How Haiti has suffered so long and so deeply

As is most often the case, America again turns her attention to the people of Haiti because of profoundly tragic events. The massive earthquake … has devastated an entire community. Complete families have been lost outright. The whole infrastructure of the Haitian government, ordinarily fragile, has been decimated. Once more Haiti, one of our closest neighbors, has need of our support and encouragement. And once again an unrelenting question emerges: How is it that Haiti has suffered so deeply and for so long?

Having lived in Haiti on several occasions, I would like to offer a rather specific answer. I will ask the readers' pardon in advance for attempting such foolishness, since, truly, the question regarding Haiti's long history of despair is well beyond my expertise. However, my concern for and love of the Haitian people requires me to offer my opinion in this matter.

Just hours after the earthquake, Pat Robertson, compelled by his infamously rash and predictable malice, pointed to supernatural causes for the Haitians' plight. In a statement of palpably obscene coldness and banality, Robertson claimed that the deadly event was the punishing work of God, because, as he went on to explain, 300 years ago there occurred a "legendary" account of Haitian leaders entering into a covenant with Satan as a means of throwing off the oppression of their French slave masters.

There's absolutely no shred of historical evidence for Robertson's wholly mythological story. I refer to it however to emphasize one crucial point regarding the real reasons surrounding Haiti's long struggle with oppression: It has always been convenient for thoughtless people to blame the Haitians for the entirety of their own dilemma, though nothing could be further from the truth.

I am not suggesting that the Haitians themselves bear no responsibility for their own troubles. Most Haitian leaders of the 20th century were despots and murderers. The systemic violence of the leaders against their own people is certainly the foundation of much of Haiti's misfortune. But I am making two additional basic claims: that Haiti's crisis is wholly man-made and that her corrupt rulers could not have succeeded without the direct assistance of powerful American influences.

Let me focus briefly on a singular set of facts to make my point. At most American retailers you can purchase cute children's clothing with Disney characters printed on them. Some readers may have made such purchases themselves. Most of these products are manufactured in Port-au-Prince by some of the largest and most well-known American corporations by means of Haitian labor, and most of the workers are paid less than $1 or $2 per day. …

American business interests would not want it to become general knowledge that they practice such dishonorable business in the "poorest country in the Western Hemisphere." It is worse than scandalous. However, such abuse of the Haitian people has been the norm since the French first brought them on merchant ships to the once-pristine island. The people of Haiti have been the pawns of unscrupulous lords for centuries, and America has participated in this activity wholeheartedly.

So Americans may ask once again in this recent news-making crisis, "How is it that Haiti has suffered so deeply, and for so long?" The answers to these related questions are in part quite uncomplicated.

— Jeff Powers
Asheville

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82 thoughts on “How Haiti has suffered so long and so deeply

  1. travelah

    Offer up some solutions instead of perpetuating the “blame America” game.

  2. Ashevegasjoe

    typical conservative comment.

    The truth is that “America” (the U.S.) deserves a lot of blame for its exploitation of the world. I’ll offer a solution: conservatives admit that we don’t rule the world and start thinking globally instead of thinking it’s the U.S. vs. everyone else. We don’t have the right to consume incessantly, and pollute into extinction. Though I will say the public response has been amazing, in spite of the protestations of Robertson, Limbaugh, and Trav. U.S.A. ! U.S.A.!

  3. Asheville Dweller

    Its not the USA’s fault that Haiti was ran by a completely Corrupt goverment, Haiti before the Earthquake received Billions of dollars in aid from the USA EVERY year.

    The help is there its just not getting to the people.

  4. travelah

    Ashevegas, you are for all practical purposes either grossly uniformed or essentailly a liar. I have been involved with Haitian relief ministries for a long time. Now unless you are going to pull a Danny Glover idiocy on us, there is no link between Haitian aid in this matter and the fraud of global environmental disaster.

  5. It isn’t a conservative/progressive issue. Those are false distinctions. (Robertson & Limbaugh, like Bush & Cheney are not real conservatives. Just like Obama is not a true progressive.)

    Travelah makes a good point. The “blame game” does not help Haitians in this particular hour of need.

    However, that said, take a look at Cynthia McKinney’s excellent essay on the subject, “Haiti: An Unwelcome Katrina Redux.” Check out what the great white hope Barack Obama has authorized about it all thus far.

    http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=17063

  6. yeah, Bobo, actually … for really. Cynthia Mckinney actually wrote an article about Haiti. Can you believe it? An african-american woman that has served 6 terms in US Congress actually spoke out about how she views Obama’s Haiti policies as disingenuous, sort of like how Bush’s policies and Clinton’s policies toward Haiti were disingenuous.

    I mean who would have thunk that she can actually write? I was blown away by how intelligent her points were. Have you read it yet? I put the link up there just for you, bobaloo. Let me know what you think.

  7. TPaineification

    travelah asks for some thoughtful solutions

    Let’s begin here (of course I realize this will never actually happen):

    1. U.S. companies in Haiti adhere to the ethical principles required by
    existing U.S. Laws re: existing international treaties.

    2. U.S. business interests who engage in the protection of illegal drug
    running through Haiti be prosecuted by U.S. law enforcement.

    3. U.S. business interest in Haiti who openly fund political unrest as a
    means of securing their low-wage slave labor pool in Haiti be prosecuted by
    existing U.S. Laws against such heartless activities and the shameful abuse
    by these corporations be exposed by an earnest American media.

    I invite you travelah to go work 16 hour shifts for $2.
    uh…by the way this article is NOT addressing the issue of this “particular hour of need”; it’s answering the question asked so many times on our American TVs over the last three weeks: How is it that Haiti has suffered so deeply and for so long?

  8. TPaineification

    travelah asks for some thoughtful solutions

    Let’s begin here (of course I realize this will never actually happen):

    1. U.S. companies in Haiti adhere to the ethical principles required by
    existing U.S. Laws re: existing international treaties.

    2. U.S. business interests who engage in the protection of illegal drug
    running through Haiti be prosecuted by U.S. law enforcement.

    3. U.S. business interest in Haiti who openly fund political unrest as a
    means of securing their low-wage slave labor pool in Haiti be prosecuted by
    existing U.S. Laws against such heartless activities and the shameful abuse
    by these corporations be exposed by an earnest American media.

    I invite you travelah to go work 16 hour shifts for $2.
    uh…by the way this article is NOT addressing the issue of this “particular hour of need”; it’s answering the question asked so many times on our American TVs over the last three weeks: How is it that Haiti has suffered so deeply and for so long?

  9. travelah

    Maybe it is just me but anything offered by Cynthia McKinney is going to be viewed with a skeptical eye.

  10. Well, a true skeptic, one that is governed by the principle of reason, which, according to those pesky greeks who defined our values of freedom & democracy for us, is the mental capacity that guides genuine skepticism, would carefully consider what Cynthia has to say before applying their skepticism. If you do it in this order, examining the claims first, you at least know what you are talking about when you begin to express your doubts. To cast aspersions about someone’s character without examining the content of their claims, as Bopaloo appears to do above (“Cynthia McKinney? Really?”), is not really the MO of a true skeptic.

  11. bobaloo

    An african-american woman that has served 6 terms in US Congress
    Being black, a woman or being in Congress has nothing to do with anything, but nice try at implying…whatever you’re implying by pointing out her race and gender.
    how she views Obama’s Haiti policies as disingenuous
    She did nothing of the sort, she wrote a bunch of numbers and stated that the military, heaven forbid!, were the first responders the United States sent while in no way explaining in what capacity the military were serving so as to imply some nefarious plot by Obama, your “great white hope” and the military industry to take over resource rich (sarcasm) Haiti. All while praising Cuba (I bet she pronounces it Koobah)for their valiant and immediate response.
    Every single “fact” she writes in that column is debatable at best. Aristide was a crook too, by the way.

    I mean who would have thunk that she can actually write? I was blown away by how intelligent her points were.
    What exactly ARE you trying to imply? I don’t think she’s stupid. Batshit crazy, but not stupid.

    So to sum up: Hostile editorial with facts taken out of context with absolutely no sources written by a batshit crazy person (and black woman!) = zero credibility.

  12. Piffy!

    Oh, goodness, mr mallet has tried to bring christianity to the heathens. Gosh, what wonderful help to a people ravaged from 500+ years of christian-supported colonialism and slavery.

    Gosh.

    way to give a man a bible when what he needs is debt relief and a functioning, self sustaining economy so that he can afford to tend his land and feed his children instead of growing for export to the industrialized world. MMMM, bible. yummy.

    Golly.

  13. bobaloo

    Actually Piffy, there’s plenty of religion based charities in Haiti that do a LOT of good. My brother (who just ended a three year ordeal to adopt two girls from Haiti) has worked with one that runs an orphanage there. They do good work. And I don’t think any of the volunteers are capable of providing debt relief (and wasn’t 2/3rds of that canceled in June?) or a self sustaining economy. Nor can they eliminate the rampant corruption of their government, but that’s neither here nor there.

