Thursday, April 4, 2013

Thomas Jefferson Would Want Reparations for Haiti's Wretched Victims

Is it indicative of the fear Haiti instills in the bosoms of tyrants that the vital role Haiti played in the abolishment of slavery globally is left out of most popular narratives and histories? No? Then, it must be by design.

Why is it that films like "Lincoln," for one, do not dare utter, never mind credit Haiti as the place where the quest for an end to slavery flourished and was fought and won in spectacular fashion over six decades before Lincoln "freed the slaves?"

Proper respects are due to Abraham Lincoln for inadvertently giving his life to a fellow white supremacist; however, Abraham Lincoln was not fighting the Civil War to free the slaves. He fought it to hold together the Union.

The Emancipation Proclamation was issued 61 years after Haiti abolished slavery. Arguably, Abraham Lincoln1 was not so much influenced by his moral fortitude, conscience or abolitionist leaning, as he was by the pivotal events that took place in Haiti 1791-1804.

American history classes should explain how much Haiti inspired Nat Turner, John Brown, Denmark Vesey and others who led slave uprisings. Haiti's freedom fighters were heroes of abolitionist Frederick Douglass. He wrote the famous ode: Until She Spoke in their honor.

Moreover, Charles Deslondes, who was of Haitian descent, led perhaps the largest slave rebellion in U.S. history in Louisiana -- consisting of some 200 men. The end that he and his tortured comrades came to is a blight that US historians sought to expunge from scrutiny by future generations in the "land of the free."

Battle of Vertieres, 1803
The Haitian Revolution - Battle Vertieres, 1803 
Haitian revolutionaries fought for 13 years to win the world's only successful slave rebellion, which required that they defeat the world's most powerful armies and unconscionable practitioners of chattel slavery: Spain, Britain and France. It should be common knowledge that Haiti also played a direct role in the abolishment of slavery and the independence of six countries in Latin America. Haiti supplied arms and men to Miranda and Simon Bolivar of Venezuela in their war for independence from Spanish colonialism. Haitian leaders Dessalines and Petion only asked one thing of them, free the slaves.

Scarred back of man who escaped 
slavery in Louisiana, 1863. 

90% of the "emigrés" forced to leave 
"St. Domingue" because of the Haitian 
Yet today's tyrants, like the slave-owning Thomas Jefferson, would have the world believe that Haiti's enslavers, oppressors, invaders and exploiters are the "victims" of a violent Haitian population.
Thomas Jefferson observed, "The situation of the St. Domingo fugitives (aristocrats as they are), calls aloud for pity and charity. Never was so deep a tragedy presented to the feelings of man." While he disapproved of any federal intervention, he thought individual states should provide assistance for those French émigrés. In a letter to Governor Morris, Jefferson said the United State received "the wretched fugitives.. who escaping from the swords and flames of civil war, threw themselves on us naked and houseless, without food or friends, money or other means, their faculties lost and absorbed in the depth of distresses."
In 1794, the U.S. Congress showed compassion when a House of Representatives committee passed a resolution establishing a committee of relief that had funds available to support the oppressed from St. Domingo."
    p. 4 Haitians and African-Americans / A Heritage of Tragedy and Hope by Leon D. Pamphile

Haiti 1791-1804 — Hell on earth for all tyrants
Haitian rebels beat back the foreign invaders
"Yes, we have rendered to these true cannibals war for war, crime for crime, outrage for outrage; yes, I have saved my country; I have avenged America;"

"After the terrible example I have just given, sooner or later Divine Justice will unchain on earth some mighty minds, above the weakness of the vulgar, for the destruction and terror of the wicked. Tremble! tyrants, usurpers, scourges of the new world!"

"War, even to Death, to Tyrants! this is my motto; "Liberty! Independence!" this is our rallying cry."

— Jean-Jacques Dessalines  

Haiti Today:
Published on Thursday, February 21, 2013 by Common Dreams
UN: No Compensation for Cholera UN Caused in Haiti

The United Nations, blamed for causing the outbreak of cholera in Haiti which killed over 7000 and sickened over half a million, has rejected a November 2011 claim for compensation on behalf of victims of the disease, stating, "claims are not receivable."

