Source - National Vanguard Magazine http://www.natall.com
This month the last of the United Nations "peacekeeping"
troops in Haiti will leave, and the Haitians will be given
yet another chance to try to govern themselves. The "peacekeepers"
occupied Haiti, along with 23,000 U.S. troops, three years
ago, in order to force the government of General Raoul
Cedras to resign so that a Clinton favorite, Jean-Bertrand
Aristide, could be installed as president. The reasons
presented to the American public for this interference
in Haiti's affairs were that General Cedras was a "dictator"
and that he didn't respect the "human rights"
of the Haitians. Mr. Clinton's friend Aristide, on the
other hand, was said to be a "democrat" and
a respecter of human rights.
Actually, Aristide is a former priest turned Marxist
whose idea of respecting human rights is to incite mobs
of his supporters to murder his political opponents by
breaking their arms, wiring a gasoline-soaked tire around
their necks, and burning them to death -- a procedure
known as "necklacing." Well, that's about par
for making a country safe for democracy the United Nations
However, the Haitians didn't care much more for Mr. Clinton's
Marxist buddy Aristide than they did for General Cedras,
and Aristide is out of office again and the Haitians are
about to be allowed to run things themselves once more.
Well, almost. Five hundred U.S. troops will remain in
the country to keep an eye on things. They will call for
more help if the need to "make Haiti safe for democracy"
The Clintonistas aren't bragging very loudly about the
success of their latest effort in that direction, because
the situation in Haiti is just about as grim today as
it was before the United Nations stuck its nose into things
three years ago. About the only significant change is
that the flood of Haitian "boat people" washing
up on Florida's beaches has slowed somewhat, but that
flood was caused in the first place by an embargo imposed
on Haiti by the U.S. government in an unsuccessful attempt
to force General Cedras out, and the consequent damage
to Haiti's already pitifully weak economy. When the embargo
was removed, many Haitians decided to stay at home and
share in the new goodies brought to them by the Clinton
The U.S. troops built roads, schools, and clinics and
pumped a few billion U.S. dollars into the Haitian economy,
but a survey of the results of all this effort is not
encouraging. The streets of Port-au-Prince still reek
of garbage and human waste, political corruption is as
bad as it ever was, and violent crime is on the rise.
The new roads and clinics built by the United States merely
add a superficial appearance of improvement, so that the
tourist industry is able to begin making a little money
again, but the basic situation of Haiti and the lives
of most Haitians remain unchanged.
This sort of thing has happened over and over again in
Haiti. It seems that we would have learned something from
it. In the 18th century Haiti, then called Saint-Domingue
and ruled by the French, was the most prosperous colony
in the New World. Its enormously fertile soil produced
a great abundance of crops and drew thousands of White
French settlers. Unfortunately, Black slaves from Africa
were imported to help with the work.
In the late 1700's the madness of the French Revolution,
with its truly nutty doctrine of racial equality, infected
many Frenchmen, and the Black plantation workers were
encouraged to revolt. When they did they brutally murdered
every White man, woman, and child in the colony and declared
Haiti a republic. What had been the richest and most productive
part of the New World promptly sank back to an African
level of squalor, misery, and poverty. The roads and cities
built by the French fell into ruin. A peculiarly African
mixture of anarchy and despotism took the place of French
law and order.
A little over a century later, in 1915, following an
especially chaotic and bloody period, U.S. Marines were
sent into Haiti to force a semblance of order on the country.
The reason for sending them was to safeguard American
business interests in Haiti, although President Wilson
told Americans that the Marines were being sent to "bring
democracy to Haiti." The Marines remained in Haiti
for 19 years. They not only enforced governmental stability
there, but they also built schools and hospitals, a modern
telephone system, and more than 1,000 miles of paved roads
with 210 bridges. The U.S. government trained Haitian
teachers and doctors. We really gave the Haitians the
basis for a fresh start. As soon as the U.S. Marines pulled
out in 1934, however, the Haitians returned to their own
way of doing things, which is to say, to indolence, corruption,
and Voodoo. Everything the Americans had built for them
gradually returned to the jungle.
In 1958 the United States sent the Marines to Haiti again,
this time with the aim of rebuilding the country's economy
and infrastructure so that it would not succumb to Communist
influences. We propped up the regime of "Papa Doc"
Duvalier, who had been trained in medicine during our
first incursion into Haiti, but who was a practitioner
of Voodoo as well. He was a brutal and bloody dictator.