    If that means there is some proselytizing (or downright indoctrination) that comes with caring for orphans and facilitating their adoption by caring, able parents I feel it’s a fair trade-off.

    That’s certainly not to say there aren’t organizations that don’t take complete advantage of the situation. But it’s not fair to write off every single religion-based aid organization.

  14. For example, let’s take Bopaloo’s skeptical “analysis” of Cythina’s article I linked above:

    We will start with my claim that Cynthia’s article is in part addressing the “disingenuousness” (my euphemism) of the Obama administration’s military response to Haiti in the days following the disaster.

    Bopaloo’s immediate response to my point is:

    “She did nothing of the sort.”

    Is this counter-claim on Bopaloo’s part true?

    The first claim Cynthia makes in her article is this:

    “President Obama’s response to the tragedy in Haiti has been robust in military deployment and puny in what the Haitians need most: food; first responders and their specialized equipment; doctors and medical facilities and equipment; and engineers, heavy equipment, and heavy movers. ”

    Indeed, that is the premise of her entire article.

    Now, how does Cynthia support this claim of hers, a claim which Bopaloo deems false? By pointing up how the flagging US military response progressed over four days after the tragedy occurred. Let’s look at a brief summary of the U.S. Govt’s military immediate responses to the tragedy:

    Day 1: The United States, on the day after the tragedy struck, confirmed that an entire Marine Expeditionary Force was being considered “to help restore order,” when the “disorder” had been caused by an earthquake striking Haiti.

    Day 2: a C-130 plane with a military assessment team landed in Haiti, with the rest of the team expected to land soon thereafter. The stated purpose of this team was to determine what military resources were needed.

    On President Obama’s orders military aircraft “flew over the island, mapping the destruction.” So, the first U.S. contribution to the humanitarian relief needed in Haiti were reconnaissance drones whose staffing are more accustomed to looking for hidden weapon sites and surface-to-air missile batteries than wrecked infrastructure. The scope of the U.S. response soon became clear: aircraft carrer, Marine transport ship, four C-140 airlifts, and evacuations to Guantanamo. By the end of Day Two, according to the Washington Post report, the United States had evacuated to Guantanamo Bay about eight [8] severely injured patients, in addition to U.S. Embassy staffers, who had been “designated as priorities by the U.S. Ambassador and his staff.”

    Day 3: On Day Three we learned that other U.S. ships, including destroyers, were moving toward Haiti.

    Day 4: By the end of Day Four, the U.S. reportedly had evacuated over 800 U.S. nationals.

    Wow. Working overtime of the batshit crazy people in Haiti.

    Cynthia then contrasts this US response to Cuba’s immediate humanitarian response. Cuba sends 400 doctors on day one. (Those no good commie leftist bastards!)

    Cynthia then goes on to point out a few whacky random lefty hostile facts about the situation in Haiti preceding the natural disaster. They are not just “a bunch of numbers,” as Bopaloo claims above, before asserting that McKinney is “Batshit CRAZY”, however intelligent.

    The troubling facts that McKinney enumerates are the following:

    1. the continued exile of Haiti’s democratically-elected and well-loved, yet twice-removed former priest, President Jean-Bertrand Aristide

    Bopaloo takes a moment to rebut this fact with this simple statement: “Aristide was a crook too, by the way.” Yeah, but he was a twice democratically elected crook. We just had a twice democratically elected [sic] crook leave office in peaceful transfer of power called an election. Actually, I would argue W was not “democratically elected” in 2000, he was installed by the supreme court. He probably wasn’t democratically in 2004 either, unless you buy the Ohio electronic vote tally. But even given these facts casting doubt on his electoral legitimacy, he was allowed to serve his terms. But I don’t see you endorsing any externally facilitated regime changes in the USA. (Oh wait, let me guess, Aristide was BIGGER democratically elected crook than W. What, may I ask is the scale by which you measure the justified removal of such a leader?)

    2. the unexplained continued occupation of the country by United Nations troops who have killed innocent Haitians and are hardly there for “security”

    3. U.S. construction of its fifth-largest embassy in the world in Port-au-Prince, Haiti

    Wow. Why on earth would we build the 5th largest embassy on earth in little ole resource poor Haiti? Check out what Randall White of HaitiAction.net has to say about the behemoth of U.S. Embassy placed on this itty, bitty poor “batshit crazy” country by the Bush Administration. (But be sure to check in with Bopaloo first to find out of Randall White whether is batshit crazy AND intelligent first.)

    http://www.sott.net/articles/show/202048-What-was-the-4th-largest-US-embassy-doing-in-Haiti-one-of-the-poorest-countries-in-the-world-

    4. mining and port licenses and contracts, including the privatization of Haiti’s deep water ports, because certain off-shore oil and transshipment arrangements would not be possible inside the U.S. for environmental and other considerations

    5. Extensive foreign NGO presence in Haiti that could be rendered unnecessary if, instead, appropriate U.S. and other government policy allowed the Haitian people some modicum of political and economic self-determination.

    I guess all these “batshit crazy” voodoo people from Africa after 400 years of subjugation and U.S. “good neighbor” policies still can’t take care of themselves, much less elect their own leaders, huh, Bopaloo? I mean why else would we have to keep going down there and removing elected leaders and/or installing a dictator, straightening them out every 5 years with our own NGOs and/or US troops, or surrogate UN troops?

    Hit me back when you get it all figured out, Bopaloo. Meanwhile, I will compile a few more facts about Haiti for you that relate to more of Cynthia had to say on the matter in this article.

    (And just so you know, Bop, I do know that being an African-American woman elected to congress 6 times “doesn’t mean anything.” But thanks for reminding me.)

  15. bobaloo

    Bopaloo
    Oooo snap! You changed my screen name everytime you said it. I’ve been pwned!

    Indeed, that is the premise of her entire article.

    No it’s not. The entire premise of her article is how evil imperialism and capitalism are the scourge of Haiti, not how inadequate the President’s response has been.

    Working overtime of the batshit crazy people in Haiti

    Good Lord, why would you call the Haitians batshit crazy? Because I certainly didn’t.

    Cynthia then contrasts this US response to Cuba’s immediate humanitarian response. Cuba sends 400 doctors on day one. (Those no good commie leftist bastards!)

    She didn’t contrast anything. She talked, completely out of context, about the military response. Not an armed military response, which is what she is implying. The military, however evil you deem them, is usually in the lead in lots of large-scale humanitarian efforts. I wonder how much of a military presence there was after the tsunami?
    And you can drop the innuendo about lefties, I’m not a con or republican.

    Cynthia then goes on to point out a few whacky random lefty hostile facts about the situation in Haiti preceding the natural disaster.

    Which have zero, nothing, nada to do with our response to the disaster.

    this itty, bitty poor “batshit crazy” country

    YOU are the only one saying Haiti and Haitians are batshit crazy.

    I guess all these “batshit crazy” voodoo people from Africa

    There you go again. I think you may be a racist.

    Yeah, but he was a twice democratically elected crook.

    Yeah, you may want to look into that. Also some of his tactics in dealing with opponents may be of interest to you.
    By the way, would you have endorsed regime changes in the US?

    (And just so you know, Bop, I do know that being an African-American woman elected to congress 6 times “doesn’t mean anything.” But thanks for reminding me.)

    Then why the hell did YOU bring it up?!

    In any case, the rest of your post is simply defending (while ranting off topic about W) McKinney’s thinly veiled discussion of U.S. imperialist tyranny, offering zero solutions to the crisis at hand. It’s just another excuse for her to attack the United States. Every once in a while she has a point, but her batshit craziness too often gets in the way.

  16. DCJ’s “Batshit Crazy” history of Haiti for little ole Bopaloo

    (Now, Bop, I am gonna throw a bunch of numbers at you. These numbers are called dates. But they aren’t just numbers, they are attached to what we call facts. You can do whatever you want with the facts, and we can in turn apply skepticism to how you choose to accent some facts, and disregard others. K?)

    December 5, 1492: Columbus discovers Haiti (the island of Hispaniola)

    1697: The Spaniards cede the western third of Hispaniola to the French crown at the Treaty of Ryswick. Haiti is now called “Saint Domingue”.

    1697-1791: Saint Domingue becomes the richest colony in the world. Its capital,
    Cap Français, is known as the Paris of the New World. It is also a regime of
    extraordinary cruelty; the 500,000 slaves taken by the French are flogged, starved, and buried alive for minor offenses.

    1791: the first major black rebellion takes place, initiated by Boukman, a voodoo
    houngan. This begins the markings of civil war between the black dominated north and the mulatto dominated south.

    1796: Toussaint L’Ouverture, an educated herb doctor and military man, emerges as the leader of the former slaves in the north. He restored order, ended the massacres, and restored some of Saint Domingue’s former prosperity.

    1801: Napoleon Bonaparte dispatches an army of 34,000 troops to subdue the slave armies and retake the colony for France; this mission was unsuccessful.

