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Boston area, MA, United States

Friday, January 29, 2010

What's the fascination with relating Barack with his European decendants?

Obama and Brown are distant cousins, Boston researchers say - Local News Updates - The Boston Globe
Obama and Brown are distant cousins, Boston researchers say - Local News Updates - The Boston Globe

Ever since the man decided he was going to be president of this country, newspapers have been publishing these (in my opinion) wacky genealogical connections between his family and former presidents. For example, this morning's article from the Boston Globe stated that Obama, has links to seven presidents, including that _____, George W. Bush. I mean really, it's that important to show America that yes, we have a Black president but the truth is, he's more related to us than you think!

I can take these reports so many ways, but I think there are some racial undertones to the continuing research into Mr. Obama's family history by the New England Historic Genealogical Society. I haven't heard them linking Dubya to anyone else in history. No one's doing Ronald Reagan's genealogy to verify his family blood lines. Could it be that everyone else (meaning "Whites") are taken at face value while people of color need to be researched to find out their *gasp* fascinating linkage to white America?

We have always been related to each other, no matter how much we are disliked, feared or misunderstood. "People's History of the United States, by Howard Zinn should be required read for all.

This country NEVER ceases to amaze me.

Friday, January 15, 2010

The Help That Haiti Needs...

Blog from the NY Times 1/14/2010:


My response:

The help that Haiti needs isn't the kind that bashes the populace for the decisions of their government. Reading some of these comments remind me of situations where people often blame the victim because they have no one else to blame. Not everyone in Haiti was destined for poverty. My response is heartfelt because I still have family there who has struggled everyday in every which way creatively to survive on that island. My parents who luckily left before Baby Doc came to power found their way to NYC just like any other immigrant and managed to attend & graduate college, buy homes and raise a family. What they remember about Haiti is not always mentioned in news reports about the poverty of Haiti. They remember a land that was properous, a booming tourist island, every child attended school paid for by the government and relative calm. No some did not have running water or modern latrines, but they were proud people. My grandparents owned tobacco fields for decades before they were burned for deforestation.

The media oftens fails to describe the other part of the island where Europeans (and some Americans including foreign diplomats) summer during holidays. Some people are not so fortunate to have this including those that live there. "Experts" love to discuss how the Haitian government is mismanaged and corrupt, as if we have a clean history with the island!

Today Haiti is a severely indebted country whose debt to export ratio is nearly 300 percent, far above what is considered sustainable even by the International Monetary Fund and World Bank. Both institutions are dominated by the U.S. In 1980 Haiti's debt was $302 million. Since then it has more than tripled to $1.1 billion, approximately 40 percent of the nation's gross national product. Last year Haiti paid more in debt service than it did on medical services for the people. Haitian officials say nearly 80 percent of the current debt was accumulated by the regimes of Francois and Jean-Claude Duvalier, Doc and Baby Doc.

It is now well known that the primary source of Haiti's chronic impoverishment is the reparations it was forced to pay to the former plantation owners who left following the 1804 revolution. Some of the white descendants of the former plantation owners, who now live in New Orleans, still have the indemnity coupons issued by France. So in fact, at least part of the reparations paid by Haiti went toward the development of the United States.

These indemnity payments caused continual financial emergencies and political upheavals. In a 51-year period, Haiti had 16 different presidents - new presidents often coming to power at the head of a rebel army.Nevertheless, Haiti always made the indemnity payments - and, following those, the bank loan payments - on time. The 1915 intervention by the Marines on behalf of U.S. financial interests changed all of that, however.

By the time Duvalier grabbed the presidency of the world's first Black republic established by formerly enslaved peoples, Haiti had experienced more than 150 years of chronic impoverishment and discriminatory lending policies by the world's leading financial institutions and powers. The economic forecast for Haiti has not improved, even with the democratic election of Jean Bertrand Aristide, since he has been consistently demonized in the U.S. and world press.

But enough of the history lesson. I agree with #25-CDOYLE...

1. Offer Haiti grants NOT Loans.
2. Eliminate the debate. How much longer should France benefit from the money this poor country sends.
3. Lift the trade embargo. Haiti must be able to sell their items in a free market system once they have provided for themselves.
4. Foreign companies must pay taxes to the country. It happens in America...a business must invest in the community it works in. Why not the same policies for Haiti?
5. Have a leader that has real power to provide a FUNCTION government. Haiti does not need another figure head.
6. Solar power IS the way to go, stop the deforestation.

We need to allow the country to rebuild itself with international assistance in order to see the true beauty Haiti once had.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Earthquake in Ayiti 1/12/2010

In retrospect, the complaining I've been doing about what I supposedly don't have or didn't do is nothing compared to what 80% of the people in Haiti are dealing with. I feel ashamed that I have not consistently remained grateful and upbeat about my environment.

Poverty in the Haiti is no comparison to what we consider poverty in America. People fail to realize that as bad as we want to portray our government, the sitting president and the political games as money hungry, narcissistic, liars (which they can be), we still have it pretty good here.

And when all this humanitarian effort has gone weeks after the initial outpouring of generosity from the international community, Haiti will still be the poorest nation, the size of Maryland with roughly 10 million people in the Western Hemisphere.

And we will all go back to our lives, working, paying bills, and complaining.