Again we spent hundreds of millions of dollars rebuilding
what the Haitians had wrecked and training thousands of
them in the skills needed to keep the country running.
But when we pulled out again, the country immediately
returned to its old ways: its African ways.
And in 1994 we tried the same foolishness all over again,
claiming that we were "restoring democracy"
Why can't we accept the plain and simple truth that it
is as impossible to make democrats out of the Haitians
as it is to teach them how to maintain their own roads?
Why can't we understand that the Haitians are fundamentally
different from us, that they are Africans, not Europeans
like us: that they are Negroes, and that left to themselves
they must do things in the way Negroes always have done
them, with indolence, corruption, and Voodoo?
I have in front of me a book on Haiti written by a British
scholar, a fellow of the Royal Geographic Society, following
his extended travels in Haiti at the beginning of this
century. The book was published by Thomas Nelson and Sons,
with offices in London, Edinburgh, Dublin, and New York.
The author is Hesketh Prichard, and the title of his book
is Where Black Rules White: A Journey Across and About
Hayti. Prichard chose his title because he was especially
interested in the fact that Haiti was a country ruled
entirely by its Black population, without the White colonial
domination that was present nearly everywhere else in
the non-White world at that time. The only Whites in the
country were a few hundred businessmen and their agents
in the coastal cities. These Whites were not treated well
by the government or people of Haiti.
Prichard was basically sympathetic to the Blacks and
wanted to see how they lived when they had been introduced
to civilization by Whites but were then left completely
free to do as they wished, without White control. He writes
of Haiti in the first chapter of his book: "There
the law of the world is reversed, and the Black man rules.
It is one of the few spots on earth where his color sets
the Negro upon a pedestal and gives him privileges. The
full-blooded African is paramount; even the mulattos and
half-breeds are disliked and have been barbarously weeded
out as time has passed."
One of the first things Prichard notes about Haiti is
the pervasive filth. He was not expecting sanitation to
be up to European standards, of course, but he was stunned
by the degree of filth he actually encountered, not just
in the villages but also in the capital city, Port-au-Prince.
And he was struck by the caricatures of finery and elegance
which thrived in the midst of this filth. For example,
he noticed that every Haitian of any importance at all
bore the title of "general" and was equipped
with a gaudy general's uniform, replete with gold braid
and all the other trimmings. When he inquired into the
military establishment in Haiti, where the total population
at that time was under two million, he discovered that
the Haitian Army boasted 6,500 generals, 7,000 regimental
officers, and 6,500 privates.
Prichard recounts a conversation he had one evening with
three Haitian generals. It is a conversation with a surrealistic
quality, as are many other things in Haiti. At one level
the Black generals are able to converse with a semblance
of knowledge of military matters, but at another level
it is clear that they are completely out of touch with
reality. One is reminded of the classical stereotype of
the African cannibal wearing an opera hat and a loincloth.
Prichard's book is filled with fascinating anecdotes
and with detailed descriptions of his personal experiences
with various facets of Haitian life. He remarks on the
good-natured, open-hearted character of the people, who
could nevertheless commit the most blood-curdling atrocities
at the least provocation. The extreme degree of corruption
of the Haitian bureaucracy elicits special attention from
Prichard, as does the utterly capricious way in which
it operates. The dispensing of justice, in particular,
is a caricature of European systems, in which many of
the same outward forms are observed.
Prichard also comments on the religious beliefs and practices
of the Haitians. The official religion, which they inherited
from their former French masters, is Roman Catholicism,
but the true religion of the people is Voodoo, a peculiarly
African religion with Catholic touches. In religion as
in other aspects of Haitian life there is a bizarre blending
of White forms with Black substance.
Later in his book Prichard generalizes from many of his
observations to reach a fundamental conclusion about life
in Haiti: namely, that in all matters regarding their
connections with the White world, with White civilization,
the Haitians are more concerned with show than with substance,
and their ability to mimic the characteristics of White
people, both individually and collectively, persuades
many people who observe them only superficially and who
want to believe them equal that they really are equal.
Prichard writes: "What most astonishes the traveler
in Hayti is that they have everything there. Ask for what
you please, the answer invariably is, 'Yes, yes, we have
it.' They possess everything that a civilized and progressive
nation can desire. Electric light? They proudly point
to a [power] plant on a hilltop outside the town. Constitutional
government? A Chamber of Deputies elected by public vote,
a Senate, and all the elaborate paraphernalia of the law:
they are to be found here, seemingly all of them. Institutions,
churches, schools, roads, railways . . . . On paper their
system is flawless. . . . If one puts one's trust in the
mirage of hearsay, the Haitians can boast of possessing
all desirable things, but on nearer approach these pleasant
prospects are apt to take on another complexion.
