypte ». Cette commémoration est un rappel toujours renouvelé invitant à réfléchir à l'histoire qui peut, à tout moment, se répéter. D'ailleurs l'histoire s'est répétée. Une nouvelle fois, le peuple hébreu fut menacé, cette fois non de l'esclavage, mais d'être exterminé. Il doit son salut à l'intervention initiatique de la reine Esther. Qui, elle aussi, fait l'objet de commémorations depuis 2400 ans (Kippour), visant à rappeler aux hébreux que rien n'est jamais acquis et qu'il existe une méthodologie de délivrance et de reconstruction.

Moïse au Sinaï puis Esther, reine en Assyrie, rappellent que toute abolition doit s'arracher : l'être doit constamment veiller à se dégager des dictatures de toutes sortes qui, à tout moment, pourraient se refermer sur les consciences assoupies dans le confort des illusions. À surveiller, la dictature de l'idéologie matérialiste — la nôtre, celle qui nous semble tellement vertueuse — qui, sous couvert de fonctionnement démocratique n'est qu'un leurre de liberté au travers d'une pseudo-émancipation fondée sur le projet consumériste.

L'histoire s'est répétée, comme vous le savez, avec la tentative de génocide des Nazis qui visaient à exterminer, dans le judaïsme, son rapport au Verbe et au Livre pour imposer à la place de la Révélation, l'ordre du matérialisme absolu. La création de l'Etat d'Israël en 1948 s'inscrit dans cette lente reconstruction intérieure prenant aujourd'hui parfois des formes singulières de nationalisme, d'extrémisme, de retour à la foi des ancêtres, ou de rejet total. Tout cela participe de la « reconstruction », de la  « thérapie », parfois chaotique, mais allant toujours dans le sens d'une puissante perception de son destin de liberté.

L'esclavage vise à anéantir l'être, sa droiture : abaisser l'être, nier son humanité, dès lors le confondre ou même le réduire en-deça de son « ombre animale », extirper sa capacité réflexive, et le jeter en pâture aux fauves afin qu'ils le déchirent. C'est de cette fosse que l'esclave dut se libérer. En s'accrochant à quelle corde ? N'est-ce pas à vous, écrivains haïtiens de commettre cette corde par laquelle l'homme haïtien pourra sortir du puits ?

Suis-je cruel en le disant : il me semble que Haïti n'ait pas encore empoigné sa délivrance intérieure. Que l'île n'ait pas encore réussi à cerner sa vocation, son projet, j'allais dire sa « mission ». Haïti n'a pas encore émergé. C'est un pays en construction, où la terre elle-même régulièrement tremble, où le ciel se déchaîne. Quelles mystérieuses colères des éléments, quels déchaînements dont l'esprit de l'homme lui-même pourrait être responsable, tant le devenir du monde pourrait être lié à celui de l'Homme ?

L'ouragan qui s'est abattu sur Haïti en ce 4 octobre 2016 a fait près d'un millier de morts. Qu'en est-il de Dieu qui, en Genèse IX - 11, donna une assurance solennelle valable pour Noé et sa postérité : « nulle chair désormais ne périra par les eaux du déluge ; nul déluge désormais ne désolera la terre » ? Une alliance est établie par Dieu entre Lui et l'homme — Alliance, ce mot hébreu Bérit est le centre de la plupart des versets de Genèse IX - 9 à 17 dans lesquels Dieu explicite les termes de son pacte, destinée à préserver l'humanité d'une punition trop forte pour sa constitution — et pourtant, le déluge emporte Haïti…

Rupture partielle de l'Alliance ? Que pourrait bien reprocher le « Juge - Législateur - Éducateur » à ce territoire, à cette Nation, à ce peuple pour le soumettre ainsi à ses humeurs ou ses colères ? Cette violence inouïe des éléments exprime-t-elle une « opinion » du Réel face au comportement humain ? L'occasion en tous cas de poser la question, et de refuser la « victimisation » par trop facile du paupérisme : Haîti est une nation pleine de ressources, une poputation jeune, forte. Qui a besoin d'une libération de ses énergies accompagnée d'une orientation, d'un encadrement. Et qui sait, si ces soulèvements de la Nature, au-delà des drames humains effroyables qu'ils occasionnent, ne sont pas autant d'occasions de renouveau, d'appel à un engagement plus fort pour avancer dans l'aventure historique au côté du partenaire… absolu ? Message adressé à toute l'humanité ?

