HAITI: Caribbean dignity unbowed

The following statement was issued by the Vice-Chancellor of The University of the West Indies, Professor Sir Hilary Beckles.

The democratic, nation-building debt the American nation owes the Caribbean, and the Haitian nation in particular that resides at its core, is not expected to be repaid but must be respected. Any nation without a nominal notion of its own making can never comprehend the forces that fashion it origins.

Haiti’s Caribbean vision illuminated America’s way out of its colonial darkness. This is the debt President Trump’s America owes Toussaint L’Ouverture’s Haiti. It’s a debt of philosophical clarity and political maturity. It’s a debt of how to rise to its best human potential. It’s a debt of exposure to higher standards. Haiti is really America’s Statue of Liberty.

The President’s truth making troops might not know, and probably care little for the fact that Haitian people were first in this modern world to build a nation completely free of the human scourge of slavery and native genocide. It might be worthless in their world view that Haiti’s leadership made the Caribbean the first civilization in modernity to criminalize and constitutionally uproot such crimes against humanity and to proceed with sustainability to build a nation upon the basis of universal freedom.

The tale of their two constitutions tells this truth. The American Independence Declaration of 2nd July, 1776, reinforced slavery as the national development model for the future. The Haitian Independence Declaration, 1st January, 1804, defined slavery a crime and banished it from its borders. Haiti, then, became the first nation in the world to enforce a provision of personal democratic freedom for all, and did so at a time when America was deepening its slavery roots.

The USA, therefore should daily bow before Haiti and thank it for the lessons it taught in how to conceptualize and create a democratic political and social order. Having built their nation on the pillars of property rights in humans, and realizing a century later that slavery and freedom could not coexist in the same nation, Americans returned to the battlefield to litigate the century’s bloodiest defining and deciding civil war.

Haiti was and will remain this hemisphere’s mother of modern democracy; and the Caribbean, the cradle of the first ethical civilization. For President Trump, therefore, to define the Caribbean’s noble heroes of human freedom, whose sacrifice empowered and enlightened his nation in its darkest days, as a site of human degradation is beyond comprehension. It is a brutal bashing of basic truths that are in need, not of violation, but celebration.

Haiti, then, is mankind’s monument to its triumphant rise from the demonic descent into despair to the forging of its first democratic dispensation. It is home to humanity’s most resilient people who are the persistent proof of the unrelenting intent of the species to let freedom rain and reign.

Thankfully, many fine souls dedicated to social justice have risen to ‘write this wrong’ into the public record. Let’s take comfort in recalling one such line drawn on the highway of history. In this 2018 White House attempt to diminish Caribbean Civilization let’s read aloud a part of William Wordsworth’s 1802 celebratory sonnet to Toussaint L’Ouverture of Haiti, the greatest democracy mind of modernity:

“…though fallen thyself, never to rise again,

Live and take comfort. Thou have left behind

Powers that will work for thee,

Air, earth, and skies;

There’s not a breathing of the common wind

that will forget thee; thou have great allies;

thy friends are exultation, agonies, and love,

and man’s unconquerable mind.”

13 Responses to HAITI: Caribbean dignity unbowed

  1. luther thorne January 13, 2018 at 11:33 am

    Way to deal with the situation
    You have always shown the way Professor.
    This history needs to be taught in Schools. It would help Black Barbadians to dispel the myths and lies.

  2. jrsmith January 13, 2018 at 11:50 am

    Its okay to bring all the history , but we are in 2018, the white man still ruling the world, the blacks have no economic or financial clout ,, history hasn’t done any good for black people since the beginning of slavery until now ……. ………….
    The white man still enforces his way of thinking on black people and its more so through our politicians who deceives us daily …..
    Its no sense screaming racist at Donald Trump ,what do you expect , most of America is as and like the Trump… very racists a country ……The Donald Trump is a ****y the white world is no different……………
    Are we going to show how backward we are , every time a white person make statements about black people to react as like stupid ……………
    Us black people needs to be just as racist ………… For me look hard at most black countries is he really wrong…..