"For instance, you are standing in what was once
a building, but is now a spindle-shanked ghost of its
former self. A single man, nursing a broken leg, sprawls
on the black, earthen floor; a pile of wooden beds is
heaped in the north corner; rain has formed a pool in
the middle of the room, crawling and spreading into an
ever wider circle as the last shower drips from the roof.
Some filthy sheets lie wound into a sticky ball on two
beds, one of which is overturned. A large, iron washing
tub stands in the open doorway.
"Now where are you? It would be impossible to guess.
As a matter of fact, you are in the Military Hospital
of the second most important town of Hayti, a state-supported
concern in which the soldiers of the Republic are supposed
to be cured of all the ills of the flesh. . . .
"It was the same with the electric light. The [power]
plant was here, but it did not work. It was the same with
the [Army's] cannon. There are cannon, but they won't
go off. It was the same with their railways. They were
being 'hurried forward,' but they never progressed. It
was the same with everything."
There are many more examples. What had dawned on Prichard
is that the Haitians really don't care. To them the imitation
of civilization is as good as the real thing. They believe
that if they are able to dress like White men and speak
the White man's language and mimic the White man's institutions,
then they are as good as White men. And I believe what
Prichard observed of the Haitians applies equally well
to Blacks in the United States today.
Prichard ends his book with a chapter titled "Can
the Negro Rule Himself?" And he answers his question:
"The present condition of Hayti gives the best possible
answer to the question, and, considering the experiment
has lasted for a century, perhaps also a conclusive one.
For a century the answer has been working itself out there
in flesh and blood. The Negro has had his chance, a fair
field, and no favor. He has had the most beautiful and
fertile of the Caribbees for his own; he has had the advantage
of excellent French laws; he inherited a made country,
with Cap Haitien for its Paris . . . . Here was a wide
land sown with prosperity, a land of wood, water, towns
and plantations, and in the midst of it the Black man
was turned loose to work out his own salvation. What has
he made of the chances that were given to him?"
Prichard then summarizes the century of Haiti's independent
existence, running through a list of Black rulers and
strongmen, of revolutions and massacres and disorders.
He winds up his survey with these words:
"Suffice it to say that . . . [Hayti's] best president
was Geffrard, a mulatto, and that the dictatorship of
her Black heads of state always has been marked by a redder
smear than usual upon the page of history. The better,
the wiser, the more enlightened and less brutalized class
has always been composed of the mulattos, and the Blacks
have recognized the fact and hated the mulatto element
accordingly. But to pass from the earlier days of independence
to more recent times: we had not long ago the savage rule
of President Salomon, a notorious sectary of snake worship,
beneath whose iron hand the country groaned for years,
and public executions, assassinations, and robbery were
the order of the day. And at the present time? Today in
Hayti we come to the real crux of the question. At the
end of a hundred years of trial how does the Black man
govern himself? What progress has he made? Absolutely
That's the way it was a century ago, when Prichard wrote,
and that's essentially the way it is today, despite three
large-scale efforts by the United States during this century
to improve the lot of the Haitians.
Why is all of this important to us? A century ago Prichard
was by no means an unusual man of his class. He went to
Haiti, he carefully observed life there in great detail
over an extended period, and he drew logical and reasonable
conclusions from his observations. Other scholars of his
day could have done the same thing. But it is unimaginable
that a scholar today, whether from Britain or America,
could make observations like Prichard did, draw similar
conclusions, and then publish his conclusions in a book
by a mainstream publisher. It is simply not possible.
In the first place, one would be hard pressed to find
a scholar from any university in America or Britain today
who would have the courage to write honestly about Haiti,
because he knows that if he did he would be condemned
as a "racist" by a numerous and noisy faction
of his colleagues and would be drummed out of the academy.
And even if someone did write a book with observations
and conclusions similar to Prichard's, no mainstream publisher
would touch it. That's how far downhill our civilization
has slid in a century.
The Haitians have their Voodoo, with all of its disgusting
and bizarre beliefs and practices. And we have our cult
of Political Correctness, our cult of egalitarianism.
It is a cult based as much on superstition and as devoid
of reason and logic as the Voodoo of the Haitians. And
it exercises as strong a hold on its adherents. A Haitian
would as soon offend a Voodoo witch doctor and risk having
a curse put on himself as one of our modern scholars would
risk being labeled a "racist!"
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