    1802: Convention in Paris reintroduces slavery, which brings on more rebellions and massacres.

    1804: Jean Jacques Dessalines proclaimed the independent black Republic of Haiti in the northern half of the island. Dessalines was unpopular with the mulattos and was assassinated in 1806. His death led to civil war.

    1820: Henry Christophe commits suicide by shooting himself with a silver bullet. At his death Haiti was taken over by General Boyer, and civil war ceased. Boyer obtained official Haitian independence from France at the price of 150 million French francs.

    1843 to 1915: Haiti sees 22 heads of state, most of whom leave office by violent means. Rivalry continues among the whites, the mulatto elite, and the blacks.

    [Here is where it gets most interesting for me, Bopaloo, in regards to US military responses to Haiti’s crises.]

    1915: Jean Vilbrun Guillaume Sam established a dictatorship, but in July, facing a new revolt, he massacred 167 political prisoners, all of whom were from elite families. President Guillaume Sam is then dismembered in the streets by an angry mob in Port-au-Prince. Because of tcompeting interests and the possibility of the cacos-supported anti-American Rosalvo Bobo emerging as the next President of Haiti, the American government decided to act quickly to preserve their economic dominance over Haiti. The specific order from the Secretary of the Navy to the invasion commander, Admiral William Deville Bundy, was to “protect American and foreign” interests. However, to avoid public criticism the occupation was labeled as a mission to “re-establish peace and order…[and] has nothing to do with any diplomatic negotiations of the past or the future” as disclosed by Rear Admiral Caperton.

    The Haitian government had been receiving large loans from both American and French banks over the preceding few decades and was growing increasingly incapable in fulfilling their debt repayment. If an anti-American government prevailed under the leadership of Rosalvo Bobo, there would be no promise of any debt repayment, and the refusal of American investments would have been assured. Within six weeks of the occupation, representatives from the United States controlled Haitian customs houses and administrative institutions such as banks and the national treasury. Through American manipulation, 40% of the national income was used to alleviate the debt repayment to both American and French banks. Despite the large sums due to overseas banks, this economic decision ignored the interests of the majority of the Haitian population and froze the economic growth the country needed. For the next nineteen years, advisers of the United States governed the country, enforced by the United States Marine Corps.

    Representatives from the United States wielded veto power over all governmental decisions in Haiti, and Marine Corps commanders served as administrators in the provinces. Local institutions, however, continued to be run by Haitians, as was required under policies put in place during the presidency of Woodrow Wilson.

    Opposition to the Occupation began immediately after the Marines entered Haiti in 1915. The rebels (called “cacos” by the U.S. Marines) vehemently tried to resist American control of Haiti. In response, the Haitian and American governments began a vigorous campaign to disband the rebel armies. Perhaps the best-known account of this skirmishing came from Marine Major Smedley Butler, awarded a Medal of Honor for his exploits, and went on to serve as commanding officer of the Haitian Gendarmerie. (He later expressed his disapproval of the U.S. intervention in his book War Is a Racket.)

    Philippe Sudré Dartiguenave, the mulatto president of the Senate, agreed to accept the presidency of Haiti after several other candidates had refused on principle. In 1917, President Dartiguenave dissolved the legislature after its members refused to approve a constitution written by Franklin D. Roosevelt (then Assistant Secretary of the Navy)[10] However, a referendum subsequently approved the new constitution in 1918 (by a vote of 98,225 to 768). It was a generally a liberal document. The constitution allowed foreigners to purchase land. Jean-Jacques Dessalines had forbidden land ownership by foreigners, and since 1804, some Haitians had viewed foreign ownership as anathema.

    The occupation of Haiti continued after World War I, despite the embarrassment that it caused Woodrow Wilson at the Paris Peace Conference of 1919 and the scrutiny of a congressional inquiry in 1922.

    1922: Dartiguenave was replaced by Louis Borno, who ruled without a legislature until 1930. That same year, General John H. Russell, Jr. was appointed High Commissioner. The Borno-Russel dictatorship oversaw the expansion of the economy, building over 1,000 miles (1,600 km) of road, establishing an automatic telephone exchange, modernizing the nation’s port facilities, and establishing a public health service. Sisal was introduced to Haiti, and sugar and cotton became significant exports.

    However, efforts to develop commercial agriculture met with limited success, in part because much of Haiti’s labor force was employed as seasonal workers in the more-established sugar industries of Cuba and the Dominican Republic. An estimated 30,000-40,000 Haitian laborers, known as braceros, went annually to the Oriente Province of Cuba between 1913 and 1931. Most Haitians continued to resent the loss of sovereignty. At the forefront of opposition among the educated elite was L’Union Patriotique, which established ties with opponents of the occupation in the U.S. itself, in particular the NAACP.

    1929: The Great Depression decimated the prices of Haiti’s exports, and destroyed the tenuous gains of the previous decade. In December Marines in Les Cayes killed ten Haitian peasants during a march to protest local economic conditions. This led Herbert Hoover to appoint two commissions, including one headed by a former U.S. governor of the Philippines William Cameron Forbes, which criticized the exclusion of Haitians from positions of authority in the government and constabulary, now known as the Garde d’Haïti.

    1930: Sténio Vincent, a long-time critic of the occupation, was elected President. By now President Herbert Hoover had become concerned about the effects of the occupation, particularly after the December 1929 incident in Les Cayes. Hoover appointed two commissions to study the situation. A former governor general of the Philippines, William Cameron Forbes, headed the more prominent of the two.

    The Forbes Commission praised the material improvements that the U.S. administration had wrought, but it criticized the exclusion of Haitians from positions of real authority in the government and the constabulary, which had come to be known as the Garde d’Haïti. In more general terms, the commission further asserted that “the social forces that created [instability] still remain — poverty, ignorance, and the lack of a tradition or desire for orderly free government.”

    [Wow. I wonder which “social forces” the Forbes commission is referring to here? Slavery, perhaps? The more things change, the more they stay the same down in “batshit crazy” Haiti, huh, Bopaloo? (What’s wrong with these people?)]

    The Hoover administration did not fully implement the recommendations of the Forbes Commission; but United States withdrawal was under way by 1932, when Hoover lost the presidency to Franklin Roosevelt, the presumed author of the most recent Haitian constitution and the proponent of “Good Neighbor policy”.

    1934: Roosevelt reaffirms an August 1933 disengagement agreement. The last contingent of U.S. Marines departed on August 15, 1934 after a formal transfer of authority to the Garde. The U.S. retained influence on Haiti’s external finances until 1947.

    1957: François ‘Papa Doc’ Duvalier, a doctor and union leader, elected president. He terrorized the country, through his private militia, the tontons macoutes (which means in Creole, “uncle boogeyman”).

    1971: François Duvalier dies and is succeeded by his son Jean Claude, age 19 (also known as ‘Baby Doc’). By this time Haiti is the poorest country in the western hemisphere (and remains so to this day).

    1986: The Duvalier regime collapses under Operation Deschoukay and Baby Doc flees to France.

    1990: Jean-Bertrand Aristide (a religious priest) is elected in a landslide victory. Military coup deposes Aristide’s government; Organization of American States imposes an embargo lasting three years.

    1994: Aristide returns to Haiti to serve out his term of office, facilitated by the US military and UN troops.

    1995: René Préval elected in a landslide victory

    2001: Aristide is elected again and succeeds Préval for a second five-year term.

    2004: Aristide is forced from office via a U.S.-assisted military coup. He is kidnapped, and flown out of Haiti aboard a U.S. military aircraft to South Africa. Boniface Alexandre is inaugurated as interim president. UN troops begin “peacekeeping occupation” which continues until …

    2010: Earthquake! … send in Obama’s “dudley do-right” US troops … again.

    *

    Hmmmmmm …

    So when “Batshit Crazy” (your euphemism) African-American Cynthia Mckinney writes,

    Haitians know that their “brother,” then-Secretary of State Colin Powell lied to the world upon the kidnapping and second ouster of their President [Democratically elected “crook” Aristide]. Haitians know, all-too-well, that high-ranking blacks in the United States are capable of helping them and of betraying them. Haitians know, too, that the United States has installed its political proxies and even its own soldiers onto Haitian soil when the U.S. felt it was necessary. All in an effort to control the indomitable Haitian spirit that directs much-needed light to the rest of the oppressed world. I shudder to think that the “rollback” policies believed in by some foreign policy advisors to President Obama could use a prolonged U.S. military presence in Haiti as a springboard for rollback of areas in Latin America that have liberated themselves from U.S. neo-colonial domination. I would hate to think that this would even be attempted under the Presidency of Barack Obama.

    I think she is anything but “batshit crazy,” as you have tried to malign her. I think she is actually very reasonable in her skepticism.

  17. No, it’s not. The entire premise of her article is how evil imperialism and capitalism are the scourge of Haiti, not how inadequate the President’s response has been.