Qui pourrait faire émerger le renouveau en Haïti ? Son élite, souvent en exil  — puis-je vous le dire franchement ? — est comme timorée. Solidaire, mais loin des tranchées ou se déroule le véritable combat. Elle est certes révoltée, passionnée, mais conduit-elle son peuple vers une délivrance ? A-t-elle un projet ? Elle accepte honneurs, prix, et autres salamalecs. Les compliments troussés à n'en plus finir par la critique — nouveau fouet de la France pour amadouer les rebelles et les soumettre à son ordre. Et il est impitoyable, sous couvert de courtoisie, bienséance et prodigalité d'humanisme…

Saurez-vous, cher auteur — Goncourt en perspective et je vous le souhaite ! — résister à l'amidonnage de la culture conventionnée qui cherchera à vous dompter ? Restez rebelle, cher Makenzi Orcel. Mais être romancier ne suffit pas ! Loin de là. Etre rebelle ne suffit pas, car le « système » matérialiste, le pharaonisme actuel, a parfaitement prévu les espaces réservés aux rebelles…  dont il s'accommode et s'amuse.  La seule rébellion possible, c'est la connexion à la Parole révélée, aux Signes.

Je crois que des auteurs comme vous sont nécessaires pour affirmer la réalité haïtienne, dans l'espace francophone. Mais aussi dans le monde. Il faut à Haïti des « voix » solides sachant déjouer les pièges du modèle civilisateur dominant.

Peut-être faut-il que l'écrivain devienne homme politique ? Un politique initié ? Votre nom en hébreu évoque la lumière « Or » - « Aor ». Orcel: C'est de l'or dit votre nom… et « ken » confirme en disant « oui ». Soutenu par  « Maken » le bouclier, désigné dans Genèse et protégeant Abraham. Quant à Haïti, ce mot contient bien la vie : en hébreu « Haï », du verbe « Haya », être. Reconstruire l'être, tout est donc possible ! Même le miracle.

Et pour le réaliser, peut-être faut-il que l'écrivain devienne homme politique ? Un politique initié ? Peut-être la politique sera-t-elle le territoire où votre poésie pourra s'étendre dans… le réalisme ? N'est-ce pas la vocation de la Poésie : devenir une politique po-éthique ?

Je souhaite qu'en tant qu'écrivain, vous accédiez un jour au pouvoir, dans votre pays. Soyez un Moïse pour Haïti ! Il se pourrait que l'Eternel vous guide en ce sens et vous dise : « Ne crains point, je suis ton bouclier (Maken), et ta récompense sera très grande » (Genèse 15 - 1).

Vous serez toujours le bienvenu chez moi et reçu comme un ami…

Bien chaleureusement,

Dominique Blumenstihl-Roth

Friday, November 18, 2016

In Praise of Vertieres, and In Praise of Freedom and the Haitian Revolution

In Praise of Vertieres, and  In Praise of Freedom and the Haitian Revolution
by Celucien L. Joseph 


 O Vertieres, how could we forget Thee!
You remind us that God created  men and women to be free and not to be enchained and enslaved by men.

O Glorious Vertieres, where we wrought our freedom and independence through our shed blood, You will always be a scar on our hearts and the path of freedom and inspiration for today’s troubles.
Today, the Haitian people are celebrating the Battle of Vertieres (November 18, 1803) which gave birth to two significant events in world history: the end of slavery and the founding of the first postcolonial state  and the first slave-free Republic of Haiti in the Western world. It was in Vertieres African revolutionarries and men and women who dared to die free and independent conquered the greatest military and imperial power in the world: France

To remember Vertieres  is to never forget the danger and threat of the unholy trinity of institutional slavery, colonization, and White supremacy in the world.