"Today, the United Nations advised the claimants’ representatives that the claims are not receivable pursuant to Section 29 of the Convention on the Privileges and Immunities of the United Nations," a spokesperson for U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon stated on Thursday. "The Secretary-General telephoned Haitian President Michel Martelly to inform him of the decision, and to reiterate the commitment of the United Nations to the elimination of cholera in Haiti."

01/09/2014 Update
Abraham Lincoln speaks frankly about his white supremacist mindset.
1 What Abraham Lincoln said on September 18, 1858 in his fourth debate with Stephen Douglas in Charleston, Illinois. Approximately 12,000 people were in attendance for the fourth in a series of seven debates for the Presidency of the United States...

"While I was at the hotel to-day, an elderly gentleman called upon me to know whether I was really in favor of producing a perfect equality between the negroes and white people. [Great Laughter.] While I had not proposed to myself on this occasion to say much on that subject, yet as the question was asked me I thought I would occupy perhaps five minutes in saying something in regard to it. I will say then that I am not, nor ever have been, in favor of bringing about in any way the social and political equality of the white and black races, [applause]-that I am not nor ever have been in favor of making voters or jurors of negroes, nor of qualifying them to hold office, nor to intermarry with white people; and I will say in addition to this that there is a physical difference between the white and black races which I believe will forever forbid the two races living together on terms of social and political equality.

And inasmuch as they cannot so live, while they do remain together there must be the position of superior and inferior, and I as much as any other man am in favor of having the superior position assigned to the white race. I say upon this occasion I do not perceive that because the white man is to have the superior position the negro should be denied every thing. I do not understand that because I do not want a negro woman for a slave I must necessarily want her for a wife."
--- Abraham Lincoln, September 18, 1858

HatTip: Ezili Dantò --> Dr. Ray Winbush.


Èzili Dantò said...

I doubt they'll get the point sisterwoman. The false reflection in their mirror is too seductive. Thomas "the rapists" Jefferson would indeed find sympathy with the current Obama/Clinton/Bush/UN genocidal ways.

thezenhaitian said...

The ideals of the United States are very seductive and worth fighting for, if they bore any resemblance to reality today.

Thomas Jefferson is portrayed as a heroic figure in American history, but his words and deeds do not reflect it.

Ironically, Jefferson and Adams, two American presidents considered to be "founding fathers," both died on the 4th of July on the 50th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence.

"What is there to celebrate?" Remember? This was the mocking question the U.S. media asked of Haiti when President Aristides planned celebrations to commemorate Haiti's Bicentennial?

Frederick Douglass asked a similar question of the United States in 1852, which resonates today for a Haiti under occupation:

"What, to the American slave, is your 4th of July? I answer: a day that reveals to him, more than all other days in the year, the gross injustice and cruelly to which he is the constant victim.

To him, your celebration is a sham; your boasted liberty, an unholy license; your national greatness, swelling vanity; your sounds of rejoicing are empty and heartless; your denunciations of tyrants, brass fronted impudence; your shouts of liberty and equality, hollow mockery; your prayers and hymns, your sermons and thanksgivings, with all your religious parade, and solemnity, are, to him, mere bombast, fraud, deception, impiety, and hypocrisy—a thin veil to cover up crimes which would disgrace a nation of savages.

There is not a nation on the earth guilty of practices, more shocking and bloody, than are the people of these United States, at this very hour."

Anonymous said...

Lincoln always said that ending slavery was a moral issue, if you read his works.In 1919 the US invaded Haiti after a series of battles against haitian bandits led by Charlemagne Massena Peralte. US marine sergent Herman Hanneken inflitrated the base camp of Peralte and shot him dead thus by 1920 the Second Cacos war was over.A few thousand U.S Marines succeeded where 27,000 french soldiers from Napoleans army failed. When the U.S left Haiti in 1934 they constructed a thousand miles of roads, 210 major bridges, nine airfields, eighty two miles of irrigation canals nearly a dozen hospitals and more than one hundred clinics and a thousand miles of phone lines. Much of this fell in disrepair or complete collapse after the bulk of the American troops left once again underscoring the problems in attempting to build nations when effective social, economic, and political institutions were absent. While the U.S was there the Haitian government was relatively uncorrupt.

