Rethinking Haiti and the Haitian People in the Twenty-first Century

Rethinking Haiti and the Haitian People in the Twenty-first Century

Haiti's flag

As I continue to observe the political situation in Haiti, and the current presidential election crisis in the country, and the reaction of the Haitian people and their discontent about their living condition, I am more compelled today as I were decades ago that my old belief and assessment about the Haitian condition are correct. Haitian instability, the inhumane living condition of the Haitian people, and the country’s development crisis are due chiefly to both internal and external forces. In this brief essay, I reflect on both contributing factors of Haiti’s woes, the relationship between the Haitian politician or public servant to the Haitian state. Finally, I propose a way forward to improve both the Haitian political society and civil society, and the living condition of the Haitian people.

The Internal Causes

The internal causes are directly linked to the country’s heritage of political maladroit, political charlatans and demons, bad governance, and the people’s untamed anger and disastrous ideologies. You can’t build (Haiti was never built before. So we cannot speak of “Haiti’s reconstruction”) a country when you continue to destroy the little that you already have in place. For example, what would any people in their right mind continue to destroy public schools and other public and private institutions that provide public services to the masses, and which were created to respond to their every day needs. The Haitian people MUST respect people’s businesses or property, and say NO to violence. What would the Haitian people burn someone’s vehicle or home when the owner has no political affiliation or contributes to the deadly living condition of the masses?
As a people and nation, for years, we have cultivated a collective mentality to destroy not to build, to deform not to reform, to regress not to progress. This collective attitude is certainly not the most effective strategy to foster social change and the collective emancipation of the Haitian people. It is certainly not contributing to Haiti’s development nor is it leading to human flourishing and human solidarity in Haiti.

As a people and nation, instead of destroying property, public institutions, people’s homes and eventually people’s lives, we should think about other liberative alternatives and human-flourishing methods that will contribute to the (re-) construction of this country, protect what’s already in place, and preserve life. We should come together and think together so we could find ways to improve Haiti’s’ mass illiteracy, food crisis, security problem, and political and civil societies dilemma.

The External Causes

It is not breaking news in the twenty-first century to affirm that Haiti and the Haitian people have been subject to years of American damaging cultural and political imperialism, and destructive interventions by Western countries. It is certainly not breaking news in the twenty-first century that Haitian politics and the electoral process have always been under the radar of the international community (i.e. United States, Canada, France, Germany, etc.). These countries have no respect for the general will of the Haitian people and are relentlessly demeaning the freedom, sovereignty, and democratic ideals and values of Haiti and the Haitian people. Interestingly, they claim to be the protagonists of these very principles they deny to other countries and peoples.
While the creation of the Haitian nation-state and the independence and freedom of the Haitian people, who were once enslaved by Western powers, the continuous existence of Haiti as a nation is seen by many political allies in the West as a challenge to the unholy trinity of the modern world: slavery, white supremacy, and racism. The country of Haiti is a symbolic reminder to many that it is possible to eradicate these three existential demons in the world today.

How now shall the Haitian people live?

a) To Haitian Politicians and Public Servants

1. Haitian politicians need to cultivate unconditional love for Haiti and unqualified love for the Haitian people. They also need to develop patriotic zeal so that they and the Haitian people would be rightly conceived as the guardian of Haiti’s sovereignty, freedom, and independence in the twenty-first century.

2. The Haitian politician or public officer is first a public servant. Being in politics or occupy a public post in the government is a privilege not a right. It is an opportunity to serve your country and your people.
3. The public office is not the access to abuse or exploit the Haitian people in order to achieve selfish political ambitions.
4. When elected to a public office, the best interest of the people come first, and the people and the people alone should be the sole focus of the politician’s political agenda.
5. The patriotic Haitian politician or public servant should sympathize with the Haitian people in their struggle and walk actively in solidarity with the Haitian masses, the poor, the needy, and the oppressed—toward the improvement of their economic condition, and the contribution to their total emancipation in every aspect of life.
6. Haitian politicians need to realize that the love of money and the pursuit of political power to control the country’s resources and to advance one’s dreadful political agendas would ultimately lead to the imprisonment of the people and the regress of Haiti.
7. Haitian politicians or public servants should not be allies of any internal or external power whose decisive aim is to subjugate the Haitian people, and exploit their resources.
8. To the Haitian politicians and public servants: Building a strong and effective economy in Haiti would entail the rejection of the charm and ruse of the global economic capitalism of the West and the East, as well as the refusal of enticing promises of public prominence, wealth, and future opportunities to excel in one’s political career—by the international community.