 To remember Vertieres also means to continue the fight against the vestiges of slavery (modern day slavery), colonization (neocolonization), imperialism, and any form of human oppression that engenders human suffering, dehumanizes people, defers human dignity, and challenges the image of God in humanity.
 Related image


Sunday, October 30, 2016

Call for Papers: Approaches to Teaching the Work of Edwidge Danticat

Call for Papers: Approaches to Teaching the Work of Edwidge Danticat
Suchismita Banerjee, Marvin E. Hobson, and Celucien L. Joseph (editors)

The goal of this book is to provide a pedagogical approach to teach Edwidge Danticat’s collection of works. The project has a twofold objective. First, it will explore diasporic categories and postcolonial themes such as gender constructs, cultural nationalism, cultural and communal identity, problems of location and (dis) location, religious otherness, and the interplay between history and memory. Secondly, the book will investigate Danticat’s human rights activism, the immigrant experience, the relationship between the particular and the universal, and the violence of hegemony and imperialism in relationship with society, family, and community. We envision this book to be interdisciplinary and used in undergraduate and graduate courses. We are particularly interested in the teaching of her major works including but not limited to the following:
  • Krik? Krak!
  • Breath, Eyes, Memory
  • The Farming of Bones
  • The Dew Breaker
  • Claire of the Sea Light
  • Brother, I’m Dying
  • Create Dangerously: The Immigrant Artist at Work


If you would like to contribute a book chapter to this important project, along with a brief bio, please submit a 300 word abstract by Monday, December 19, 2016, to Celucien Joseph @ celucienjoseph@gmail.com and  Suchismita Banerjee @ banerjeesuchi@gmail.com

Contributors will be notified of acceptance on Monday, February 13, 2017. We are looking for original and unpublished essays for this book.

About the Editors

Suchismita Banerjee is a Professor of English at Indian River State College. Her teaching and research interests include Postcolonial literature and film, Third World Feminism, British Literature, and South Asian Diaspora.

Marvin E. Hobson is a Professor of English at Indian River State College. His teaching and research interests include British Literature, Modernism, and African American Literature.

Celucien L. Joseph is a Professor of English at Indian River State College. His teaching and research interests include African American Literature, Caribbean Culture and Literature (Francophone and Anglophone), African American Intellectual History, Comparative Black Literature and Culture, African Literature (Francophone and Anglophone), Postcolonial Literature, Critical Theory, Religion.

Sunday, October 9, 2016

“Haiti has been cursed by the Devil: A Reminder by The Weather Channel Senior Meteorologist Stu Ostro”

“Haiti has been cursed by the Devil: 
A Reminder by The Weather Channel Senior Meteorologist Stu Ostro” by Celucien L. Joseph

Below is the haunting and devilish image of Hurricane Matthew which The Weather Channel has constructed. This image has gone viral in the social media. The image is a very scary human skull with only 3 top teeth–no bottom teeth are noted; it is nothing less than the angry devil, with a terrific one red eye starring at the miserable people in Haiti. Its colors are red (eye), gray, and black.

screen-shot-2016-10-05-at-9-41-30-pm
(screen-shot-2016-10-05-at-9-41-30-pm)

What is the significance of this caricature?

What is the significance of this devilish image and that one red eye looking down upon Haiti–from the top?

The Weather Channel Senior Meteorologist Stu Ostro, who claimed to have taken the Satellite shot, decided he was going to make Hurricane Matthew look like a skull. Chiefly, it is the devil’s image on that skull that best shows Haiti’s spiritual warfare and theodicy. Mr. Ostro has also decided this is a fair representation of Haiti as a country that has been cursed by the Devil himself. He is unapologetic about this ideological representation, which tells a pseudo-narrative about the Haitian people: the demonization of Haitian history, and American media’s projection about the plight and spiritual crisis of the Haitian people.

Interestingly, this same Meteorologist did not represent (equally) visually the destructive intervention of Hurricane Matthew in Cuba, Jamaica, Miami, the Florida Treasure Coast, St. Augustine, Georgia, and South Carolina–which have also been affected by the same Tropical Storm. Why Haiti?
Seven words summarize Mr. Ostro’s racist attitude toward Haiti: Haiti has been cursed by the Devil!
This is another example of American media and scientific racism which shows no empathy to black tragedy and the suffering of the Haitian people.

