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Slavery in Haiti

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The full interview

http://runt.it/soledadobrien

KW: What is the Haitian government doing about the fact that they have a situation where people are being enslaved?

SO: It’s such a hard thing for those of us in this country to get our minds around, but it’s completely legal. I’m sure you saw in the piece how the boy named Matthinson’s father sold him for about $12 dollars to go and be a slave for a complete stranger. But it’s an indication of just how devastating the poverty is in Haiti that that’s a viable option. It’s pervasive throughout the country. And unfortunately, it’s perfectly legal.

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The Haitian Govt has been practically destroyed by the quake. When it is functioning it is under the thumb of the U.S. Business interests and government.

They need the slaves down there to make cheap baseballs and sell cheap sex to tourists.

Aristide tried to do something about this, which is why he was deposed.

Everybody knows this.

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It’s such a hard thing for those of us in this country to get our minds around, but it’s completely legal. I’m sure you saw in the piece how the boy named Matthinson’s father sold him for about $12 dollars to go and be a slave for a complete stranger. But it’s an indication of just how devastating the poverty is in Haiti that that’s a viable option. It’s pervasive throughout the country. And unfortunately, it’s perfectly legal.

Well, if whites were enslaving and using these Haitian children for slavery and sex, American Negroes would be slobbering at the mouth and hysterically ranting, just as they did in response to the white oppression of blacks in Rhodesia and South Africa. But when the inexcusable brutality lays at the feet of black on black crime, genocide, brutal oppression, mass rape, intra-slavery and exploitation -Negroes mouths become numb and silent. Suddenly there is a total vacuum of criticism, collective indignation and inquiry. Hmmmm….I wonder why the double standard?

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Well, if whites were enslaving and using these Haitian children for slavery and sex, American Negroes would be slobbering at the mouth and hysterically ranting, just as they did in response to the white oppression of blacks in Rhodesia and South Africa. But when the inexcusable brutality lays at the feet of black on black crime, genocide, brutal oppression, mass rape, intra-slavery and exploitation -Negroes mouths become numb and silent. Suddenly there is a total vacuum of criticism, collective indignation and inquiry. Hmmmm….I wonder why the double standard?

(Whites ARE enslaving and using these Hatian children for slavery and sex. That's why nothing is happening. Try and educate yourself next time before you have an Uncle Tom Spasm.

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http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/jan/13/our-role-in-haitis-plight

To wit:

What is already all too clear, however, is the fact that this impact will be the result of an even longer-term history of deliberate impoverishment and disempowerment. Haiti is routinely described as the "poorest country in the western hemisphere". This poverty is the direct legacy of perhaps the most brutal system of colonial exploitation in world history, compounded by decades of systematic postcolonial oppression.

The noble "international community" which is currently scrambling to send its "humanitarian aid" to Haiti is largely responsible for the extent of the suffering it now aims to reduce. Ever since the US invaded and occupied the country in 1915, every serious political attempt to allow Haiti's people to move (in former president Jean-Bertrand Aristide's phrase) "from absolute misery to a dignified poverty" has been violently and deliberately blocked by the US government and some of its allies.

Aristide's own government (elected by some 75% of the electorate) was the latest victim of such interference, when it was overthrown by an internationally sponsored coup in 2004 that killed several thousand people and left much of the population smouldering in resentment. The UN has subsequently maintained a large and enormously expensive stabilisation and pacification force in the country.

Haiti is now a country where, according to the best available study, around 75% of the population "lives on less than $2 per day, and 56% – four and a half million people – live on less than $1 per day". Decades of neoliberal "adjustment" and neo-imperial intervention have robbed its government of any significant capacity to invest in its people or to regulate its economy. Punitive international trade and financial arrangements ensure that such destitution and impotence will remain a structural fact of Haitian life for the foreseeable future.

It is this poverty and powerlessness that account for the full scale of the horror in Port-au-Prince today. Since the late 1970s, relentless neoliberal assault on Haiti's agrarian economy has forced tens of thousands of small farmers into overcrowded urban slums. Although there are no reliable statistics, hundreds of thousands of Port-au-Prince residents now live in desperately sub-standard informal housing, often perched precariously on the side of deforested ravines. The selection of the people living in such places and conditions is itself no more "natural" or accidental than the extent of the injuries they have suffered.

As Brian Concannon, the director of the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti, points out: "Those people got there because they or their parents were intentionally pushed out of the countryside by aid and trade policies specifically designed to create a large captive and therefore exploitable labour force in the cities; by definition they are people who would not be able to afford to build earthquake resistant houses." Meanwhile the city's basic infrastructure – running water, electricity, roads, etc – remains woefully inadequate, often non-existent. The government's ability to mobilise any sort of disaster relief is next to nil.

