By Henry Beaucejour
Firstly, we need to define “good” as in a good leader. It is reasonable to construct a definition based on the assessment that such a leader left the nation better than he or she found it. This requires an individual whose commitment to Haiti and Haitian people surpasses their commitment to their own selfish desires.
Every country has had bouts with selfish, destructive leaders, but for us, this phenomena has been a consistent burning tire around the necks of the Haitian people. For a little island nation with a diminutive population, we have had far more than our share of despots, tyrants and dictators. It is as if we’ve been cursed with a-never-ending litany of leaders who seem to relish cannibalizing the flesh of our nation. From a glorious heroic past, where we gave birth to the term “liberty” and loaned it out to the rest of the Americas to becoming an abysmal failing state, our current happenstance certainly do not reflect our glorious origins. The question needs to be asked, who are we; where did we go wrong?
Our stock comes from those notable leaders, countless unsung heroes and heroines who made the ultimate sacrifice to give birth to an independent free and prosperous nation. The sober truth is that since our independence, we are pressed to find an unsullied Haitian leader to whom we could attached the label “good.” We may have lost our virtuous purpose when for example, we allow skin tone to become one of the determinate factors in a pernicious caste system. This is an evil legacy of our antebellum past which we rarely confront. In 1793 we may have been victorious in removing the chains from our broken bodies, but we continue to lose a 200 year battle to remove the psychological chains from our minds. The consequence is a deep scare that manifests itself in a resistant case of “inferiority complex”.
What is the solution? Where do we go from here? Sometimes it is necessary to reverse in order to go forward. We need to look back momentarily to reclaim the spirit of our founding fathers and mothers. There must be a reconnection with the worthy ideals of Liberté´ and Egalité. We must then forge ahead with bringing in to fruition the hopes and dreams of our ancestors who would be heartbroken to witness our current state. All of us have a role to play in reversing this vicious cycle that threatens to eviscerate those hopes and dreams from the soul of our people. There must be a recommitment to a mandate borne out of the worse suffering that gave birth to our precious nation. A mandate that proclaims our intent to reinvent Haiti to being a nation of justice and equality, a nation who values the God-given potential for all its citizens.
Former President Michel Martelly is gone and the country is left without a leader. An interim leader is going about the task of securing elections in order for us to “roll-the-dice” again for another president. Poverty, lack of basic infrastructure, housing, electricity, clean water are only samples of problems too numerous to itemized here, but detail the daunting obstacles that impede our process and relegate us to a nation stuck in the early 20th century. Those who yearn to be called President of Haiti must be almost narrowly focused on addressing these pressing issues of the common Haitian. At times it seems as if we have given up on our ability to hold these people accountable. They obviously have no fear of any consequence for their pillage and plunder of Haitian coffers. It is also absolutely delusional to believe that non-Haitians will have the necessary commitment to face our challenges as we will; in fact, they may have at times facilitated these cannibals. We appreciate the assistance of those with good intentions, but we must take the lead in our own recovery.
At some point we may wonder whether we are deserving of these treacherous leeches/leaders who seem to relish betraying the hopes and dreams for our children. I say this without equivocation, we have been plague with leaders that are a reflection of ourselves. The journey to recovering our lost legacy is on the shoulders of every Haitian. No leader can fix our problems without an engage, invested citizenry. It starts with you and me; it starts from the bottom up. We must look to ourselves to uphold fundamental principles of equality, honesty, truthfulness in our daily dealings. Morality must be our mantra. I dare not believe that the colonial powers have destroyed all vestiges of morality in us.
We must look for the beauty in each other versus regaling in pointing out the negative. We must begin to fall in love again with Haitians and being Haitian. Then and only then will we become blessed with leaders who reflect our own morality and commitment to Haiti. Our story is far from complete; our potential is yet to be realized.
Henry Beaucejour – Sanftec Datacenter CEO, Founder Editor of Haititechews, Digital Innovation Strategist, Senior Business and Technology Advisors