*Interestingly, Paul Meyer, an atmospheric scientist at NASA’s Earth Science Office, told CNN that the skull’s “teeth” are cold convective clouds.”

http://www.cnn.com/…/05/health/hurricane-matthew-skull-trnd/

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Post-Hurricane Matthew Reliefs Efforts for Haitian Victims

 Post-Hurricane Matthew Reliefs Efforts for Haitian Victims
by Celucien L. Joseph

Haiti Then and Now is soliciting Post-Hurricane Reliefs Efforts to provide temporary aids to the victims in the areas of Port Salut, Jeremie, Les Cayes, and the neighboring areas and cities.

If you want to make a donation to those affected by Hurricane Matthew in Haiti, please send your donations to the address listed below:


Hope for Today Outreach (HTO)
P.O. Box 7353
Port Saint Lucie, FL 34985

Or you contact us below:

By Phone

772-985-0696

• By Email

customers@hopefortodayoutreach.org

Updates

Among the other items we're taking to the Hurricane Matthew Victims in Southern Haiti (i.e. Les Cayes: Chardonniere), we just purchased 300 "185Lumens Waterproof Portable Outdoor Camping Lantern solar Lamp Rechargeable Emergency Tent Light with USB Hook" for $ 1374.00 at Dhgate.com. Our goal is to purchase 1000 of them to distribute to  1000 Haitian families.



If you want to make a donation toward this goal, please click on the link below for further instructions:

https://hopefortodayoutreach.org/…/post-hurricane-matthew-…/

* We're sorry that we will not take to Haiti any items that are already available in Haiti or American goods that will weaken Haiti's agriculture, economy, and market.

* To donate to other trustworthy organizations, please see the article below by Dr. Bertin Louis 
How to help Hurricane Matthew Victims in Haiti 

Thank you.

Dr. Celucien L. Joseph
Curator of Haiti Then and Now (HTN)
Founder of Hope for Today Outreach  (HOP)

How to help Hurricane Matthew Victims in Haiti by Dr. Bertin Louis, Jr.

How to help Hurricane Matthew Victims in Haiti 
by Dr. Bertin Louis, Jr. 
 

" Some people have asked me about Haiti and what you can do in light of the devastation wrought by Hurricane Matthew.

Here’s what you SHOULD NOT DO:
DO NOT DONATE A CENT TO THE RED CROSS.

Here’s a quote from a recent article about the Red Cross’s “efforts” in Haiti:
“Since the 2010 Haiti earthquake NPR and ProPublica went in search of the nearly $500 million and found a string of poorly managed projects, questionable spending and dubious claims of success, according to a review of hundreds of pages of the charity's internal documents and emails, as well as interviews with a dozen current and former officials.
The Red Cross says it has provided homes to more than 130,000 people, but the number of permanent homes the charity has built is six.”

DO NOT COLLECT IN-KIND GOODS TO SEND TO HAITI.

Lessons learned from 2004 (Hurricane Jeanne) and 2010 (earthquake) is that these in-kind donations:

a) Destroy the local economy and destabilize the communities. Despite the media portrayals of Haiti, many of the goods you find here in the US can be found in Haiti. Merchants sell rice, canned goods, clothing, etc. So, how can they compete with free?

b) Cause logistical and financial problems. You will need to collect/ package the goods, get them through customs in US and Haiti, and have a mechanism for distribution inside the country. Many groups in 2010 were stuck with a stockpile of goods that never made it to the intended people. Use your money, time and energy wisely.

c) Lead to an overabundance of some goods and a short supply of others. We see a number of well-intentioned organizations, churches, politicians hosting collection drives but without an official assessment of what is needed on the ground, the collections may end up being futile and leading to same problems as mentioned above. So, if a decision is made to take in-kind donations, the advice given is to wait for the official assessment of needed items.

Here’s WHAT YOU CAN DO:

Donate. Preferably to an organization on the ground with a solid reputation of delivering on its mission.  Here’s a list of Haitian NGOs that you can donate to.  I list Haitian NGOs here because, as the Haitian Embassy has mentioned in a previous Tweet sent out after Hurricane Matthew hit Haiti:
“Hold off on clothes & food drives until assessments have been completed by those on the ground to avoid past mistakes”.

Those “past mistakes” refers to donating to international aid organizations like Red Cross.  If you donate to a Haitian NGO, that aid will get to those affected on the ground.

