Sunday, March 21, 2010

The Slavery in Haiti the Media Won't Expose

Reposted with permission of Ezilidanto of Haitian Lawyer's Leadership Network (HLLN)

HLLN Links to the counter-narrative to the media spins and self-serving colonial negatives promoted about Haiti

"Haitian child restaveks - domestic servants - does not equate to the European TransAtlantic trade/holocaust."
Every year one or more of these organization - CNN, NBC, New York Times, Associated Press, Reuters, Miami Herald, ABC/Nightline or another such mouthpiece of the new West Indian trading companies - will, like clockwork, do a piece on how the disease-ridden Haitian poor in Haiti own child domestic servants known as- restaveks - Kreyòl for "stay with." Poor young children, mostly small girls, who go stay with another family to work for their keep because their own families can't feed and shelter them.

child labor - the history place
The bleak reality is, child labor was commonplace in the US when it was a "developing" country (here are some pictures from 1908-1912). It was customary for American children to work on family farms and to "never get paid." Photo: The History Place
They mostly deliberately misidentify this phenomenon - which is present in EVERY poor country - as slavery ONLY in Haiti and solely, it seems, to feed the American public with its regular dose on the absurdity of an independent nation of Blacks trying to rule itself without a white colonial figurehead; how uncivilized these Blacks are in their gross treatment of their children as slaves!

[See CNN's 2007 report on the exploitation of Haitian workers in the Dominican Republic's sugar cane field, where the reporter Joe Johns says that the children laboring in the field "happy to have the work."]

This constant popular U.S. media hit on Haiti apparently feeds the white psyche's programming on Haiti, its expectations and their US/Euro cultural narratives of superiority while throwing shame on Haiti precisely to marginalize, ad nauseam, Haiti's great feat of abolishing European chattel slavery, the Triangular Trade and direct colonialism. (See, Slavery Still Legally Sanctioned under US Constitution and The Untold Story: U.S. Slavery In The 20th Century. See also, Letter to AP Editors Regarding the Restavek Issue; Haitian child restaveks - domestic servants - does not equate to the European TransAtlantic trade/holocaust | Ezili's counter narrative on the ABC/Nightline report on the abuse of Haitian children, July 9, 2008 ; and Restavek: Letter to the New York Times - Demonizing the Gonaives Hurricane Victims, Sept. 14, 2008.) 

Exploitation of child domestics is a global problem, not a Haitian "slavery"
"...Studies in Indonesia estimate there are around 400,000 child domestic workers in Jakarta alone and 5 million in Indonesia as a whole. In Venezuela 60 per cent of the girls working between 10 and 14 years of age are employed as domestic workers. Country surveys showed that the proportion of child domestic workers under ten years of age was 26 per cent in Venezuela, 24 per cent in Bangladesh, and 16 per cent in Togo. A survey in Morocco showed that 72 percent of domestic workers started their working day before 7.00am and 65 percent went to bed after 11.00pm." (Child Labour: Targeting the intolerable, ILO 1996; Jafrikayiti, from Exploitation of child domestics is a global problem, not a Haitian "slavery" issue. Windows on Haiti Ann Pale forum discussion of the restavek issue, 2003.)
"To equate the restavek issue to slavery is to trivialize the ownership, sanctioned by Euro-American laws, of Africans starting from 1503 in Haiti and ending in 1803 in Haiti when the Africans wrestled their liberty from the European enslavers in combat. That human trafficking trade continued in the US until the Civil War and bears little resemblance to the phenomenon, in most poor countries where children are sent as servants to work at places where they may find an education and food. That restaveks are abused and exploited in Haiti, as in the rest of the developing world, is not questioned.

But the exploitation is ILLEGAL in Haiti. The Haiti child restavek indentured servant issue cannot be equated to the Maafa, to the Euro-American chattel slavery of the TransAtlantic nor the European Trans-Mediterranean slave trade. That's a period, no comma. To do so is to trivialize the European sponsored African holocaust - Maafa." (Child domestic labor in Haiti is NOT chattel slavery in the way of Western European-styled slavery was.)
In none of these U.S. journalistic "Haiti exposes" - from a country that still legally sanctions slavery under the US Constitution - will the world ever learn of the Haitian struggle against neocolonialism. How Haiti is destroyed by its ceaseless independence debt now being extorted by the powerful through neo-liberal economic policies; ravaged by the eleven to thirteen mercenary families - the US/Euro subcontractors in Haiti - who, with the complicity of the US/Euros and their coup d'etats exclude the majority, own most of the country's wealth while the majority starve and live in utter misery and poverty. How Haiti is ravaged by this tyranny of the rich, by unfair trade, the fraud and corruption of false aid, false benevolence, false charity, false food aid, and the false Christian missions whose help mostly don't reach the intended poorest of the poor but services the rich, blan kolon and the global elite's agenda of keeping Haiti in debt and contained-in-poverty.