The international community has been effectively ruling Haiti since the 2004 coup. The same countries scrambling to send emergency help to Haiti now, however, have during the last five years consistently voted against any extension of the UN mission's mandate beyond its immediate military purpose. Proposals to divert some of this "investment" towards poverty reduction or agrarian development have been blocked, in keeping with the long-term patterns that continue to shape the distribution of international "aid".

The same storms that killed so many in 2008 hit Cuba just as hard but killed only four people. Cuba has escaped the worst effects of neoliberal "reform", and its government retains a capacity to defend its people from disaster. If we are serious about helping Haiti through this latest crisis then we should take this comparative point on board. Along with sending emergency relief, we should ask what we can do to facilitate the self-empowerment of Haiti's people and public institutions. If we are serious about helping we need to stop trying to control Haiti's government, to pacify its citizens, and to exploit its economy. And then we need to start paying for at least some of the damage we've already done.

And before somebody starts screaming that American Blacks ought to do something about this, take a look at our own inner cities--

Clean up your own houses first before you try to save somebody else!

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(Whites ARE enslaving and using these Haitian children for slavery and sex.

Whites are using Haitian children as slaves and for sex? I see….And you have proof of this sex/slavery practice of black children by whites, correct? Let’s say it is true, then explain why the practice of child slavery and sex abuse is so open in the Haitian culture? Why is the government (or the Haitian people as a collective) not doing anything about black children being used as slaves and sexually abused by whites and natural born black Haitians? Do not the Haitians themselves have the power to address such a widespread abhorrent practice?

They are no different than the Thai government that turns a blind eye to the world recognized child prostitution trade in Thailand (although some changes are being implemented -slowly after international pressure). And why is South Africa the rape capital of the planet earth? And why is the ongoing rape of tens of thousands of women and children in the Democratic Republic of the Congo embedded in its culture? Surely a tenacious race pride Negro like you has an explanation or a justification for this barbaric behavior. I’ll wait…..

That's why nothing is happening.

Of course! Because ruling Haitian (like the South African and the Congolese governments) officials have no intention nor interest in addressing this sickening and inexcusable cultural behavior.

Try and educate yourself next time before you have an Uncle Tom Spasm.

Ok….Fair enough. I’ll take this under serious advisement. But in the meantime, before you start with your personal attacks, perhaps you should educate yourself beyond that coon utopia fantasy you are living. And may I suggest that you seek counseling and rehabilitation for that daily consumption of three to four 40 ounces and that crack diet of yours. It has obviously destroyed enough brain cells to render you oblivious to documented facts and the obvious……

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Whites ARE enslaving and using these Hatian children for slavery and sex. That's why nothing is happening. Try and educate yourself next time before you have an Uncle Tom Spasm.

Xeon had it right, Chris. This is a black-on-black phenomenon.

Haiti is 95 percent black. Whites and mixed-race people combined make up the other 5 percent. For generations, poor black people (which encompasses the majority of the Haitian population) have put their children in a form of indentured servitude called "restavec." They send their children to "stay with" (rest avec in Creole) families that are better off. The children serve as domestic servants and are not regarded as family members (they are typically not allowed to eat with the family, for example). In return, the family is expected to pay for the child's schooling. As shown by the experience of the one former restavec Soledad O'Brien interviewed, some children don't get even that. The family that bought him for $12 and forced him to work as a beggar is also poor and black.

A comprehensive study of child trafficking in Haiti, published last fall, estimated that 22 percent of the children in Haiti are restavecs. That's a staggering number that cannot be accounted for by the tiny fraction of white Haitians. Other findings: two-thirds of restavecs are girls; and one out of every nine families that takes in a restavec servant also sends one or more of its own children to be restavec with some other family. This state of affairs is the result of pervasive poverty, and its proximate cause is the behavior of blacks -- not whites.

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Haiti is 95 percent black. Whites and mixed-race people combined make up the other 5 percent. For generations, poor black people (which encompasses the majority of the Haitian population) have put their children in a form of indentured servitude called "restavec." They send their children to "stay with" (rest avec in Creole) families that are better off. The children serve as domestic servants and are not regarded as family members (they are typically not allowed to eat with the family,......

......one out of every nine families that takes in a restavec servant also sends one or more of its own children to be restavec with some other family. This state of affairs is the result of pervasive poverty, and its proximate cause is the behavior of blacks -- not whites.

Excellent piece bookfan. I've talked about this very thing before in detail (although not here). There was a deafening silence by embittered race Negroes who were doing their blame game of the white man for the ills and pathology of blacks. No talk of personal responsibility or accountability was tolerated nor allowed. Sadly, bro Chris is part of that crowd.....

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