    Actually, Bop, that is the subtext of her article, not the premise. Her premise is not that US military response was merely “inadequate” in the 4 days after the disaster, her premise is that it was inappropriate. It had very little to do with any legitimate humanitarian response. (How on earth do explain Cuban government beating us there with 400 doctors.)

    When you read Cynthia’s concern about the adequacy/appropriatness of US govt’s official response in the context of the history of US Imperialism in Haiti, which I have in part outlined for you above, she is skeptical about this military response to a humanitarian crisis. I think it is a legitimate skepticism.

    Now, if you want to endorse US imperialism all the way up through the very recent Bush Administration’s removal of Aristide and subsequent occupation of the country with US troops, go ahead, that is your informed choice.

    If you want to explain the Bush team’s construction of the 5th largest US embassy on earth in what you have termed a resource-poor country, I would love to here about that. (I guess centuries of slave labor pools don’t really count as a resource, in your book, huh?)

    But if you want to keep calling me a “racist” and keep calling Cynthia McKinney “batshit crazy,” I think I am done taking you seriously.

  18. bobaloo

    The more things change, the more they stay the same down in “batshit crazy” Haiti

    Why you continually insist on calling the people of Haiti batshit crazy is beyond me.

    Nice cut-n-paste.

  19. bobaloo

    But if you want to keep calling me a “racist” and keep calling Cynthia McKinney “batshit crazy,” I think I am done taking you seriously.

    So after your condescending tone, calling me Bopaloo, implying I think Haitians are batshit crazy, and failing to address a single point I made you quit because you don’t understand hyperbole.

    McKinney is batshit crazy, you’re are an obvious racist, and you fail at the internet.

  20. Bopaloo writes: Every single “fact” she writes in that column is debatable at best.

    5th largest US embassy on earth.

    Debate that fact.

    the unexplained continued occupation of the country by United Nations troops who have killed innocent Haitians and are hardly there for “security”

    Explain/debate that one.

    The continued exile of Haiti’s democratically-elected and well-loved, yet twice-removed former priest, President Jean-Bertrand Aristide

    Debate that one.

  21. Aw, Bop. Don’t get your panties all tied in a knot here. Who initiated the condescending tone on this thread?

    “Cynthia McKinney? Really?”

    As far as calling you Bopaloo vs Bobaloo, do you really think one inverted letter makes a difference? Nobody knows who you are. You hide behind a phony username and call African-American politicians “Batshit Crazy.” (Get real.)

    McKinney is batshit crazy, you’re are an obvious racist, and you fail at the internet.

    Well, what can I say, Bop? We will just have to agree to disagree here. I do not think she is “bathsit crazy.” I don’t think I am a racist – at least not in the sense you want to paint me to be. And I don’t think I exactly “fail at the internet.”

  22. failing to address a single point I made you quit because you don’t understand hyperbole.

    Yeah, um, actually I do understadn hyperbole, and I just addressed one of your so-called “points”:

    Every single “fact” she writes in that column is debatable at best.

    5th largest US embassy on earth.

    Debate that fact.

    the unexplained continued occupation of the country by United Nations troops who have killed innocent Haitians and are hardly there for “security”

    Explain/debate that one.

    The continued exile of Haiti’s democratically-elected and well-loved, yet twice-removed former priest, President Jean-Bertrand Aristide

    Debate that one.

    You seem to want to see Obama’s military response to this disaster as altruistic and somehow appropriate. Cynthia is skeptical, and so am I. So are countless others who have done a modicum of research on the history of U.S. involvement in Haiti. I have attempted to inform you of some of that history here.

    But if you want to keep your faith in the “goodness” of Team Obama, knock yourself out and remain in the vaccuum.

    (Obama has preserved the Continuity of Government that was installed by the Supreme Court in 2000. Why would his squad’s stance on Haiti be any different than Bush’s?)

  23. Piffy!

    [b]That’s certainly not to say there aren’t organizations that don’t take complete advantage of the situation. But it’s not fair to write off every single religion-based aid organization.[/b]

    And I’m not. I’m saying that travelah’s assertion that pointing out the facts of America’s direct connection to the colonialism that is at the root of the problems facing Haiti can merely be brushed aside as “Blame America”, and that his smug, self-righteous claim that Christian ministry is an ‘answer’ is nothing more than putting a bandaid on an amputee.

    yes, we should treat the symptoms, but not if it means we completely ignore the cause. Pointing out the Western worlds direct connection to the root causes of this suffering isn’t playing the “Blame Game”. it is reminding us what got Haiti where it is today. And no amount of bible-study classes will EVER change that.

  24. Piffy!

    [b]Nor can they eliminate the rampant corruption of their government, but that’s neither here nor there. [/b]

    You mean a rampantly corrupt government that can be directly tied to US foreign policy?

    this is my point. Most americans dont even have the most rudimentary understanding of recent Haitian history, not to mention the last 500+ years there. “America” very much is part of the problem. At least, our government and its foreign policy. To deny this is to live in a willfully ignorant fantasy world.

    Most aid organization like the Salvation Army only perpetuate the main problems, while enriching themselves in the process of handing out a few relative crumbs. If you want to call that ‘help’, that is your choice, but those of us who actually pay attention to history will continue to point out the policies that got Haiti where it is today.

  25. travelah

    Most aid organization like the Salvation Army only perpetuate the main problems, while enriching themselves in the process of handing out a few relative crumbs

    That statement can be deemed to be nothing but a repugnant slander and libelous lie. What you base your open hatred for the Salvation Army on?

  26. I will address a few more of Bobaloo’s points:

    By the way, would you have endorsed regime change in the US?

    No, not by an external foreign power. I would not appreciate, say, the European Union sweeping in and kidnapping George W. Bush and flying him down to South Africa and then manuevering their choice of U.S president into our oval office. I think that would be just as bad as us sweeping in and kidnapping Aristide and helping our pick take power down in Haiti.

    Nice cut-n-paste.

    Thanks. I worked real hard on collecting that brief history from two sources for you. Glad you read it and better understand what has been going on.

    Batshit Crazy

    Your calling Cynthia “Batshit Crazy” does actually have greater implications for African Americans in general. As I pointed out to you, Cynthia was elected to US Congress six (6) times by the people of her distrcit in Georgia. This district is largely comprised of African American citizens. You said this “didn’t mean anything.” Well, what it means to me is that either all those black people that kept voting her in must be either “bat shit crazy,” or stupid, or Cynthia only went nutz at the very last minute of her career, or perhaps you are wrong in your general assessment of Cynthia’s mental capacity.

    By the way, if you are going to maintain that she is “Batshit Crazy”, why not point out to us why you think this about her and the people of her district, so we can better analyze your claim. Why did a “batshit crazy” person keep getting elected over and over? (Do you think Cynthia was stealing those elections?) And when she speaks out of concern for the political suffering of her fellow people of African descent in Haiti, why do you lambast her so?

  27. ummm...hello??

    Really…what’s so crazy about batshit? That’s just gross. And why does the world suddenly revolve around Haiti? Ya know…America is suffering too… sorta. Everyone is suffering somehow! C’mon man, for reals. Let’s stop arguing and make some love.

  28. bobaloo

    Piffy:
    I think we’re pretty much on the same page, I was just objecting to what I saw as a blanket assumption. I haven’t delved into the operations of the Salvation Army, so I can’t really speak to that, but I do know that there are some missionaries there that are doing much more good – not to mention genuinely putting their lives at risk – than most people are.
    So I think we’re in agreement for the most part.

  29. bobaloo

    No, David Connor Jones, no one knows who I am because I use a screen name. No, it doesn’t bother me that you changed my screen name, it just points to your childishness in the face of all the self-righteous ranting and condescension you are spouting.

    Once again: YOU are the only one injecting race into this. YOU are the one who called Obama “the great white hope”. YOU are the one who called Haitians and Africans batshit crazy.
    I didn’t call her batshit crazy because she’s black. It’s because she is a paranoid crazy person who never met a conspiracy she didn’t like.

    You’re implications of racism on my part are lazy, predictable and pitiful.

    You…call African-American politicians “Batshit Crazy.”

    You’re a liar. I called McKinney batshit crazy.

    This district is largely comprised of African American citizens. You said this “didn’t mean anything.”

    You’re a liar again. I never said a word about her former constituents. I said her being a black woman (which YOU brought up) doesn’t have anything to do with how batshit crazy I think she is.

    In short: You’re a racist.

  30. Damnit, I hate when people don’t even re-read what they wrote here.

    Being black, a woman, or being in Congress has nothing to do with anything

    Cynthia McKinney is an African American politician, elected 6 times to the US congress by a largely African American constituency. All that means quite a bit. It means a lot of black people in Georgia did not think she was “batshit crazy” when they elected her, or it means they are “batshit crazy” right along with her. So when did she become “batshit crazy,” Bob. I mean you can call it all meaningless until the cows come home. I think it is pretty important.

    You think she is “batshit crazy,” but won’t bother to explain why you make that assumption. I am left wondering, is it because she is a woman, because she is black, because she points out Haiti’s terrible history of colonial domination? Probably none of those, but how am I supposed to know what you mean? I can only assume you have some other more legitimate reason for thinking this about her. Why won’t you explain your comment, Bobaloo?