HAITIAN-BASED ORGANIZATIONS:

MADRE (https://www.madre.org/)
Lambi Fund of Haiti (http://www.lambifund.org/)
Sowaseed (http://sowaseedonline.org/)
Haiti Communitere (http://haiti.communitere.org/)
Sakala Haiti (http://www.sakala-haiti.org/)
SOIL Haiti (https://www.oursoil.org/)
Konbit Solèy Leve (http://www.konbitsoleyleve.com/)
Volontariat pour le Développement d'Haïti (http://www.vdhhaiti.org/)
Fondation Aquin Solidarité (https://hibiscus-haiti.org/projects/fondation-aquin-solidarite-fas-park-design/)
GARR (http://www.garr-haiti.org/)
Hope for Today Outreach (https://hopefortodayoutreach.org/)
If there are any other Haitian organizations that you know of, please tag them and/or add them to this list and share with others.  If you know of any Haitian NGOs that are in Jeremie, Port-à-Piment, Les Cayes, Port Salut, Dame Marie, Pestel, Aquin, St Louis de Sud, and Leogane, please post links for them so people can direct funds to places where aid is needed and can get in the hands of those who need it most.
Here are some non-Haitian organizations with proven track records of helping and partnering with Haitians:

NON-HAITIAN ORGS WITH PROVEN TRACK RECORDS IN
HAITI:

Doctors without Borders (http://www.doctorswithoutborders.org/)
Roots of Development (http://www.rootsofdevelopment.org/)
Partners in Health (http://www.pih.org/)
Border of Lights (http://www.borderoflights.org/)
Nova Hope for Haiti (http://www.novahope.org/)
IJDH (http://www.ijdh.org/)
Thank you for your time and attention. My hope is that whatever aid that is intended for helping Haitians in this dire time will get directly to my people.
Keep Haiti and others in the path of Hurricane Matthew in your thoughts."

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Please help us! Do not humiliate us! by Celucien L. Joseph



Please help us! Do not humiliate us!
by Celucien L. Joseph 

The Haitian people in Haiti are experiencing a devastating tropical storm named Matthew. It has already caused severe damages in many parts in Haiti. In the process of recovery, we are soliciting your prayers and assistance. Allow me to offer a few words of advise and caution to those who are helping the Haitian people in the transition.

Just help us!

We do not want war.

We do not want more US occupation of Haiti and in Haiti.

Do not humiliate us while helping us.

Do not demonize us while providing temporary relief.

Do not remind us we are the poorest country in the Western hemisphere.

Do not remind us we are devil's worshippers.

Do not exploit this moment of weakness and vulnerability for forced Christian evangelization and conversion.

Just help us while maintaining our dignity and humanity!

Pray with us and pray for us!

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

On the Deportation of Illegal Haitian Immigrants and Importance of Haiti in Human History by Celucien L. Joseph

On the Deportation of Illegal Haitian Immigrants and Importance of Haiti in Human History
by Celucien L. Joseph
​If we were given a chance to live in our country with dignity and peace, be allowed to chart a new course for our collective destiny and the future generation of Haitian Youths, prosper our country, and grow both materially and spiritually, we would not come to the U.S.A. to be humiliated, dehumanized, die like dogs, and ultimately be deported back to our homeland, our Ayiti Cheri.
The color of our skin is not our shame nor is it our ancestral heritage and identity. We are a people who refuse to surrender our rights and sovereignty, and bow down before the Almighty Empire of Greed, Conquest, and Death. 

The Haitian people are not dogs. Our ancestors are people who died in dignity and pride.

We changed the world in 1804.We lost our brave sons and soldiers in the American War for Independence for America to be the first free Republic in the Western World.
We helped America abolish slavery. We also helped America acquire New Orleans from France. Our ancestor Jean-Baptiste Du Sable even founded one of your landmark cities: Chicago. We gave you the gift of music, our Jazz, the gift of Creole culture, and our gift of song.

We helped liberate Latin America and other Caribbean countries from the yoke of slavery. We helped Greece in its journey toward freedom. We hosted European Jews in our small island when they had not a home in Europe.We were the first country in the Western world to say No to Slavery, No to colonization, No to white supremacy, and No to state-holding slaves!

We transformed the human condition in 1804 and beyond. We refused to be dehumanized and treated like animals by the U.S. government and Immigration!
We gave the world the gift of freedom and the gift of human rights!