The mainstream media routinely publishes articles citing research studies by self-serving charities and NGOs pontificating on the horrors of child domestic labor amongst the poor majority- ti pèp la- in Haiti. But they conveniently ignore the real tyrants - the pillaging wealthy at the very top who deny the masses a voice, their votes, economically enslave the poor Haitian majority and cause the perpetuation of the wretched survival system of child domestic servants. They conveniently ignore, for instance, that there may be more poor Haitian children being sponsored at $20 to $40 a pop by Christian missions and the global multinational charity businesses making a profit off Haiti's poverty than there are children in Haiti.

These special media reports and NGO "research" studies -to get more grants off the backs of Haitians - ignore that, not only does this charity money raised -in the name of helping poor children like the ones who are so poor in Haiti they must be lent out to another poor family for work purposes as restavek - child laborers/indentured servants- not reach such children but the amount that is spent in Haiti is mostly spent on either the child of the rich or the irelatively more wealth-off Haitian child. The real poor child is merely used as BAIT to raise funds that mostly doesn't reach them or help their kind to any great extent in Haiti. The bulk of the money raised by NGOS, in the name of “helping the poor Haitian people," mostly, like US/Euro foreign aid to Haiti, stays in the US or in Europe, or is used for salaries for these do-gooders and their Haitian sycophants, for obtaining an Old Dixie Planter's lifestyle in Haiti, for administrative fees, for shipping fees, for dumping food at harvest time to further impoverish the Haitian farmer. But this enslavement, this organized violence at the top in Haiti which creates, since the Independence Debt, the individual violence at the bottom won't get any press. No.

You won't see the mainstream media publishing articles on the institutionalized poverty pimp system in Haiti, going on for over half-a-century now, starting since the early 1950s, headed by the United States through USAID, USAID insiders and contracted out to the major multinational charitable NGO businesses - CARE International, Catholic Relief Services, World Vision, et al...- , that uses the Haitian poor as bait to collect funds, research grants, food aid contracts, to collect shipping and distribution contracts for the privileged foreigner and their Haitian sycophants so to get richer, more power, maintain the Old Dixie status quo in Haiti. They won't explain that there are false orphanages, like those described in Schwartz' book, that ensures the poor will remain poor and the poor peasant's child will have to become a child servant for sheer survival. And there's false food aid that destroys Haiti's security, dignity and food sovereignty, creates slums like Site Soley. This real slavery, this organized tyranny and corruption at the top - the enslavement of Haiti's majority by USAID/World Bank/IFI/IMF's poverty pimp system, run mostly by reputable charities/NGOs and the Haitian Oligarchy - the handful of "white Haitians" - Haiti's economic elite that are the richest people in the Western Hemisphere; this slavery is never exposed in these articles and special reports on child "slavery" in Haiti. (See, Ezili Dantò's review of TRAVESTY in Haiti - A true account of Christian missions, orphanages, fraud, food aid and drug trafficking, a book by Timothy T. Schwartz; HLLN on oversight needed on USAID; Letter to the Editors; Food Donation Rot in New York while Haitian Storm Victims Starve and Die, Sept. 8, 2008; and HLLN Update: Paterson's Timeline for delivery of donated goods for Haiti storm victims.)

The African warriors in Haiti fought the English, French, Spanish and a US blockage in order to abolish slavery and take Haiti's independence in 1804. But lone Haiti has been fighting these same forces to maintain its independence, since 1806, when the first successful foreign-supported coup d'etat - that is, the assassination of Haiti's founding father, Jean Jacques Dessalines. It's been since then that the bourgeois/Affranchi/mulatto/white Haitians have been enslaving, through neocolonialism (debt, dependency, privatization, free trade, false aid, false benevolence, wage slavery and foreign domination/UN occupation), the entire Haitian masses. (See, the New Slavery Model Fulfilling Lecler's imperative and Haiti Forum 2009.)

