I was about to do a post on the continuing Tiger Wood’s saga when I decided to watch BBC World News to get my morning international news information. They did a piece on Haiti’s child slaves known as “Restaveks”, (read news report here). I wonder what they would think of our fascination and insatiable hunger for daily gossip on the lives of celebs like Tiger Woods and wanna-be celebs like the Salahi’s, while we totally ignore the daily exploitation, abuse and hunger for basic necessities they face.
Restaveks: Haiti’s Child Slaves
03 Thursday Dec 2009
Posted AfroSpear, AfroSphere, Child Exploitation, Haiti, Life, News, Restaveks, Slaveryin
Asa, I posted on this horrible situation in Haiti about a year or so back. So often Black people in the western hemisphere are under the sole belief that if we can help Africa heal, then things will begin to look brighter for Black people world wide. I happen to disagree with this thought process. In 1980 Dr. Ali Mazrui (originally of Zimbabwe and teaching in the U.S.) said in a documentary that was released to PBS in 1984, that when Blacks in America (meaning the western hemisphere, and more specifically the U.S.) rise and can control our destiny then so Africa will rise.
In that, I believe we need to clean ourselves up individually, then assist our relatives in the North., South, Central America and our surrounding islands to stand up. And specifically, once we’ve done our best to correct our ways, we, Black people in North America and the upper and middle class of the Americas and Islands should put focus on assisting Haiti before we EVER make a move towards assisting any country in Africa.
Historically, all of us, specifically Black people, and including the U.S. government, owe Haiti! Boukman’s War (the Haitian Revolution) struck immense fear in the hearts of white people world wide affecting the treatment of Black people during the slavery period. During the Revolutionary war in the now U.S. Haiti sent troops to parts of the southern U.S. and specifically Savannah, GA to fight the British and assist George Washington.
Haiti became the second republic in the West and the first by former slaves. For this victory Haiti has paid dearly since and as with Africa corruption and greed by the government and aristocracy have led to such atrocities as the Restaveks.
Interesting perspective. Thanks for your commentary.
There was an interesting article at Pambazuka that included:
The boys from Chicago would be an extension of the Chicago school of economics that is responsible for the ruinous policies of the IMF and World Bank around the world, as well as banking deregulation that led to the recent collapse in the US and world economies. They are the preachers of “free” trade. World Bank and IMF lending practices, economic advice, structural adjustments, etc have been a death blow to growth and development, and particularly to agriculture in every country that complied with them. Only developing countries that ignored their prescriptions prospered.
As we are learning around the world, only when a country can feed itself, has food sovereignty, can it grow and develope. Local agriculture was one of the first victims to World Bank and IMF policies around the world.
Haiti paid France well into the 20th century to reimburse France for the loss of income from the loss of slaves at independence. I don’t know if/when the payments stopped. In reference to the call for reparations: from France, from the Boston Globe in 2004:
Richard Morse wrote the article from Pambazuka. If you google you will find a few other articles he has written.
Much obliged for the information and resource xcroc!
Rev. Paul Hill. said:
I am a Baptist Minister in London, England and thank you for highlighting this injustice in Haiti. For your encouragement, my youngest son and a friend co-founded a charity, the Haiti Hospital Appeal and the charity is working well with our Haitian partners and international partners, like the World Food Programme. We have opened a much needed health centre and a children’s home for children with special needs. (We have been told that it is the only one of its kind in Haiti.) We are also building a much needed hospital from scratch. My Church and a school elsewhere in London also provided a brand new properly equipped 4×4 ambulance and advances are being made. The knock-on effect of this work is most encouraging and heloing to keep families, such as those seen in the film, toigether. We are a small charity and if anyone wants to help, please see http://www.haitihospitalappeal.org. Thank you. God bless you.