    You could put this whole thing to rest by explaining why you have called this particular “random’ person “batshit crazy,” but you are not doing that. Why? Is it because I am “a racist?”

    In short: You have stepped in a pile of your own bat shit and you don’t know what you are talking about.

    Now, if you want to clean your feet up and explain what you meant by the slandering of this U.S. congress woman, and her critical essay about the lame US govt’s response to Haiti’s natural disaster, I am all ears.

  31. And just so you know,Bob:

    It’s because she is a paranoid crazy person who never met a conspiracy she didn’t like.

    A gross generalization is not a good answer. We need specifics.

  32. I mean in a comment of yours earlier to PK you write”

    I was just objecting to what I saw as a blanket assumption.

    Well, hey, fancy that! Looks like we have something in common after all. I object to blanket assumptions too.

  33. bobaloo

    If you don’t know McKinney’s history of paranoid delusions then let me help.

    http://tinyurl.com/yccu7nk

    http://tinyurl.com/yd6axlm

    http://tinyurl.com/y9ad72v

    http://tinyurl.com/ycrb6mq

    Although, now that I think about it, you probably don’t find any of those things crazy.

    Damnit, I hate when people don’t even re-read what they wrote here.

    You being the prime example as you don’t even realize much less admit you were the person injecting race and gender into the conversation.

    Don’t you have a skinhead rally to attend (because you hate black people, you see) or someone to cyberstalk? (You can google bobaloo all you want but I don’t link my real name to my screen name. Like “entopticon”)

  34. Bobaloo, I understand that I made the initial points about race and gender and congressional employment, here. (What you want to call “injections.”) I never claimed not too have made those points. You are the one that used the term “batshit crazy” without qualifying it for us. I just used it ironically to describe some other black people, like voters in Georgia and the people of Haiti. Anyone with half a brain who has read any of my previous Xpress posts will be able to tell you I was being tongue n cheek as I employed your colorful vocabulary word in my responses.

    And, no I don’t have a skinhead rally to attend, and I don’t hate black people, and I am not into cyber-stalking. (Nor do I need to google Bobaloo to figure out who you are. I can plainly see form your icon that you are Captain America.)

    Now, let’s just examine the first google listing that comes up when I click on your first “tinyurl” link above.

    The first link that comes up is this one:

    http://www.weaselzippers.net/blog/2008/10/wapo-follows-bat-shit-crazy-cynthia-mckinney-around-for-a-day-spies-theyre-probably-in-the-room-listening-conspiring.html

    The website is ingeniously called “Weasel Zippers.” It’s motto, as stated at the top of the page, is: “Scouring the Bowels of the Internet so you Don’t Have To.” (In other words, it thinks for people who like to peruse shit.)

    So basically what that motto literally means for us as we think about Bobaloo and his comments here is that Bopaloo likes to eat the fecal matter that the Weasel Zippers scour for him from the bowels of internet. That is Bopaloo’s idea of “research” and contributing to the dialogue. This site is one of thousands designed to give the internet and people who use it a bad name. There is nothing really trustworthy about this site.

    The first picture of Cynthia McKinney on this page is quite clearly photoshopped to show us a very typical racist caricature of an African American. I have been doing photo editing with photoshop for year now and I can tell you those are not really Cynthia’s eye’s in this shot. The pupils have been doctored to make her look very disconcerting, to say the least. Great job, Bopaloo, thanks for giving us that doctored image to be skeptical about. Good to see your true colors flying on the Express Blog. (i dunno, maybe you are actually a racist if you find that kind of modern day caricaturing funny.)

    Most of these URLs that Bop has linked us to are primarily engaged character assassination.

    If you want to try to link me to a reasonable critique of McKinney’s sanity, Bopaloo, I am game to “scour” it for you. (I know its hard to think for yourself when you are busy playing Captain America & all.)

  35. Wow! That is great, Bopaloo! You have chosen to use clearly photoshopped racist caricature for your Xpress icon now.

    (I liked it better when you were pretending to be Captain America, it showed a tad more dignity.)

  36. bobaloo

    I got it from CNN.

    Tell us David, why do you hate black people?

  37. Piffy!

    [b]If you don’t know McKinney’s history of paranoid delusions then let me help. [/b]

    Come on, bob. Those [i]aren’t[/i] sources. they are links to google searches for “cynthia mckinney is bats##t crazy”.

    if your going to present ‘evidence’ you got to try a [i]little[/i] harder than that.

  38. Piffy!

    [b]I think we’re pretty much on the same page, I was just objecting to what I saw as a blanket assumption. I haven’t delved into the operations of the Salvation Army, so I can’t really speak to that, but I do know that there are some missionaries there that are doing much more good – not to mention genuinely putting their lives at risk – than most people are.
    So I think we’re in agreement for the most part. [/b]

    Again, though, my objection was to lil t’s implication that looking at root causes is playing ‘teh blame game’, while missionary work that largely perpetuates the larger problems while helping people in a very, very minimal way is somehow ‘real’. thats like saying you are helping a starving man because you gave him some fish once, after you murdered his family and stole his fishing boat.

    And if you dont know about the Salvation Army, may i suggest one of those google searches you like. they are a corrupt, cult-like pyramid operation that profits off of disasters.

    In addition, i dont trust any church that used to condone if not outright support slavery and empire.

  39. Bopaloo comes on board, raises the bar of the dialogue by calling an African American woman “Batshit Cazy,” a six time elected congress woman who has spoken her mind in essay form about the US military response to Haiti’s humanitarian crisis. He then calls me a racist for mocking his use of the ridiculous term and proceeds to post a obvious photoshopped caricature of the african american woman in question. To top it all off, he lies about where he found the image.

    It’s rather hysterical behavior, literally.

  40. travelah

    I don’t really know much about the Salvation Army in Haiti.

    Tell us what they are doing there today, T. I am all ears.

    The Salavation Army has been directly involved on the ground in Haiti for nearly 60 years now through every corrupt regime and crisis that country has endured. They fund medical clinics, food banks and provide clothing and shelter assistance. They have had people working directly with those in need since they arrived.
    The background of the group has always been focused on the downtrodden and repressed of society. That has been where they have focused their ministy efforts. Now, whether one agrees with their religious values and practices is of course going to be a button issue. However, this charitable organization has been in trenches that the pffstkiks of Asheville have crossed the street to avoid. It is an organization that has endured it’s own persecutions for rejectng racial, ethnic and poverty barriers. It’s outreaches are in areas most on this board wouldn’t spend a night in and they do it day in and day out.
    The organization’s efforts in Haiti are much like it’s efforts anywhere in the world. It’s focus is physical and spiritual nourishment. For practical purposes it is a Christian denomination much as we consider Southern Baptists or Methodists to be. The distinctions in it’s work are found by example.
    I’ll share this about the Army. Many years ago my young family and I lost everything to a house fire. The Red Cross wrote my wife a check for $100 and we very much appreciated it. We had nothing and our jobs at the time were horrible. The Salvation Army stepped in and blew us away with their unsolicited generosity. I have been ever thankful for them and since then I have contributed and observed their generosity coultless times on a first hand basis.

  41. bobaloo

    It’s called sarcasm David. Of course I didn’t find it on CNN. But it’s a pretty prominent screen cap of McKinney that’s been around a long time. There is no photoshopping of the image. Seriously, do a google image search and it’s there. It’s not a racist caricature, despite your desperate attempt to paint any criticism of McKinney as racism.
    My calling you a racist, if you haven’t figured it out just yet, is because you constantly imply racism on my part. You not understanding this is why you fail at the internet.

    Piffy, the google searches I linked weren’t just that phrase. If either of you aren’t aware (or in DCJ’s case, being intentionally obtuse) of McKinney’s rather dubious history of paranoia vis a vis government conspiracies and racist plots against her, then I’m at a loss.

    Yes, I understand and am well aware of the United States history of meddling in the affairs of Haiti and how we’ve had a negative impact on Haiti. I do not agree that Obama will continue that.
    The only reason I participated in this conversation is because DCJ decided to use the batshit crazy McKinney as an authority on this matter. It’s like linking Alex Jones in a conversation about Israel. Despite any salient points made, there’s no credibility because of past behavior and overall craziness.

    Also, I will look up some info about the Salvation Army. Thanks for the heads up.

    ps: David, just because someones been in Congress doesn’t increase their credibility. Michelle Bachmann for example.

  42. Or, Catherine Harris, for another example congressional credibility.

    Of course, Bob, I understand that being elected does not categorically increase someone’s credibility. However, being elected six times means that the people of your district probably believe in what you are doing and in what you stand for. Maybe they were all duped, or maybe people in high places finessed the system for Cynthia because the liked her so much, like they did for Katherine Harris to get her in for a single term, before her district saw how credible she was and drop kicked her at the polls.