Anonymous said...

Yes you could say that Thomas Jefferson was a white supremacist and a slave owner. But he wrote the Declaration of Independence ideals which we Americans all try to live by. Jefferson also credited Crispus Attucks as having nurtured the tree of liberty and he often praised and corresponded with Benjamin Banneker on topics such as slavery, racial equality and abolition.Here is an American history lesson for you, there were free black Americans fighting in Americas war for independence as early as 1775. By the seige at yorktown before the British surrendered free blacks and some exslaves made up about a fourth of the American army. That is one in every four in the northern army, yes blacks were for the most part still slaves in the south all the way to the sectional divide and civil in fact every American whos family was here before 1860 has at least one ancestor who fought and died in the American Civil war black or white or native American. At the end of the Civil Wart with 2 million men strong the Union army was the most powerful fighting force in the world.

thezenhaitian said...

Lincoln always said that ending slavery was a moral issue.
In other words, slavery was a "moral issue" not a political issue, so get over it?

In 1914 the U.S. invaded Haiti in order to rewrite the Haitian constitution to allow ownership of land by foreigners, to seize the gold from the Haitian national bank in order to control Haiti financially, to gain control of the port… etc. It was about greed, power, control… naked brutal imperialism.

The so-called "haitian bandit" Charlemagne Peralte (actually Charlemagne Péralte led the resistance movement - the Cacos Rebellion) can speak pretty eloquently for himself. Here is his call to arms letter(s) in French and English:
- Bandits or Patriots?: Documents from Charlemagne Péralte [ ]

You forgot to mention that the American marines nailed Peralte's body to a door and set it up in the town center as a terroristic warning to other Haitians thinking of continuing the rebellion. It backfired because instead the body resembled Christ's crucifixion.

The most lasting legacy of the American occupation was the brutal military they trained. All the so-called infrastructure you they made were to make it easier for them to go about the business of controlling and terrorizing the population.

Haitians were introduced to American racism through the Southern Generals who were assigned the job of leading the occupation because they knew how to control "niggers."

"Imagine, Niggers speaking French!" - Woodrow wilson's Secretary of State William Jennings Bryan

thezenhaitian said...

Agreed, Thomas Jefferson was a white supremacist, a slave owner, a rapist and a hypocrite, who enslaved his own children and never set his enslaved rape survivor Sarah Hemmings (his wife's teenage half-sister) free.

Its debatable whether Americans actually live up to the important ideals expressed in the Declaration of Independence. Its "open season" on blacks and racism is peaking now as whites (with the elections of the nation's first black president) fear the rollback of some of their white privileges. Black young men are jailed disproportionally, demonized, feared, hunted and "stand your ground" has legalized their continued genocidal extermination without fear of legal repercussions.

Looks like the good 'ol days are back… and this time the jails are the new slavery and the repeal of the most important clause in the Voting Rights Act signals that it is alright to suppress the black vote, immigrant vote... Before this, the Supreme Court has ruled that corporations are people; people who's votes counts more because they have the money to buy influence.

Benjamin Banneker initiated contact with Jefferson. Banneker wrote a passionate and eloquent letter appealing to Jefferson's (non-existent) conscience about the scourge of slavery… that Jefferson deigned to respond is very surprising... politic, but nothing substantive resulted as far as American internal or foreign policy toward blacks and slavery.

Okay… thanks for the lesson? I don't find it surprising at all that Blacks supported and fought for the United States in every war. So have Haitians, they too have fought in every U.S. war on the side of America… from the American Revolution on.

One could fault them for their naivete, bravery, and foolishness... Frankly, nowadays there is an economic draft. They are loyal U.S. citizens who believe that the Declaration of Independence, Bill of Rights and American Constitution are inclusive of blacks, at least in theory. However, there has always been a two-tiered injustice system in America. The only difference now may be that that more people recognize that the war being waged is a class war - the oligarchs against the rest of us.

"injustice anywhere is injustice everywhere."

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