Haiti and the Devil’s Curse

25 January, 2010 — The Real News Network

Mainstream news attributes Haitian poverty to the supernatural, avoiding history of foreign intervention

Danny Glover, Peter Hallward, and Anthony Fenton contribute to breaking down the media avoidance of Haiti’s history of foreign intervention. According to Hallward, Haiti’s poverty can be explained as a series of foreign responses to the independence and strength of the Haitian people, but since the media doesn’t acknowledge this, they are forced to propose weakness and bad luck as the sources of Haiti’s poverty. Glover adds that without the history, we are prone to misunderstanding and the blaming of the victim, which in some cases serves to absolve us of our own responsibility for the situation. Fenton reminds that it’s not only the U.S. that has taken part in undermining democracy in Haiti, in recent years Canada has played a very significant role, among others.

Bio

Peter Hallward is a Professor of Modern European Philosophy at Middlesex University in England. In 2007 he published the acclaimed historical account of post-1990 Haitian politics, Damming the Flood: Haiti, Aristide, and the Politics of Containment. He is the editor of the journal Radical Philosophy and a contributing editor to Angelaki: Journal of the Theoretical Humanities.

Danny Glover is a long-time actor and activist. While attending San Francisco State University, Glover was a member of the Black Students Union who along with the Third World Liberation Front led the five month strike. Not only did this help to create the first school of Ethnic Studies in the U.S., but it was also the longest student strike in the history of the United States. He is presently chair of the TransAfrica Forum, “a non-profit organization dedicated to educating the general public — particularly African-Americans — on the economic, political and moral ramifications of U.S. foreign policy as it affects Africa and the Diaspora in the Caribbean and Latin America”. Glover is the director of the upcoming movie Toussaint, detailing the life of Toussaint Louverture, leader of the Haitian Revolution.

Anthony Fenton is a Canadian-based independent researcher and journalist. He is the co-author of Canada in Haiti: Waging War on the Poor Majority. His work has been published by Asia Times, The Dominion, Foreign Policy in Focus, IPS, Mother Jones, Upside Down World, THIS Magazine, and others.

Haiti and the Devil's Curse

25 January, 2010 — The Real News Network

Mainstream news attributes Haitian poverty to the supernatural, avoiding history of foreign intervention

Danny Glover, Peter Hallward, and Anthony Fenton contribute to breaking down the media avoidance of Haiti’s history of foreign intervention. According to Hallward, Haiti’s poverty can be explained as a series of foreign responses to the independence and strength of the Haitian people, but since the media doesn’t acknowledge this, they are forced to propose weakness and bad luck as the sources of Haiti’s poverty. Glover adds that without the history, we are prone to misunderstanding and the blaming of the victim, which in some cases serves to absolve us of our own responsibility for the situation. Fenton reminds that it’s not only the U.S. that has taken part in undermining democracy in Haiti, in recent years Canada has played a very significant role, among others.

Bio

Peter Hallward is a Professor of Modern European Philosophy at Middlesex University in England. In 2007 he published the acclaimed historical account of post-1990 Haitian politics, Damming the Flood: Haiti, Aristide, and the Politics of Containment. He is the editor of the journal Radical Philosophy and a contributing editor to Angelaki: Journal of the Theoretical Humanities.

Danny Glover is a long-time actor and activist. While attending San Francisco State University, Glover was a member of the Black Students Union who along with the Third World Liberation Front led the five month strike. Not only did this help to create the first school of Ethnic Studies in the U.S., but it was also the longest student strike in the history of the United States. He is presently chair of the TransAfrica Forum, “a non-profit organization dedicated to educating the general public — particularly African-Americans — on the economic, political and moral ramifications of U.S. foreign policy as it affects Africa and the Diaspora in the Caribbean and Latin America”. Glover is the director of the upcoming movie Toussaint, detailing the life of Toussaint Louverture, leader of the Haitian Revolution.

Anthony Fenton is a Canadian-based independent researcher and journalist. He is the co-author of Canada in Haiti: Waging War on the Poor Majority. His work has been published by Asia Times, The Dominion, Foreign Policy in Focus, IPS, Mother Jones, Upside Down World, THIS Magazine, and others.

Haiti: US military occupation worsens suffering, blocks aid By Tony Iltis

23 January 2010 — Green Left

Right-wing columnist David Brooks began his January 15 New York Times piece by reminding his readers that when, in October 1989, the San Francisco Bay Area was hit by an earthquake similar in magnitude to the one that devastated Haiti on January 12, the death toll was 63.

The death toll in Haiti is estimated to be 200,000 and is still rising.

Brooks used crude racism to blame ‘a complex web of progress-resistant cultural influences [including] the influence of the voodoo religion’.

Most media coverage of Haiti’s latest tragedy lacks Brooks’ crudeness, but the same assumptions dominate. This racist narrative is being used as a smokescreen, behind which the US is cynically using the earthquake to increase its military, political and economic control of Haiti. (Actively hampering relief efforts in the process.)

US President Barack Obama immediately responded to the tragedy with trademark lofty rhetoric, declaring: ‘I have directed my administration to respond with a swift, coordinated, and aggressive effort to save lives.

‘The people of Haiti will have the full support of the United States in the urgent effort to rescue those trapped beneath the rubble, and to deliver the humanitarian relief — the food, water and medicine — that Haitians will need in the coming days.’

Unfortunately, he lied.

Continue reading