    The pupils in your photograph have been photoshopped, Bob. I have worked for years with photoshop doctoring images for video as well as for still photographs. Anyone can look at it and tell you there is something very wrong with it. If that image ever appeared on a legitimate corporate news site there would be grounds for a hefty defamation suit. Now, I can see why it would be presented on the “Weasels Ripped My Flesh Site.” That makes perfect sense to me. If your web site’s goal is to defame people, then go all the way, use photoshop while you are at it.

    Tell you what, Bob, if her pupils really do look that buggeyed in reality, then find me a single legit photograph out there that replicates this congresswoman’s bizarre ocular phenomenon and I will believe you when you say “it’s not photoshopped.” (However, if you know anything about the history of racism in this country, you will recognize the classic African-American caricature being employed here.)

    All that said, I don’t actually think you are “a racist,” Bob. A hysterical idiot perhaps, but not a racist. My using your term “BatShit Crazy” to describe the people of Haiti after you just used it to describe the congresswoman is another example of what you have called sarcasm, Bob, not racism.

    You have yet to really show me any REASONABLE critique of Cynthia’s credibility, and yet you continue to maintain that she is nutz. I think that is a pretty weak stance on your part.

    Why is she nutz, Bob? Because she questions the abuse of American power at home and abroad? This would be the very lame “hate-america-firster” type of crazy argument you would get from the likes of Bill O’Reilly or Chris Matthews or Glen Beck or whats-his-name Kudlow, or say Captain America.

    Or, Is she nutz because she was detained by the Israeli Navy with a group of activists trying to deliver medical supplies to Palestinians? I guess this would be the “Green-Peace-Earth-First-Activist” kind of crazy, applied to a non-environmental situation. (You might make a little headway with this one. Just a little.)

    Or, is she nutz because she is the only elected govt. official that had the foresight and the candor to question publically at a congressional hearing and thereby force Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld to admit that the U.S. Military was involved in war games that included the simulated hijackings of commercial airliners on the day of 9/11? I guess that we be the “what-are-you-f*cking-nutz?-that’s-Donald-Rumsfeld!” type of crazy**

    Or is she just nutz because she thought her office was bugged and that she was being spied on. This would be your run-of the-mill-paranoid type of crazy. Problem with this idea is that in order to be truly paranoid, your fear has to be irrational. Now, when the Patriot Act gets whipped through Congress overnight after 9/11 with no real debate, and suddenly the government can legally tap everyone’s phone and read everyone’s email, and then Tom Daschel gets an envelope of anthrax delivered to his office, a weapons grade form of the substance that was subsequently traced back to a biological warfare lab in Maryland, well, is it really all that paranoid for an “uppity” (just to stick with your penchant for historical caricature) congresswoman from Georgia to think she might be being spied on?

    Anyhow, I am ready whenever you want to link us to a legit photo that replicates Cynthia’s peculiar “buggeyed” problem, you know, the one that only appears in this solitary photo all over the internet.

    And I am also ready for you to demonstrate rationally, and not just with cutesy photoshopped images, that Cynthia is indeed “BatShit Crazy.”

    Or, you could just admit that you have been naively taken in by the hilarity of a photoshopped racist caricature – so taken in by it, that you have made it your Xpress icon! – and that you don’t yet quite understand why certain “Weasels” from the bowels of DC to the bowels of the internet would want to destroy Cynthia Mckinney’s reputation in the public eye via the media.

    ** Speaking of being “Batshit Crazy”, how about Donald Rumsfeld saying at press conference:

    “There are known knowns. These are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns. That is to say, there are things that we know we don’t know. But there are also unknown unknowns. There are things we don’t know we don’t know.”

    (Of course I know he wasn’t “batshit crazy” when he said that. Don and Dick and George and Paul and the rest of them all new exactly what they were doing those 8 years. It is the American people who remain in the dark about it.)

  43. bobaloo

    I don’t converse with racists who use terms like uppity in reference to African Americans.

  44. Yes, I understand and am well aware of the United States history of meddling in the affairs of Haiti and how we’ve had a negative impact on Haiti. I do not agree that Obama will continue that.

    Why on God’s green earth wouldn’t he, Bop?

  45. Piffy!

    [b]However, this charitable organization has been in trenches that the pffstkiks of Asheville have crossed the street to avoid[/b]

    you know absolutely nothing about where i have or have not been and what i have or have not done, and merely attack me for pointing out that looking at the root causes of Haiti’s extreme poverty is not merely ‘playing the blame game’.

    In addition, you attack me without any actual knowledge/proof/facts because i point out that contributing to a charity that makes its money (yes, people DO get paid to manage their accounts) working on symptoms instead of causes is really just a drop in the bucket as far as the big picture is concerned, and by definition, will NEVER succeed in anything other than perpetuating their own existence. Salving the problems at the international issue would actually put them out of Business, and they have some very wealthy people at the top who have bills to pay.

    Again, I thought the bible said something about giving a man a fish or teaching him to fish for himself. Haiti used to have good ‘fishing’. But then we stole it’s pole, took all its fish, and told them to pull themselves up by their bootstraps. So, yeah for the starvation army for helping people eek out a meager existence. But shame on you for pretending that that is a functional solution to a far larger problem.

  46. Piffy!

    While perhaps you could “Salve” the problems, i meant to write “Solve”. Just pre-empting a travelah avoidance-of-issue.

  47. If Clinton’s team kept harassing Haiti, and then Bush’s team kept harassing Haiti, building the 5th largest US embassy on earth there, after he sequestered Aristide in Soth Africa, then why would Obama’s team do anything any differently?

    Wait, don’t tell me … let me guess, Bob … despite your choice of icon, you are not actually a cynical person, you are in fact one of those shiny happy people still all gummed up in that “yes-we-can-audacity-of-hope” thing.

    Well, if that’s the case, I guess I will let you be. That hope-change thang is one tar baby this here rabbit ain’t gonna bother to punch. I cain’t do nuthin with it. (I’ll take the wisdom of Uncle Remus over the glib rhetoric of Obama 8 days a week and stick to the brier patch till the coast is clear.)

  48. bobaloo

    That hope-change thang is one tar baby this here rabbit ain’t gonna bother to punch. I cain’t do nuthin with it.

    I’m shocked that the MX is allowing this rampant racism to go unchecked.
    Tell me DCJ, do you regularly employ ebonics in such a derogatory tone?

  49. Piffy!

    yeah, seriously, David, you discredit yourself with such idiotic, racist imagery and terminology. And your beef with Obama sounds more like a beef with how the media represents him, which are two entirely different issues. Obama isnt emperor of the world, and he doesnt control how MSNBC portrays him, or what stupid things hollywood celebrities say about him. You analysis of his foreign policy sounds as nuanced and politically astute as a tea baggar. Think about it.

  50. What are you all talking about? I grew up having Uncle Remus stories read to me as a child. So what? There is nothing racist about it. I am talking about the real deal, not Walt Disney bastardization. These stories are Americanized versions of African folk tales handed down by the descendants of slaves.

    One of the folk tales is about a “Tar Baby” sitting on a log. The tar baby is not a real human being, but only the effigy of an African American child made out of tar pitch, dressed in clothes with a hat and so forth. Along come two lame antagonists and they start harassing the Tar Baby and demanding that it respond to them respectfully when spoken to. But the Tar Baby, not being real – sort of like the whole “Hope-Change” thing ain’t real – doesn’t speak back, it just sits there, doing nothing, like Obama’s team when it comes actually changing anything – like health care, the war in iraq, the war in Afghanistan, policies on secret rendition, prosecuting torture, handing out money to wall street, or appointing the same old wall streeters to run his economic policy. It’s the same old song and dance.

    Oh no, Bob, I have implied metaphorically that Obama is giving us the “same old song and dance” routine. Let me guess, Bob, that colloquialism is going to be deemed racist by you as well. (Comments like this after you ran that photoshopped caricature of McKinney really crack me up! But if you really could not tell that image you chose for an icon was photoshopped, I will give you a little leeway here. Obviously you are not the sharpest knife in the drawer.)

    And let me give you a little run down ebonics, while we are on the topic of employing vernacular in comments here. I grew on the coast of South Carolina – yeah, I am white and I am from South Carolina, so go ahead, call me a racist if it makes you feel intelligent. I heard all kinds of dialects as a child. In fact, the even the whitest blue-blood charleston accent is VERY influenced by African-American speech patterns absorbed through centuries of interrelationship. I don’t see anything wrong with using the words like ain’t or cain’t or nuthin or sez or shucks or cool or jazz or hip or any other word that has been kicked into the American parlance by African Amercians that did not go to Harvard and Yale with the folks who have decided to send destroyers to Haiti. To quote Richard Pryor: “Tell Bill Cosby to have a Coke and a smile and shut the F*ck up.” There ain’t nothing wrong with ebonics. Its part of being an American with a past.