That SLAVERY - the tyranny of the tiny monopoly/mercenary families in Haiti and the USAID/NGO system that supports it for corporate America maintaining the dependency, debt, exclusion, apartheid, unfair wages, the fraud, corruption and false benevolence- is the reason Haitians continue to run to the high seas for refuge, preferring death than to stay enslaved to Haiti's Oligarchy and NGOs as continued today by the US/UN occupation. (Capsized, 85 Haitians dead: Haiti's Holocaust Continues - Asylum, Amnesty, Justice denied our kind; Haiti's Holocaust and Middle Passage Continues; The Collar of Impunity: Sexual abuse of Haiti children by Priests, Charity Workers and UN Peacekeepers and Humanitarian Aid Workers raping, molesting and abusing Haitian children.)

For all the unscrupulous and shady businessmen and governments of the world, Haiti has always been a fiscal paradise because the Neocolonialists' manufactures fear, racists myths and false stereotypes about Haitian brutality, inherent poverty, lack of natural resources, incompetence (the common neocolonial storyline/media lies), inherent violence, decontextualizes Haiti's legacy of impunity/corruption and lies about Haiti not having a viable indigenous culture. These myths, stereotypes, racists lies and self-serving fears control, promote and maintain the world's negative perceptions of Haiti so that empire, their predatory "charitable" and "benevolent" NGOs and the world's corporate oligarchs may contain-Haiti-in-poverty the better to rob it blind.

Oil in Haiti - Economic Reasons for the UN/US occupation
; Expose the lies - Haiti's Riches: Interview with Ezili Dantò on Mining in Haiti;
HLLN on the causes of Haiti deforestation and poverty;

Haiti Riches

Digging up Haiti
Map of mining resources in Haiti and showing five oil/gas sites in Haiti
Pointing Guns at Starving Haitians: Violent Haiti is a myth

Legacy of Inpunity

Comparing crime, poverty and violence in the rest of the Hemisphere to Haiti

The Two Most Common Neocolonial Storylines about Haiti

HLLN Counter Colonial Narrative
The Independence Debt
The causes of Haiti's poverty and deforestation
Ezili's counter-colonial narrative on Vodun
Haiti Policy Statement for the Obama Team
Recommended HLLN Links
Energy and Mining in Haiti
The wealthy, powerful and well-armed are robbing the Haitian people blind, and a June 13, 2008 Nouvelliste article alleging, in sum, that " these last months, more than 40 to 50% of the imported rice that is subsidized by the Haitian State is CONSUMED in the DOMINICAN REPUBLIC?.... And that even Haitian clandestinely subsidized petroleum products, cheaper Haiti oil products, are also being consumed by wealthy foreign ships passing through Haitian waters, instead of the impoverished and starving Haitians these food and gas subsidies were intended to benefit...")

That SLAVERY gets no press coverage. Yet, it is the root cause of the continuing child domestic servant issue and Haiti's institutionalized empoverishment. Indeed the media failure to report the truth, their lies and simplistic reporting about Haiti, allows impunity for the mercenary familes, their agents and US/Euro collaborators. The mainstream media will not do exposes showing that Haiti’s poverty, deforestation and instability is the result of the theft and exploitation of Haiti by the world’s wealthy countries, their corporations and subcontracting, non-tax-paying Haitian mercenary families. These untouchables - Category Two (Bafyòti yo)- get no such mainstream journalistic exposes though they, with their forces (Ndòki) - that is, the military, economic, diplomatic, political, neocolonial and media power of the US/Euro imperialist (Category One) are the ones maintaining slavery, misrule and poverty in Haiti - turning an entire nation of over 9 milllion Blacks into restaveks!

Ezili HLLN's work and media campaign gives voice to this Haiti narrative and enslavement. We are re-membering the dismembered Bwa Kayiman call - E, e, Mbomba, e, e! Kanga Bafyòti. Kanga Mundele. Kanga Ndòki. Kanga yo!

