Waters on Haiti
Colin Powell on Thugs and Killers
July 1, 2004
2201 C Street,
NW, Room 7261
Dear Secretary Powell:
I write to express my
deepest concern that the interim government of Haiti is pursuing
a politically-motivated campaign to arrest and intimidate
Lavalas party members and supporters in Haiti.
members of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide's government, who
were also members of the Lavalas party, have been arrested, and
many others have gone into hiding out of fear for their lives
since President Aristide's removal.
Yvon Neptune, the prime minister of Haiti under President
Aristide and a Lavalas party member, was arrested by Haitian
police last Sunday, June 27, 2004.
Other Lavalas officials who have been detained since
President Aristide's removal include Jocelerme Privert,
President Aristide's interior minister, who was arrested on
April 6, 2004.
The arrest of Anne Auguste
(So Anne) appears to be another example of the efforts of the
Haitian interim government to persecute Lavalas supporters.
As you know, Anne Auguste
was arrested on May 10, 2004, by U.S. soldiers, acting as part
of the Multinational Interim Force (MIF), pursuant to a warrant
issued by Haitian police. Anne Auguste is a Lavalas supporter and a well-known
community activist who is responsible for feeding many
impoverished people and who possesses a long history of working
to improve the lives of ordinary Haitians.
While the interim
government continues to arrest and intimidate Lavalas party
members, it refuses to arrest Guy Philippe, Jean Tatoune and
other thugs and killers who took over Haitian cities, burned
buildings and freed criminals from jails prior to the coup
d'etat and who continue to terrorize local residents.
Furthermore, while former death squad leader
Louis-Jodel Chamblain faked
his surrender and is supposedly in the custody of Haitian
authorities, there are numerous reports that he has been seen
drinking and socializing outside of detention.
In addition, it is rumored that he cut a deal, in which
it was agreed that he will neither be incarcerated for the
crimes for which he has already been convicted in absentia nor
prosecuted for other crimes.
Meanwhile, human rights
violations have become commonplace since President Aristide's
and supporters of Lavalas have been found shot in the head with
their hands tied behind their backs.
There are also reports of Lavalas members being placed in
a container and drowned at sea.
Delegations from Amnesty International, the National
Lawyers Guild and Let Haiti Live have documented widespread
killings of Haitians who are believed to be Lavalas supporters.
None of these crimes have been investigated or prosecuted
by the interim government of Haiti.
The efforts of the interim
government to arrest Lavalas supporters, combined with its
refusal to arrest known criminals who oppose President Aristide
or investigate crimes against Lavalas supporters, is having a
profound impact on Haiti's future.
Impoverished Haitians, who form the basis of the Lavalas
party's support, are losing faith in the democratic system. Those who still believe in democracy are nevertheless afraid
to participate in the political process.
Many are already in hiding, and many others may attempt
to flee Haiti and enter the United States as refugees.
I implore you to call for
the release of Yvon Neptune, Jocelerme Privert and Anne Auguste,
and use all available means to persuade the Haitian interim
government to consent to their releases.
I also urge you to take all necessary and appropriate
action to end the persecution and intimidation of Lavalas party
members and supporters in Haiti and ensure their safety.
Finally, I urge you to
demand that the interim government of Haiti arrest and prosecute
the thugs and killers who are responsible for so much
destruction and devastation in Haiti.
Please give this urgent matter your
immediate attention. I
look forward to your prompt response.
* * * * *
What Color is Haitian Jesus?—17
October 2011—When it comes to Jesus, however, it seems everyone else
is Black, leaving Jesus to standout more than what would be normally
expected in a religious painting. My favorite example of this in
the gallery is a depiction of John the Baptist baptizing Jesus. The
scene contains onlookers in the foreground, all Black, as well as
John the Baptist, also Black, baptizing Jesus, white. The message is
uncanny, but the true gravity of the piece takes a moment to sink
in. Finally, it hits: you mean even in a Black country where the
people and important figures in religious history are depicted as
Black, Jesus still has to be white? For any Christian painting, I
imagine the image of Jesus would figure prominently. Yet, this
painting has added an extra layer of “heavenliness, ” by depicting
Jesus as white amidst a sea of Black followers and a Black baptist.
In another painting, depicting the
miraculous catch of fish from the book of Luke, Jesus and the disciples are
painted white, though admittedly the fish are a variety of colors. And, after
further scrutiny, perhaps Jesus isn’t white exactly? After all, Haiti does boast
a sizable and influential Libyan population. Perhaps the images in this painting
bear homage to middle eastern influence?—SakpaseDiplomacy
* * *
* * * * *
Faces At The Bottom of the Well: The Permanence of Racism
By Derrick Bell
In nine grim metaphorical sketches, Bell, the black former Harvard law professor who made headlines recently for his one-man protest against the school's hiring policies, hammers home his controversial theme that white racism is a permanent, indestructible component of our society. Bell's fantasies are often dire and apocalyptic: a new Atlantis rises from the ocean depths, sparking a mass emigration of blacks; white resistance to affirmative action softens following an explosion that kills Harvard's president and all of the school's black professors; intergalactic space invaders promise the U.S. President that they will clean up the environment and deliver tons of gold, but in exchange, the bartering aliens take all African Americans back to their planet. Other pieces deal with black-white romance, a taxi ride through Harlem and job discrimination. Civil rights lawyer Geneva Crenshaw, the heroine of Bell's And We Are Not Saved (1987), is back in some of these ominous allegories, which speak from the depths of anger and despair. —Publishers Weekly /
Derrick Bell Dies at 80
* * * * *
The New Jim Crow
Mass Incarceration in the Age of
By Michele Alexander
Contrary to the
rosy picture of race embodied in Barack
Obama's political success and Oprah
Winfrey's financial success, legal
scholar Alexander argues vigorously and
persuasively that [w]e have not ended
racial caste in America; we have merely
redesigned it. Jim Crow and legal racial
segregation has been replaced by mass
incarceration as a system of social
control (More African Americans are
under correctional control today... than
were enslaved in 1850). Alexander
reviews American racial history from the
colonies to the Clinton administration,
delineating its transformation into the
war on drugs. She offers an acute
analysis of the effect of this mass
incarceration upon former inmates who
will be discriminated against, legally,
for the rest of their lives, denied
employment, housing, education, and
public benefits. —Publishers
* * * * *
The White Masters of the
The World and Africa, 1965
By W. E. B. Du Bois
W. E. B. Du Bois’
Arraignment and Indictment of White Civilization
* * *
Ancient African Nations
* * * * *
If you like this page consider making a donation
* * * * *
Negro Digest /
Browse all issues
* * * * *
The Death of Emmett Till by Bob Dylan
The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll
Only a Pawn in Their Game
Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson Thanks America for
George Jackson /
* * *
The Journal of Negro History issues at Project Gutenberg
Haitian Declaration of Independence 1804
January 1, 1804 -- The Founding of
* * * * *
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update 18 May