    PK: I ain’t no tea-bagger or hollywood celebrity. I don’t think Obama is a socialist, or a progressive, or a peacenik, or any of that hullabaloo. He is not gonna shift our course to the left to the detriment of our society as the idiotic alarmist teabaggers claim. No, he is gonna stay right on course to the detriment of our society. He is a “yes man,” not a “yes we can” man. And when the team sez send the destroyers to Haiti, he sez yes we can! I find his rhetoric is as glib and as phony as it was in Denver just before he was elected. (And, yes, I did vote for the guy.)

  51. Piffy!

    yes, david i am well aware of the history of the terminology. Are you of African American descent? If not, you have no business trying to appropriate that. It’s racist. Just admit it and hang your head in shame. If you are indeed a black man, then i stand corrected.

    You think Blackface is cool, too?

    also, you are aware Obama campaigned on [i]increasing[/i] the war in Afghanistan, right?

    And what ships do you think would be the most effective to have sent to Haiti?

    Seriously. You are drowning in contradictory theories. Pick one and work with it. Obama is no more ‘progressive’ or “conservative” than the american public.

    Instead of thinking that the POTUS should adhere to your own ideology, why not recognize him for what he is, and recognize the reality of his position. Or are you one of those ‘liberals’ who wants him to be a “Liberal Bush” dictator? Personally, i like how he forces the senate to do their job. I’m glad he is restoring moderation to the white house. Perhaps when you grow up, you will see the merits of such an approach. Anyone who thinks we can achieve any sort of ‘change’ from the top down is delusional. I vote in local elections. That’s where you actually have power and your vote is actually tallied.

    (And, no, I didnt vote for the guy. How could i when he campaigned on continuing the “War on Terror”? Why you did when you obviously have very ‘left’ leaning and non-moderate politics is beyond me. Sounds like your mad you got duped by MSNBC, and now you want to take it out on Obama.)

  52. Piffy!

    [b]And let me give you a little run down ebonics, while we are on the topic of employing vernacular in comments here. I grew on the coast of South Carolina – yeah, I am white and I am from South Carolina, so go ahead, call me a racist if it makes you feel intelligent. I heard all kinds of dialects as a child. In fact, the even the whitest blue-blood charleston accent is VERY influenced by African-American speech patterns absorbed through centuries of interrelationship. I don’t see anything wrong with using the words like ain’t or cain’t or nuthin or sez or shucks or cool or jazz or hip or any other word that has been kicked into the American parlance by African Amercians that did not go to Harvard and Yale with the folks who have decided to send destroyers to Haiti. To quote Richard Pryor: “Tell Bill Cosby to have a Coke and a smile and shut the F*ck up.” There ain’t nothing wrong with ebonics. Its part of being an American with a past.[/b]

    But that’s not what you did. you didnt just employ ‘vernacular’, you hid behind a persona. Calling you a racist doesn’t make me feel ‘intelligent’, it is just the accurate terminology. I’m a racist, too, and so is Bobaloo. We just have the self-awareness to admit it. you appear to be the worst sort of white American racist; the kind who thinks he can dress up in black face and call it ‘high culture’. Pitiful.

    Here’s a hint, if you wouldn’t do it in a group of large black men, then you should say it, period.

  53. i am well aware of the history of the terminology. Are you of African American descent? If not, you have no business trying to appropriate that. It’s racist. Just admit it and hang your head in shame. If you are indeed a black man, then i stand corrected.

    No, PK, I am not of African-American descent, and neither was Mark Twain, John Lennon, William Faulkner, Flannery O’Connor, or a host of other white people who have used so called racist terms in their art and daily discourse. They certainly don’t need to be black to use ideas common to African-American folklore or terms generated by our rich and tortured collective cultural history to make their points.

    Let me just square you up on something right now: I can and will appropriate ANY idea I see fit to appropriate when I take the time to write something. I will not be micromanaged by clueless PC nimrods who are so plagued by their unresolved white guilt that they can’t read between the lines and still need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.

    I would repeat that line about “not punching a Tar Baby” to anybody: black, white, yellow or red. And if you read the link about the history of the folk tale, you will see that it is just as likely that idea was originally Cherokee as much as it is African. (And no, I am not of Cherokee descent either.)

    You think Blackface is cool, too?

    I don’t know, I have never worn it. Most make up I imagine would not be cool, but rather it would be hot. Clogs the pores. (Oh wait, you mean cool like the way the African-Americans changed the meaning of the word as in hip? My bad, I thought you were white and did not cotton to ideas and folk tales originated by black people.)

    And what ships do you think would be the most effective to have sent to Haiti?

    Certainly not destroyers.

    Personally, i like how he forces the senate to do their job. I’m glad he is restoring moderation to the white house. Perhaps when you grow up, you will see the merits of such an approach.

    You mean like the way he forces the supreme court to do their job? r u really serious here? Why didn’t he force the senate to include a public option in the Health Care reform bill that failed just now? Obama isn’t forcing anybody to do anything up there. The only reason I voted for the guy was I thought he might be serious about getting me some Health Care. I knew he was not going to withdraw from Iraq and Afghanistan. (I didn’t know he was gonna go into Yemen or Pakistan, though. But it doesn’t surprise me.) The more I learn about the guy and the more he sez one thing and does another, the more I think he is a phony through and through. JMHO.

    Anyone who thinks a US president doesn’t have any power to change anything from the “top down” in the oval office is delusional. The president has a lot of power. Not unlimited, but certainly quite a bit. He could appoint a host of different people to advise him on crafting new economic policies. He could fire Gates and the joint chiefs and the director of the CIA. He can formulate and sign all kinds of National Security directives that begin to reverse foreign policy decisions across the board. He hasn’t done anything of the kind. It is a business as usual president.

    But that’s not what you did. you didnt just employ ‘vernacular’, you hid behind a persona.

    I didn’t hide behind anything, sweetie. I am the one right out front using my real name talking about all these issues. (You and Bopaloo are the ones hiding behind personae here.)

    You can’t be white in America and not have some kind of racism running in your veins. It is often called “institutional” racism, as opposed to out and out bigotry. I am well aware of that problem in myself and others. But guess what? I don’t feel guilty about it. And I am not gonna bow to PC micro-managers when it comes to using any word in the English language or any aspect of our cultural history to make my points.

    If I think Obama is an “Uncle Tom” from Indonesia in the big house, I am gonna call him an “Uncle Tom” from Indonesia in the big house. I don’t need to have a seance to check with Malcolm X and get the word from him.

    “Uncle Tom” means a “sell-out” to white power in African American terms. If you think I have to be black to make that point, I really can’t help you. I would much rather see Fredrick Douglas, or Marcus Garvey, or WEB DuBois or Malcolm X or MLK in the White House than this milquetoast clown. But hey, if you are still all gummed up in that hope/change rhetoric, stay there till the wolves surround you. If you need me, I’ll be in the briar patch with Brere Rabbit.

    Calling you a racist doesn’t make me feel ‘intelligent’, it is just the accurate terminology. I’m a racist, too, and so is Bobaloo. We just have the self-awareness to admit it.

    Whatevah. I think if you scroll back through this thread, I admitted my cultural/institutional racism long ago.

    you appear to be the worst sort of white American racist; the kind who thinks he can dress up in black face and call it ‘high culture’. Pitiful.

    When have I ever called anything “high culture” in this thread? America does not have a “high culture”… unless you are talking about the counter-culture of the 1960s. America’s high culture is strictly European. Folk Tales, Folk Art, Folk Music, Pop Music, Pop Art, Pop Culture … it is all “low culture” … and there ain’t nuthin wrong with it. It doesn’t have to be cast in marble or written in Latin to be plenty deep and contain plenty of wisdom.

    You are the one who brought the “black face” to the party. I have not alluded to Stepn Fetchit (the first African-American millionaire) or Al Jolson or any other minstrel in this thread yet. But you know what? It would not matter if I did. Referring to black face, or African folk tales, or using ebonbics, or even a racist term does not categorically make you anymore a racist than the next person. This idea that the language one uses determines their character is a bogus PC academic project designed out of the unresolved white guilt of neurotic liberal academics. I got no use for it.

  54. travelah

    … just fer that race baitin’ pffstschet.(This has been taught in American Lit classes for years)

    “Didn’t the fox never catch the rabbit, Uncle Remus?” asked the little boy the next evening.

    “He come mighty nigh it, honey, sho’s you born–Brer Fox did. One day atter Brer Rabbit fool ‘im wid dat calamus root, Brer Fox went ter wuk en got ‘im some tar, en mix it wid some turkentime, en fix up a contrapshun w’at he call a Tar-Baby, en he tuck dish yer Tar-Baby en he sot ‘er in de big road, en den he lay off in de bushes fer to see what de news wuz gwine ter be. En he didn’t hatter wait long, nudder, kaze bimeby here come Brer Rabbit pacin’ down de road–lippity-clippity, clippity -lippity–dez ez sassy ez a jay-bird. Brer Fox, he lay low. Brer Rabbit come prancin’ ‘long twel he spy de Tar-Baby, en den he fotch up on his behime legs like he wuz ‘stonished. De Tar Baby, she sot dar, she did, en Brer Fox, he lay low.