    • Jennifer January 13, 2018 at 12:11 pm

      I hear you JR and you are correct on most of what you say. Trouble is that slavery has not and cannot and will NEVER make a DIFFERENCE to this people when we got the likes of killary and company wearing the same white man accolades yearly with pride. Feeding the majority with white Man lying books which promotes his supremacy to fit into a white ruling society. WE WERE SOLD BACK THEN AND ARE STILL BEING SOLD TODAY.

    • Jennifer January 13, 2018 at 12:28 pm

      The reason why history has not made a difference to this people is because those so called educators only begin to teach from Slavery to present day which is a depressor to the UNLEARNED. They will never go before slavery and educate. Least this people find out their true identity and………… Those historians and the churches are one in the same set of fibbers who got this majority people trailing and stringing along in raw sewerage.

  3. luther thorne January 13, 2018 at 1:04 pm

    Those who know need to teach those who do not know the History. Some people want to Block out History. Live in Denial ,

  4. Alex Alleyne January 13, 2018 at 1:17 pm

    A set just put it out there saying “if it is not broke , don’t fix it”.
    And those words came from the ‘YOUNG ONES”.

  5. F.A.Rudder January 13, 2018 at 2:01 pm

    Well written Sir Hilary ! Could not have been better stated ! A billion dollar brain is much wealthier than a long ton of hundred dollar bills. 1 billion USD in $100 denomination = 2,320 lbs.

  6. milli watt January 13, 2018 at 2:16 pm

    this can’t be the same Haiti that paid billions of today’s dollars for its freedom, this can’t be the same Haiti that allowed one of the revolutionaries to get on a boat back to France to be executed, this can’t be the same Haiti that has had parasites for leaders in the last century this can’t be the Haiti who kept it two or three hundred whatever year celebration secret this can’t be the same Haiti who voted with that clown sitting in the white house two weeks ago at the UN. Beckles really don’t have anything to do with his time STUPSE. TRUMP right to say what he say these black mongrels don’t have pride in themselves and their people and TRUMP knows it.

    • Leroy January 13, 2018 at 4:43 pm

      So if we can get away by kicking ‘a dog’ then we should do it and feel justified?

    • Jennifer January 13, 2018 at 5:05 pm

      @Milli – Mind you the said Haitians like all the other Black gov’s got that red boot firmly pressing in them neck in some way. we as an impoverished, displaced people really, really need to learn various strategies from the Koreans, Chinese, Japanese etc.

  7. Jus me January 13, 2018 at 6:51 pm

    Another yarn from the Master yarns, preacher of
    Selected history, Prof Sir Hillariously Buckled.
    Why is it the well paid leaches that stick to the ar** s of we the tax payers, distort and rejig history to suit a situation.
    Professor ,Hillariously Buckled, chooses to ignore, the same blacks, who sold brothers to the Redmen, still exist.
    Elitists , birds of a feather flock together.
    Red men or Blackmen.
    “Stone walls do not a prison make nor iron bars a cell”
    If you cant get out of your head, you are dead!
    Very well Sir Hillariously Buckled understands this, yet perpetuates half truth, thereby assuring his bite of the public purse.
    History is just that , History, if we dont
    Break free from it, we live the past and in the past.
    The sins of the father are visited on the sons.
    Trump is an arrogant Redman BUT at least earned his billions.
    This Arrogant leach that currently feeds off our ars*s.,never had a pot to P**s in, till we elected him and he is Black.
    He has truly and blatently,.proved Trump correct.

    • Jennifer January 14, 2018 at 11:52 am

      @Jus me – you are all good except for >>>>>>>

      “History is just that , History, if we dont
      Break free from it, we live the past and in the past”.

      History is EXTREMELY IMPORTANT to PREVENT REGRESSION and the inculcation of an inferiority complex, fear, lack of might, etc and also the continuity of white supremacy. It works like a see saw. This is one people history which needs dredging up.

  8. Falernum January 14, 2018 at 8:29 am

    If we let the demagogues string us along with their rhetoric we’ll only become completely hamstrung people. Trump is a paranoid psychotic and Beckles is behaving just like him.


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