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Indian River State College (IRSC) Reads: Edwidge Danticat


Indian River State College (IRSC) Reads: Edwidge Danticat
by Celucien L. Joseph 
As part of the BIG READ program, my college, Indian River State College (#IRSC), has selected Edwidge Danticat's memoir: "Brother, I'm Dying" (BID) for the academic year 2016-2017. The entire school is reading Danticat. My students in my literature class are reading BID. The school has scheduled seven sessions on the Memoir this fall semester alone. In the Spring semester, 2017, we will have several other sessions and exchanges on BID including a discussion panel composing of Faculty and students, exhibitions about Haitian arts and history. We are lucky that Edwidge Danticat will deliver the keynote in March, 2017. 



On Thursday, September 8, I was privileged to open this important event with a talk on "Edwidge Danticat and the Haitian Experience Through Diasporic Literature." It was well-attended by our faculty and staff. The Q & A moment was quite engaging and dynamic. This is a big deal, folks--the fact that Indian River State College has devoted an entire academic year to reading a major work by a major Haitian-American writer, and discussing the Haitian experience in Haiti and the human condition in the Haitian Diaspora. The work of our Haitian writers and thinkers are being appreciated in American higher education. (#edwidgedanticat, #brotherImdying, #theimmigrantexperience,#Haitianrefugees, #celebratinghaitianwriters, #celebratinghaiti, #mysoulinhaiti, #freethehaitianrefugees, #freedomforallrefugees)


Monday, September 5, 2016

Recommended Reading Lists: Haiti (The Haitian Revolution), the Caribbean, and Black Internationalism

Recommended Reading Lists: Haiti (The Haitian Revolution), the Caribbean, and Black Internationalism by Celucien L. Joseph

The following recommended list below contains (100 books in total) some of the most important texts on three broad areas of study: Haiti, the Caribbean, and Black Internationalism. The list is not intended to be exhaustive. For example, I include few books on religion because I believe this should be a different category of interest and by itself. Another example is that I did not include "The Black Jacobins" (1938) by C. L. R. James on the list since it is the classic text on the Haitian Revolution; hence, I assume everyone should know about it. 

I.  Haitian History (i.e. Intellectual History) and the Haitian Revolution (Its International Impact)

1. Haiti, History, and the Gods by Colin Dayan
2. Haiti: State Against Nation by Michel-Rolph Trouilot
3. The World of the Haitian Revolution by David Patrick Geggus and Norman Fiering
4. Freedom's Mirror: Cuba and Haiti in the Age of Revolution by Ada Ferrer
5. Tree of Liberty: Cultural Legacies of the Haitian Revolution in the Atlantic World by Doris L. Garraway
6. Haitian Revolutionary Studies by David Patrick Geggus
7. The Impact of the Haitian Revolution in the Atlantic World by David P. Geggus
8. The Making of Haiti: Saint Domingue Revolution From Below by Carolyn E. Fick
9. A Turbulent Time: The French Revolution and the Greater Caribbean by David Barry Gaspar and David Patrick Geggus
10. Beyond the Slave Narrative: Politics, Sex, and Manuscripts in the Haitian Revolution by Deborah Jenson
11. Toussaint Louverture and the American Civil War: The Promise and Peril of a Second Haitian Revolution by Matthew J. Clavin
12. Modernity Disavowed: Haiti and the Cultures of Slavery in the Age of Revolution by Sibylle Fischer
13. Haiti: The Aftershocks of History by Laurent Dubois
14. Universal Emancipation: The Haitian Revolution and the Radical Enlightenment by Nick Nesbitt
15. Hegel, Haiti, and Universal History by Susan Buck-Morss
16. Silencing the Past: Power and the Production of History by Michel-Rolph Trouillot
17. The Fear of French Negroes: Transcolonial Collaboration in the Revolutionary Americas by Sara E. Johnson
18. The Haitian Revolution: A Documentary History by David Geggus
19. Avengers of the New World: The Story of the Haitian Revolution by Laurent Dubois
20. Before Haiti: Race and Citizenship in French Saint-Domingue by John Garrigus
21. A Colony of Citizens: Revolution & Slave Emancipation in the French Caribbean, 1787-1804 by Laurent Duboi
22. Confronting Black Jacobins: The U.S., the Haitian Revolution, and the Origins of the Dominican Republic by Gerald Horne
23. Tropics of Haiti: Race and the Literary History of the Haitian Revolution in the Atlantic World, 1789-1865 by Marlene L. Daut
24. The Spirits and the Law: Vodou and Power in Haiti Hardcover by Kate Ramsey (University of Chicago Press, 2011)
25. Ainsi parla l'Oncle (1928) (Thus Spoke the Uncle) by Jean Price-Mars
26. Haiti Unbound: A Spiralist Challenge to the Postcolonial Canon by Kiama L. Glover
27. The Idea of Haiti: Rethinking Crisis and Development edited by Millery Polyne
28. The Colonial System Unveiled by Baron de Vastey (Author), Chris Bongie (Translator)
29. Encountering Revolution: Haiti and the Making of the Early Republic by Ashli White