    “`Mawnin’!’ sez Brer Rabbit, sezee – `nice wedder dis mawnin’,’ sezee.

    “Tar-Baby ain’t sayin’ nuthin’, en Brer Fox he lay low.

    “`How duz yo’ sym’tums seem ter segashuate?’ sez Brer Rabbit, sezee.

    “Brer Fox, he wink his eye slow, en lay low, en de Tar-Baby, she ain’t sayin’ nuthin’.

    “‘How you come on, den? Is you deaf?’ sez Brer Rabbit, sezee. ‘Kaze if you is, I kin holler louder,’ sezee.

    “Tar-Baby stay still, en Brer Fox, he lay low.

    “‘You er stuck up, dat’s w’at you is,’ says Brer Rabbit, sezee, ‘en I;m gwine ter kyore you, dat’s w’at I’m a gwine ter do,’ sezee.

    “Brer Fox, he sorter chuckle in his stummick, he did, but Tar-Baby ain’t sayin’ nothin’.

    “‘I’m gwine ter larn you how ter talk ter ‘spectubble folks ef hit’s de las’ ack,’ sez Brer Rabbit, sezee. ‘Ef you don’t take off dat hat en tell me howdy, I’m gwine ter bus’ you wide open,’ sezee.

    “Tar-Baby stay still, en Brer Fox, he lay low.

    “Brer Rabbit keep on axin’ ‘im, en de Tar-Baby, she keep on sayin’ nothin’, twel present’y Brer Rabbit draw back wid his fis’, he did, en blip he tuck ‘er side er de head. Right dar’s whar he broke his merlasses jug. His fis’ stuck, en he can’t pull loose. De tar hilt ‘im. But Tar-Baby, she stay still, en Brer Fox, he lay low.

    “`Ef you don’t lemme loose, I’ll knock you agin,’ sez Brer Rabbit, sezee, en wid dat he fotch ‘er a wipe wid de udder han’, en dat stuck. Tar-Baby, she ain’y sayin’ nuthin’, en Brer Fox, he lay low.

    “`Tu’n me loose, fo’ I kick de natal stuffin’ outen you,’ sez Brer Rabbit, sezee, but de Tar-Baby, she ain’t sayin’ nuthin’. She des hilt on, en de Brer Rabbit lose de use er his feet in de same way. Brer Fox, he lay low. Den Brer Rabbit squall out dat ef de Tar-Baby don’t tu’n ‘im loose he butt ‘er cranksided. En den he butted, en his head got stuck. Den Brer Fox, he sa’ntered fort’, lookin’ dez ez innercent ez wunner yo’ mammy’s mockin’-birds.

    “`Howdy, Brer Rabbit,’ sez Brer Fox, sezee. `You look sorter stuck up dis mawnin’,’ sezee, en den he rolled on de groun’, en laft en laft twel he couldn’t laff no mo’. `I speck you’ll take dinner wid me dis time, Brer Rabbit. I done laid in some calamus root, en I ain’t gwineter take no skuse,’ sez Brer Fox, sezee.”

    Here Uncle Remus paused, and drew a two-pound yam out of the ashes.

    “Did the fox eat the rabbit?” asked the little boy to whom the story had been told.

    “Dat’s all de fur de tale goes,” replied the old man. “He mout, an den agin he moutent. Some say Judge B’ar come ‘long en loosed ‘im – some say he didn’t. I hear Miss Sally callin’. You better run ‘long.”

  55. travelah

    William Faulkner and Flannery O’Connor are my two favorite American authors. Of course PC correctness police might not view them in a favorable light but what else should be expected in the imbecilic dumbing down of todays youth?

  56. travelah

    I should add that Eudora Welty weighs in on equal footing as well … you know how those southern white women are, pffstschet?

  57. Piffy!

    Oh, that’s rich. Mr Mallet (travelah) who has had incredibly racist links to his own website is lecturing about race in America. That’s too rich.

    David, you really might want to re-think your aligning with mr token conservative on this one.

  58. Piffy!

    In addition, David, you continue to intentionally (?) misrepresent my contention with your racist appropriation of the ‘briar rabbit’ schtick. I’m not speaking of slang, im speaking about your post that was essentially you in blackface singing ‘mammy’.

    if you think that’s the same as saying ‘cool’, you and travelah should totally hang out in SC some time. I bet you could share all sorts of quaint southern colloquialisms, you closeted racist you.

  59. T: I think the top one that CNN pulled from a video still is “real.” It is an odd angle and they definitely scrolled through every frame looking for the oddest looking image of her they could cap. It is a more subtle form of character defamation. A lot of people in power do not like Cynthia McKinney, including some folks at CNN. (Obviously, they did not have to choose that screen cap of her, but they did so for a reason.) However, if you compare this one to the one that Bopaloo claims to have pulled from CNN, you will easily see that his was photoshopped. (I am not even going to comment on the second one you cited here. It is just as crass and in bad taste as the one Bop brought to us as his screen icon earlier.)

    Dave (pff): Where on earth was I in blackface singing “mammy” on here? Please pull that quote for me. I missed it. I referenced an Uncle Remus story as I called Obama a total fraud. I said trying to point out his phony “yes-we-can-audacity-of-hope” rhetoric to a true believer is like punching a Tar Baby. The moral of the story is: don’t you do it. You will only get all gummed up and go nowhere fast.

    I can’t help it if you have not read Uncle Remus, or Aesop, or Malcolm X and therefore can’t understand some of my references here.

    (I don’t “align” with anybody here. If somebody sez something I think is reasonable, then I will agree with their point.)

    I have great admiration for Cynthia Mckinney. Sure she may have made a few mistakes in her career, but that is neither here nor there. As far as American politicians go, I think she is one of the few of any merit alive today. If you want to align yourself with those that would slander and defame her, go ahead. Time will tell. I put her right up there next to Barry Goldwater. She doesn’t mince words. She is candid. You know where she stands. I think that is important. (Obama maybe a better politician than McKinney, but I think he will prove to be far worse leader.)

    I thought bringing McKinney’s essay about Haiti to this thread had some merit. Bobaloo didn’t agree. He thinks she is “Bat Shit Crazy” and he linked us to some pictures that he thought proved it. And so down this race rabbit hole we went. It has been an illuminating trip.

  60. joeinmadco

    What the? This has to be the weirdest conversation I’ve seen on here. Huh?

  61. Ashevegasjoe

    trav, just want to say “libelous lie” is from the department of redundancy department.

    And I have learned a lot more about Haiti’s history, thanks. It certainly was not covered in public school, or a state university.

  62. travelah

    Ashevegas, just to be clear, libelous statements do not have to be lies. They can be intended to take a lie or a truth and distort it such that it’s intent is to maliciously defame a person.

    That brings me to malicious, defaming deceiver who uses various forms of “pffststickt” or some such (it changes every other day). I had linked to a Christian blog on my own site who found himself the victim of a Christ hating, race baiter much like Mr. Pffstschtick. His blog was hacked and very much destroyed by someone or group who despised his Christianity so much they poisoned it with absolutely vile and profane racist obscenity. When it was pointed out to me I immediately removed the link. I’ve conversed with the victim of the pffstschict and offered to post his site again if he wishes. He has instead abandoned it and uses another venue.
    Now, I stated all that because the deceiving pfsstschtick already knows this but prefers to engage in slander and libel on MX. Of course, who am I to stop him? In fact it is better for him to continue for it lays bare his dishonest character.

  63. travelah

    What I’ve noticed here and in other locations where “progressives” congregate is a propensity to employ race baiting tactics on a regular basis. Whether one opposes President Obama’s policies or articulates an alternative view of liberal dogma regarding race politics, the “progressive” seems very quick to accuse his opponent of being racist. Racism has become the defacto defense of the progressive in these matters. Much of it, as with pffstschticks open race baiting, is intentionally malicious. A lot of it I believe is just more ill-thought out group herding. Get enough progressives or any other group for that matter and let a few set the tone and the whole herd will follow.
    The truth of the matter is I have seen very little racism, overt or otherwise, on this board yet the race baiting exercises of a few here are never ending. That speaks more to their poor character than anything else I observe. Of course there are some whose inclinations are racist and perhaps they should be received as such. However, as noted, that is rare. Instead, we have the resident turds to contend with.

  64. I think the Travelah, once again, makes some very reasonable & therefore very good points here.

    So called “progressives” calling somebody “a racist” here is like McCarthy follower calling somebody “a communist” in the 50s, or some kid in Mao’s China calling one of his older relatives “an imperialist.”

    It is not genuine. It degrades the conversation.

  65. chops

    And, no, I didnt vote for the guy. How could i when he campaigned on continuing the “War on Terror”

    I didn’t vote for him, either. I voted for the Green Party candidate — not surprisingly, she was the only (party-nominated) presidential candidate who campaigned against the War on Terror.

    (Kucinich may have also been against the war, but he did not win the Democratic nomination)

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