b) To the Haitian People

1. The Haitian people need to work collaboratively to develop new emancipative narratives for the betterment of Haiti, the enhancement of the Haitian life, and to the value of those who yet to be born.
2. Building a holistic and effective democratic system in Haiti and functioning Haitian civil society is the responsibility of every Haitian citizen.
3. Haitian solidarity means serving one another and the opportunity to uplift your Haitian brother or sister in moments of crisis.
4. Haitian patriotic love means the total rejection of the “Kraze brize” and “koupe tet boule kay” mentality and the total renouncement of the ideology of the destruction of the country’s public institutions, and the private facilities that provide services to the Haitian people. We must say NO to political violence and all kinds of human-orchestrated violence and oppression in the twenty-first century Haitian society.
5. Respect for someone’s property or business is another way to express Haitian patriotic love and human solidarity.
6. The Haitian people must reject the ruse of charlatan politicians whose aim is not the best interest of the Haitian masses but the preservation of their political power and the control of the people.
7. The Haitian people must also reject the ruse and false promises of imperial powers that come only to steal, exploit, and destroy. They are not our friend; they are our enemy.
8. The Haitian people need to support humanitarian causes whose aim is not exploit the Haitian people or their resources but to make constructive contributions to Haiti’s development and enhance the human condition in the country.
9. The Haitian people must say NO to the Haitian bourgeoisie capitalists and the elite-minority, who collaborate with the imperialists and support economic capitalism, who have no interest in improving the living condition of the Haitian people.
10. The Haitian people must work together, support one another, and serve sacrificially, and give unconditionally to improve people’s lives in Haiti.

Conclusion

The Haitian bourgeoisie and elite-minority in Haiti, and those with resources and skills in the Haitian Diaspora must invest in Haiti by working together. They should also work together to create new job opportunities and small businesses, and boost Haiti’s agricultural resources and productions. Secondly, Haitians of all social classes and those with economic resources ought to collaborate and find meaningful ways to effectively use their talents and skills to change Haiti’s education system and improve existing schools and create effective learning centers and universities that will foster hope, social transformation, and engender a new society in the Caribbean nation.

Haiti’s political and civil societies, in their current state, are not contributing to human flourishing and improving lives in Haiti. Thirdly, genuine collaborative partnership between Haitians in the Diaspora and those with financial and intellectual resources in Haiti are desperately needed in the formation of a new class of Haitian entrepreneurs, leaders, professionals, educators in the Haitian society. Such partnership will also help alleviate poverty, prostitution, and reduce child pregnancy in the country. Invest in Haiti’s education is to invest in Haiti’s future and to create a new optimistic life for the younger and future generations of Haitians. Collaboratively, we will improve the overall living and spiritual conditions of the people of Haiti.

Finally, to vote for the best candidate who will work for the people, walk in solidarity with the Haitian passes and the poor, and represent their best interest in the political arena, should not be taken for granted. Haiti as a sovereign and independent nation-state is entitled to have free and democratic elections, and the Haitian people have the right to voice their concerns, and discontent because they know what is best for them and certainly affirm what is best for Haiti. Let the will of the Haitian people triumph!

The future of Haiti is the hands of the Haitian people, and not foreigners or Western imperialists. Our salvation is not coming from an external power; it is coming from us. Our redemption is not coming from above but from below. We have the solution to Haiti’s problems. We are Haiti!

When Apostle Paul Meets Chinua Achebe

When Apostle Paul Meets Chinua Achebe

This semester, I am teaching two classic books in World Literature, in two different locations: one at my job ‪#‎IRSC‬ , the other at my Church: ‪#‎CalvaryPSL‬. Both books were written by two dead dudes. The first dude is Africa’s premier literary giant, the founder of modern African literature, and a fervent apologist of African cultural traditions and pre-colonial African civilizations. The second dude is Christianity’s premier theologian, thinker, and an unapologetic defender of the Christian Faith. Some individuals even call him the Founder of Christianity.

