I am disturbed and disgusted by so much negativity and misinformation being thrown around concerning Haiti and the current situation. I found this article to be absolutely fascinating.
Time for America to repay Haiti's historic gift to us
by: Paul Rosenberg
Sat Jan 16, 2010 at 15:00
Haiti's successful slave revolution and its defense against the French attempt to re-enslave them was directly responsible for France's abandonment of its claims in the New World, including the sale of the Louisiana Purchase, without which the US would have been permanantly hemmed in to the Eastern Seaboard. Thus, America owes more to the people of Haiti than any other people on Earth--but, with few exceptions, we have only repaid them with suffering and sorrow.
The earthquake in Haiti is terrible natural disaster, but it's also a man-made disaster as well-both the built environment of urban slums and the social environment of dysfunction and non-functional government are the products of hundreds of years of imperialist exploitation. While similar patterns are seen throughout the world, the US and Haiti have a unique relationship that's been systematically hidden from the American people. Perhaps the greatest tragedy of all is that the tremendous heartfelt outpouring of concern by the American people, a genuine representation of what is best about America, is so utterly disconnected from the historical reality, and so terribly unlikely to make any difference in how that history will almost certainly be replicated, so that countless future generations of Haitians will continue to suffer, not for the sins of their ancestors, but for their exemplary acts.
Paradoxically, while the news coverage is so relentlessly focused on the immediate horror, for most Americans it's left to rightwing opinion-mongers such as Rush Limbaugh-and especially Pat Robertson-to remind them of the true historical context, albeit not by discussing it, but instead by vividly acting it out. When Pat Robertson credits Hatian liberation to a pact with the Devil (and who's a better expert than he on such pacts?), he is accurately resurrecting the roots of Euro-American attitudes toward Haiti that have never been fundamentally reset since the Haitian people pulled off the only successful slave revolution in recorded history...CONTINUED