Our intention at Ezili's HLLN is to extend from our Ginen source, create a new paradigm - help liberate and develop Haiti and thus foil the black collaborators/traitors (kanga bafyòti), stop the tyrannical white settlers/blan strangers (kanga mundele). Bind all their evil forces/sorcerers (kanga Ndòki). Stop their Ndòki - that is, their fraud, false charity, false media, false schooling of Haiti's children, false NGOs, false charity, false Christian missions in haiti, false USAID benevolence, false humanitarian aid and their media untruths. Stop them!

E, e, Mbomba! Kanga Bafyòti. Kanga Mundele. Kanga Ndòki. Kanga li!

Ezili Dantò/HLLN

For more background information:

Listen to the Welfare Poets's song Sak Pase and their reciting (at 2:05) the Bwa Kayiman invocation or call: E, e, Mbomba! Kanga Bafyòti. Kanga Mundele. Kanga Ndòki. Kanga li!;

Please also refer to the three posts by Ezili Dantò, written back in August of 2003, before the occupation where I wrote: Beloved, know, no matter what you hear from the Bafyòtis, Mundeles or Ndòkis, Haitians love themselves and their children and Haitians are pushing to come together to stop the abuse of poor, unprotected children, as well as to raise awareness of the plight of the Restavek. These three post give a historical perspective, some critical observations, and hopefully, will add to the many concerned Haitian voices clamoring to legally amend Chapter 9 of the Haitian Labor Code which sanctions child domestic labor, and, for a nationwide educational campaign on parenting and the rights of Haitian children.

See, Slavery Still Legally Sanctioned under US Constitution - The 13th Amendment states: "Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, EXCEPT as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction." For more on slavery in the US, sharecropping and the peonage system, see -The Cotton Pickin' Truth..Still on the plantation; The Untold Story: Slavery In The 20th Century.

Know that: - "An increasing number of prisons in the U.S. are run by corporations, using their prisoners as workers and selling their labor to corporations. Federal safety and health standards do not protect prison labor, nor do the National Labor Relations Board policies. The corporations do not even have to pay minimum wage.

- "J.C. Penney, Victoria's Secret, IBM, Toys R Us and TWA are among the US corporations that have profited by employing prisoners. Put together long mandatory sentences for minor drug offences, a strong racial bias, prisons run by corporations for profit, the sale of convict labor to corporations, and a charge for prison room and board and you have a modern system of bonded labor - a social condition otherwise known as slavery." [from Take It Personally: How to Make Conscious Choices to Change the World edited by Anita Roddick, p.75]

"...The US government must stay out of our affairs and let us run our country. Each time they organize a coup d'état in Haiti - we have already 35 or 36 coups d'état in our history - we have to start over. This US policy of wanting to control everything in Haiti is blocking development as well as political, social or sociopolitical progress..." (--Lovinsky Pierre Antoine, interview entitled "Sovereignty and Justice in Haiti" by Darren Ell, March 4, 2007)

Haitian-Americans ask the US Congress and President to...end the UN occupation; stop unequal immigration treatment of Haitian refugees and asylum seekers; cancel, without condition, Haiti's debt to international financial institutions; void unfair trade laws, start fair and reciprocal trade, restrict free trade so not to dump food and other imports into Haiti that eviscerate Haiti's domestic growth and by also calibrating Haiti's domestic needs for agricultural expansion, public works, job creation, health care, schools, sanitation, infrastructure, and by adding enforceable human rights, labor, environmental rights provisions in US trade laws; permanently stop all deportations to Haiti, grant TPS; release of the political prisoners; stop trading for Haiti with USAID - foreign aid should go directly to the Haitian government; demand new foreign aid guidelines and oversight of USAID in Haiti; respect Haitian sovereignty and the Haitian vote; return President Aristide; investigate the role of US in the 2004 coup d'etat where US Special forces forcibly exiled President Jean Bertrand Aristide via an unmarked plane used for renditions.

- U.S. good governance and democratic enhancement policies administered by USAID should result in maximizing, not depleting or obliterating the Haitian Diaspora's $2 billion annual remittances and investments in Haiti; the next US Congress and President should implement new US foreign assistance regulations, guidelines and oversight to ensure foreign aid administered by USAID actually reaches the people in need, doesn't stay in Washington and is not primarily used for USAID's political benefactors, NGOs and non-profit's administrative, salary or shipping/transportation fees. (For complete details, go to: What Haitians and Haitian-Americans Ask of the New US Congress and President and Haiti Policy Statement for the Obama Team). 




Copyright © Ezilidanto (HLLN)

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