II. Caribbean Intellectual History and Black Internationalism

30. Caribbean Critique: Antillean Critical Theory from Toussaint to Glissant by Nick Nesbitt
31. Caribbean Critique: Antillean Critical Theory from Toussaint to Glissant by Nick Nesbitt
32. Freedom Time: Negritude, Decolonization, and the Future of the World by Gary Wilder
33. The French Imperial Nation-State: Negritude and Colonial Humanism between the Two World Wars by Gary Wilder
34. Discourse on Colonialism by Aimé Césaire (Author), Joan Pinkham (Translator)
35. The Repeating Island: The Caribbean and the Postmodern Perspective (Post-Contemporary Interventions) by Antonio Benitze-Rojo
36. An Intellectual History of the Caribbean by S. Torres-Saillant
37. The Caribbean: An Intellectual History, 1774-2003 by Denis Benn
38. Origins of the Black Atlantic by Laurent Dubois and Julius S. Scott
39. In the Cause of Freedom: Radical Black Internationalism from Harlem to London, 1917-1939 by Minkah Makalani
40. Imagining Home: Class, Culture and Nationalism in the African Diaspora by Sidney Lemelle and Robin D. G. Kelley
41. From Toussaint to Tupac: The Black International since the Age of Revolution by Michael O. West (Editor), William G. Martin (Editor), Fanon Che Wilkins (Editor)
42. From Harlem to Paris: Black American Writers in France, 1840-1980 by Michel Fabre
43. Negritude Women by Tracy Whitin
44. Beyond Negritude: Essays from Woman in the City by Paulette Nardal and T. Denean Sharpley-Whiting
45. The Negritude Movement: W.E.B. Du Bois, Leon Damas, Aime Cesaire, Leopold Senghor, Frantz Fanon, and the Evolution of an Insurgent Idea (Critical Africana Studies)
by Reiland Rabaka
46. The Practice of Diaspora: Literature, Translation, and the Rise of Black Internationalism
by Brent Hayes Edwards
47. Poetics of Relation by Edouard Glissant (Author), Betsy Wing (Translator)
48. The End of White World Supremacy: Black Internationalism and the Problem of the Color Line by Roderick Bush
49. Black Europe and the African Diaspora by Darlene Clark Hine and Trica Danielle Keaton
50. The African Imagination: Literature in Africa and the Black Diaspora
by F. Abiola Irele
51. Forms of Fanonism: Frantz Fanon's Critical Theory and the Dialectics of Decolonization
by Reiland Rabaka
52. Africana Critical Theory: Reconstructing The Black Radical Tradition, From W. E. B. Du Bois and C. L. R. James... by Reiland Rabaka
53. Black Writers in French: A Literary History by Lilyan Kesteloot
54. Caribbean Political Thought: The Colonial State to Caribbean Internationalism
by Aaron Kamugisha and Paget Henry
55. Caribbean Political Thought: The Colonial State to Caribbean Internationalism by Aaron Kamugisha (Editor),
56. Caliban's Reason: Introducing Afro-Caribbean Philosophy by Paget Henry
57. The Negritude Moment: Explorations in Francophone African and Caribbean Literature and Thought by F. Abiola Irele
58. Main Currents in Caribbean Thought: The Historical Evolution of Caribbean Society in its Ideological Aspects by Professor Gordon Lewis
59. A History of Pan-African Revolt by C. L. R. James (Author), Robin D. G. Kelley
60. Conscripts of Modernity: The Tragedy of Colonial Enlightenment by David Scott
61. Freedom Dreams: The Black Radical Imagination by Robin D.G. Kelley
62. Black Marxism: The Making of the Black Radical Tradition by Cedric J. Robinson
63. Black, Brown, & Beige: Surrealist Writings from Africa and the Diaspora by Franklin Rosemont and Robin D.G. Kelley
64. Black Empire: The Masculine Global Imaginary of Caribbean Intellectuals in the United States, 1914-1962 by Michelle Ann Stephens
65. The French Atlantic Triangle: Literature and Culture of the Slave Trade by Christopher L. Miller
66. From Toussaint to Price-Mars: Rhetoric, Race, and Religion in Haitian Thought by Celucien L. Joseph
67.Haitian Modernity and Liberative Interruptions: Discourse on Race, Religion, and Freedom by Celucien Joseph
68.The Vodou Ethic and the Spirit of Communism: The Practical Consciousness of the African People of Haiti by Paul C. Mocombe
69.The African-Americanization of the Black Diaspora in Globalization or the Contemporary Capitalist World-System by Paul C. Mocombe
70.Existentia Africana: Understanding Africana Existential Thought by Lewis R. Gordon
71. An Introduction to Africana Philosophy by Lewis R. Lewis Gordon
72.Freedom as Marronage by Neil Roberts

