Leslie Alexander, Frederick Douglass, 19Th Century discussed on World Affairs Council
From from from from from the U. S. And then now we have the rise also. The bean. Everything comes from the U. S. And the national production is so low that the quote of the national products are too high for the people to buy an interestingly that is a pattern that also stems back to the to the 19th century. You know Haiti, and it's significant when you think about the size of Haiti that in terms of square mileage, it's a relatively small country. But even in the 19th century, Haiti was the fourth most important trade partner. The United States had Haiti consumed and relied heavily upon, um manufactured goods being exported from the United States. And even while the United States government was refusing to recognize Haiti as a sovereign and independent nation United States, merchants and the United States economy was benefiting in measurably from its economic relationship with Haiti and the economic dependence that Haiti had on United States manufactured goods. But you know, the United States had that kind of neo imperial economic relationship with a lot of countries. But none of them. Were as desperate As Haiti. What's the Haitian difference? 130 years ago, Frederick Douglass said the world would not allow Haiti a place in the sisterhood of nations. Is that just as true today? I mean, you know Guatemala, Honduras, Um Nicaragua All had, um post colonial neo imperial ist, uh, relationships through united fruit and other U. S multinationals. Where U. S interests on the railroads and the port facilities. The United States caused the creation of Panama, carving it out of Colombia and and having the canal built, uh The United States is a huge power, throwing its weight around in a lot of places. What's the Haitian? Difference is it still treated? In differently in the way that Frederick Douglass noted that it would not be allowed to join the Sisterhood of Nations. Evelyn. What do you think I take from the start without being ban Oia? I think from the start, you know, there was a There was a willingness desire to keep 80 you know, like Ah, bad list the example not to follow. I think this traditions of footing 80, you know, side You know, keep you know the actually the contemporary states to pretty differently We have to. You have to images of here You have this image that eighties west countries of the Western universe. And At the symptoms. You have the idea of a nation. That that strength up By swats against Powerful nation of friends at the time, but it was not something Possible. You know, And you have those two images that are fighting all the time. When you talk about 80. I travel a lot and I find you know these people looking at you like you're formality. And it's like, yeah, 80 the image of 80, and at the same time you have the image as a foregone thing. So I think it's something that we are. Uh, we have to. We have to use that as Asian. I'm saying that we have to use those talk to find a way. But my My main problem is not only with the foreign powers, I think The main problem is the A little bitty. There's an Asian elite. That is so Um The line to anything that is not his own interest. Very small. L it very small early, but Uh, very oblivious to anything else. You know, people like die of hunger. People might have nowhere to sleep. They don't care. They just care about their own thinkers, and they are willing to deal with the foreign countries. Whatever the demands to stay with their benefits and the advantage and that is the main problem of a so Leslie Alexander. Let's close by looking ahead. Is there anything that you can see in the offing that would allow Haiti to break this cycle to get the kind of traction it needs to Rebuild its economy rebuild its civic society rebuild a polity where presidents leave office when their term expires rather than when they're assassinated. If I could. I'd like to just say I would like to address that. But if I could, I'd like to say something just quickly about the Frederick Douglass speech that you just cited because I think at the core of that speech is something really important, um, for your listeners to grasp, he delivered that speech in 18 93 at the Chicago Chicago's World Fair. And it was more than 30 years after the United States government had finally agreed to recognize Haiti diplomatically, And yet Douglas is still very frustrated about the fact that Haiti was being excluded from what he described as the Sisterhood of nations. But what's significant about what he says in that speech is the reason why Haiti is being excluded from the sisterhood of nations. And what he says in that speech is Haiti is black. And we have not yet forgiven Haiti for being black. And I think that really goes to the core of what is significant about this story that American United States independence. Can be celebrated. And the American Revolution every July. 4th. You know, we have cookouts and fireworks and we celebrate. Um this the the United States Quest for Freedom and liberty. And yet when black people Formerly enslaved people seek the same liberty and freedom for themselves. They are demonized and continue to be to this day. And I think at the core of this story is one in which The white Western world has still not forgiven Haiti for being black for being a nation that had the courage and the bravery and the audacity. To be a sovereign black free, independent nation. And I think that that is really at the core of the story in terms of thinking about going forward, and Evelyn is probably more qualified to speak to this than I am. But I would say that I think really, what needs to happen is that Haiti actually finally needs to be allowed to govern itself and that the Haitian people need to be able to have the sovereignty of self governance and true self governance without foreign intervention, and that the Haitian people speaking to her point about the elite that the Haitian people need to have the ability and the freedom To be able to fully, um, govern themselves and to be self determining, um about their own destiny. I would say from my perspective, I would also really like to see black activists in the United States have the same commitment to Hades freedom and autonomy and sovereignty as they did in the 19th century. And I would like to see black folks are around the diaspora rallied behind Haiti in the way that they did in the 19th century. But I really think at the core of this is a question of whether Haiti is going to be forgiven for being black and whether the Haitian people are ever going to be allowed to have the freedom to fully govern themselves. Ever listen to Yo, I think that's the question. That's the question and this is a matter that was that is very, very building it for us relevant for us right now. And that's why you have a lot of young people taking to the states now and asking for the Liberty to talk about the country and to act about photo country to decide what to do. And that's what we've been fighting for. For the last five years, you know, marching and asking for the U. S. For friends for Canada for all those countries, friends already please let us be. Let us be a letter shoes. But I would like to go back to something You said today about the ancient president being assassinated. Four million or four for meeting or six. Let's see. We had four visited as assassinated. And you know the lady no more. No more. And I think the U. S had law. You know, I'm not, you know, talking about all the states men being assassinated in the U. S. But this is part of the Of the media coverage of 80 You know they the focus on that Also, you know they assassinated President Lady to show the violence. But you know, for the amount of poverty.