It is time that everyone faces up the new reality of Haiti. Things are probably going to get a lot worst before any improvement is made. The earthquake is not responsible for all that we are witnessing right now, but it has simply taken the cover off the daily reality that Haitians were living.
We have a country that is corrupted to its core, where the lack of any functional institution is enough to make anyone wonder is there anyone in charge. The civil society is hopeless about its present, let alone it future. They have acclimated themselves to accepting the thievery of their leaders. The Haitian reality is one that does not follow any logic, therefore uncommon rationality must be tried to implement some of the solutions.
People look at Haiti, and instantly think of poverty. Better yet, to be politically correct they feel proud to say that the Haitian people are resilient or that they are the most loving people they have ever encountered. Those are apt descriptions, but when I hear them from foreigners, I cringe and hope that people would start using different adjectives to describe us, the Haitian people.
There is nothing sexy about being a resilient people. On the contrary, everything about resiliency connotes misery, exploitation, acceptance, victimization and so on. After 206 years of independence, we would hope to become a people of progress, determination, success. We must become tired of being resilient. This reality must be dealt with an uncommon rationality.
Everyone thinks their ideas of a better Haiti are the ones that will finally help get this country moving in the right direction. Everyone, from people who’ve spent their honeymoon there to those who are investing in Haiti think they know the country and its people. They believe that they are experts on Haiti and its many years of heartaches, misery, paucity, and disappointment time after time. They can go on to write full scholarly report on why Haiti is the way it is, and even have the audacity to even suggest what Haiti must become. This is not the reality of the Haitian people, but rather the fantasy that has created Haiti’s condition in the first place.
I am a native of Haiti. I grew up in what I thought was mid-middle class Haiti. I had the privilege to attend school during my years in Haiti. I have friends and family still living in Haiti, and yet I will profess to you that I have no idea what it will take to get Haiti moving forward. The reason for my confession is because of the options that my lucky life has given me.
Unlike many who are living the harsh reality in Haiti with no hope or the luxury of a better tomorrow, I cannot dare to pretend to know the anguishes in the heart of the people. After I left Haiti, I realized that my family was living precariously between poverty and hopelessness. Indeed, when I step back and look at the lot of the Haitian people today, I realized that the lack of access to things they need is not the reason that they are poor. The reality is that no matter what they do, they cannot attest that tomorrow will be better for their children. That must be very discouraging and disheartened to a parent who accepts all the humiliation of life to provide for a child. The Haiti of today is a robber of the dreamers of tomorrow.
This is not an anti foreigner diatribe, on the contrary, I welcome foreign assistance in Haiti. But for the most part, Haiti policies of foreign governments have been a big obstacle in the country’s progress. The best gift that any friend of Haiti could give the country is to pressure their government to let Haiti live. For too long, the feet of foreign powers have been strangling a people in search of its freedom. Yes, the Haitian people are not suffering from hunger, if anything they are hungry for freedom. So let us not be fooled, when we hear in the news that Haitians are eating mud-cake. If anyone is eating mud-cake it must be to symbolize their hunger for freedom.
Haitians want the same things that every people want, nothing more and nothing less. We simply want access to the necessities of life. We do not see ourselves as superhuman, nor would we ever accept the notion that we are incapable to be self-governed. On the contrary, despite all the foreign influences that has infiltrated the core of our society, Haiti has remained strong, proud, defiant, and more confident than ever.
Haiti will rise not because of the charity of others, but because it is the want of all Haitians. We will succeed in our pursuit to be free—free of foreigners dictating the rule of our game, free of the dominance of foreign powers, free of the corruption of neo-colonialism, and yes we will be free to build the Haiti that our ancestors have dreamt about.
We are not a victimized nation. It is my hope that every single Haitian will realize how lucky he or she must be to have had the chance to be called Haitians. We will turn the ideas of a better Haiti tomorrow a reality today.