III.  Haiti, and the International Community

1. Haiti: Trapped in the Outer Periphery by Robert Fatton Jr.
2. Haiti In The New World Order: The Limits Of The Democratic Revolution by Alex Dupuy
3. From Sugar to Revolution: Women’s Visions of Haiti, Cuba, and the Dominican Republic by Myriam J.A. Chancy
4. Haiti and the Americas Edited by Carla Calarge, Raphael Dalleo, Luis Duno-Gottberg, and Clevis Headley
5. Haiti's Predatory Republic: The Unending Transition to Democracy [Paperback] (Author) Robert Fatton
6. Haiti and the United States: The Psychological Moment by Brenda Gayle Plummer
7. Paramilitarism and the Assault on Democracy in Haiti by Jeb Sprague
8. Haiti and the Great Powers, 1902—1915 by Brenda Gayle Plummer
9. Haitian Connections in the Atlantic World: Recognition after Revolution by Julia Gaffield
10. Taking Haiti: Military Occupation and the Culture of U.S. Imperialism, 1915-1940Jun 18, 2001 by Mary A. Renda
11. The United States Occupation of Haiti, 1915-1934Mar 1, 1995 by Hans Schmidt
12. Clash of Cultures: America's Educational Strategies in Occupied Haiti, 1915-1934 by Leon D. Pamphile
13. Jean Price-Mars, the Haitian Elite and the American Occupation, 1915-1935 by Magdaline W. Shannon
14. Haiti's Predatory Republic: The Unending Transition to Democracy by Robert Fatton
15. Haiti: Trapped in the Outer Periphery by Fatton, Robert, J
16. Roots of Haitian Despotism by Robert and Jr. Fatton
17. Haitians and African Americans: A Heritage of Tragedy and Hope by Leon D. Pamphile
18. The Prophet and Power: Jean-Bertrand Aristide, the International Community, and Haiti by Alex Dupuy
19. Haiti: From Revolutionary Slaves to Powerless Citizens: Essays on the Politics and Economics of Underdevelopment by Alex Dupuy
20. Damming the Flood: Haiti and the Politics of Containment by Peter Hallward
21. From Dessalines to Duvalier: Race, Colour and National Independence in Haiti by David Nicholls
22. The Diplomatic Relations of the United States with Haiti, 1776-1891 by Rayford W. Logan
23. From Douglass to Duvalier: U.S. African Americans, Haiti, and Pan Americanism, 1870–1964 by Millery Polyné
24. The Rainy Season: Haiti Since Duvalier by Amy Wilentz
25. Haiti: The Duvaliers & Their Legacy by Elizabeth Abbott
26. Contrary Destinies: A Century of America's Occupation, Deoccupation, and Reoccupation of Haiti by Leon D. Pamphile
27. Race, Reality, and Realpolitik: U.S.-Haiti Relations in the Lead Up to the 1915 Occupation by Patrick Delices and Jeffrey Sommers.