Paul (Apostle Paul, as some people have called him) wrote, what some religious scholars, thinkers, and theologians believe as, the greatest letter ever written in modern history, and history of thought: The Book of Paul to the Christians at Rome–which he wrote about A.D. 56-57 from the city of Corinth. Chinua Achebe wrote “Things Fall Apart” (1958), the foundational text that gave birth to modern African literature.

You, Facebook friends, can’t enroll in my IRSC course on Achebe. Sorry, it’s too late. Nonetheless, if you live in the Treasure Coast area in Florida, you are cordially invited to sign up for my Lifegroup class on the Letter of Paul to the Romans. I am sure it is possible to bring both Paul and Achebe in conversation about the things of God, and God’s relationship with humanity and the world.
Please allow me to inform you about the class on Paul:

The class meets once a week on Thursday night, at 7:00 PM. Child care will be provided. Our first meeting is scheduled for Thursday, February 4.

Class Description

Next meeting: Thu. February 04, 2016 • 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM

Meets every Thursday effective 2/4/2016 until 5/5/2016 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Location — where do we meet?
Name St. James Shine Building

Address
5555 NW St. James Drive
Port Saint Lucie, FL 34983

Summary
According to faith in Jesus. So “there is no difference” now between Jews and Gentiles (Romans 3:22). The call to unity is just as relevant to us today as we continue to face tensions in the body of Christ. May we hear and respond to God’s call to us in Romans. Lessons under the guidance of one of the world’s leading and most loved Bible teachers and preachers, John Stott, include inductive study, application, commentary, prayer helps, and leader guidelines. Children Children are welcome Start date 2/4/2016

Course Registration Process

The process takes only 2 minutes. First, create a user name online at Calvary Port St. Lucie.

After creating the account, you will be sent an email to verify your account.

After email verification, go back to register for the course:

https://ccpslpbifl.infellowship.com/GroupSearch/Show…

Next, tollow these easy 5 step process to sing up for the course

1. Campus: St. James

2.Category: Life Groups

3. Weekdays: Thursday

4. Search

5. Click on Mixed Gender – Romans: Encountering the Gospel’s Power
to register.

Look forward to seeing you there

Celucien L. Joseph, PhD (Docteur Lou)
Life Group Facilitator
Calvary PSL
Assistant Professor of English
Co-Advisor to the Haitian Cultural Club (HaitianculturalAwareness At Irsc)
IRSC – Indian River State College
Port St. Lucie, Florida

My new book:Radical Humanism and Generous Tolerance: Soyinka on Religion and Human Solidarity

Dear Friends and Faithful Readers: I’m pleased to announce the publication of my new book, Radical Humanism and Generous Tolerance: Soyinka on Religion and Human Solidarity

Project Summary

Radical Humanism and Generous Tolerance: Soyinka on Religion and Human Solidarity (Hope Outreach Productions, 2016) Authored by Celucien L Joseph, PhD

List Price: $19.99
6″ x 9″ (15.24 x 22.86 cm)
Black & White on White paper
160 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1523393206
ISBN-10: 1523393203
BISAC: Religion / Comparative Religion

Book Summary

Radical Humanism and Generous Tolerance articulates the religious ideas and vision of Wole Soyinka in his non-fiction writings. It also analyzes Soyinka’s response to religious violence, terror, and the fear of religious imperialism. The book suggests the theoretical notions of radical humanism and generous tolerance best summarize Soyinka’s religious ideals and religious piety.

In response to religious violence and fanaticism in the world, Soyinka turns to the ethics and values of humanism as a better alternative to religious exclusivism and claims of absolute truths, and as a way to promote global peace, planetary love, and cultivate interreligious dialogue and understanding. Soyinka’s radical humanism is grounded in the religious ethos and sensibility, and the moral vision of the Yoruba people, as well as in the Western theistic Humanist tradition and secularism.

Through a close reading of Soyinka’s religious works, the book argues that African traditional religions could be used as a catalyst to promote religious tolerance and human solidarity, and that they may also contribute to the preservation of life, and the fostering of an ethics of care and relationality. Soyinka brings in conversation Western Humanist tradition and African indigenous Humanist tradition for the sake of the world, for the sake of global shalom, and for the sake of human flourishing.

Celucien L. Joseph, PhD (University of Texas at Dallas) is an Assistant Professor of English at Indian River State College.

The book can be purchased on amazon by clicking on the link below:

Radical Humanism and Generous Tolerance: Soyinka on Religion and Human Solidarity