Haitian Americans, haiti news, haitian meetings
“Owning Our Future-Haitian Perspectives in Film” today at the Haitian Diaspora Challenge Initiative Symposium. Photo via csfilm.org

By Bobb Rousseau | Opinion Contributor

At one time, they wanted to vote. Now, they want to be in the country’s next government. The Haitian diaspora form associations and councils, attend Zoom meetings, and, through letters, invite the United States to meddle in Haiti’s political affairs. They think that they are better suited to lead or be part of a transitional government in Haiti because of their wealth and knowledge.

However, to me, they are a bunch of wanna-bes and out-of-touch political slacktivists

In the “Belling the Cat,” also known as “The Bell and the Cat” or “The Mice in Council,” Aesop penned a fabulous fable. It reflects the behavior of Haitian Americans toward their homeland’s demise.

In the tale, mice complain that their likes are disappearing from the community every day. One day, some in the mouse leadership community organize a big meeting; other bright and rich mice follow suit by organizing subsequent meetings. They conclude that the cat is the problem. “We have to do something; if not, we will never get to walk the streets as we must again,” they agree. 

They come up with a plan that seems very simple, but they know it will be successful. All they have to do is to hang a bell about the cat’s neck. When they hear the bell ringing, they will know immediately that their enemy is coming. They will jump on him to beat him to his death. All the mice applaud the plan.

However, there is a small problem. In the midst of rejoicing over their good fortune, no mouse wants to volunteer itself to be the sacrificial lamb or the one to bell the cat. 

Needless to say, the plan never goes into execution because it is one thing to say that something should be done, but quite a different matter to do it. To cut the story short, the cat continues to hunt the mice, and the mice continue to complain and propose impossible solutions. 

In Haiti’s politics, the government is the cat, while the Haitian diaspora is the leadership of the hunted mice. They launch organizations and organize meetings every day to come up with various good enough ideas to save Haiti. Nevertheless, they have yet to materialize such strategies since no one wants to be the leader to carry the bell. 

Just like the mice, the diaspora has goodwill to change things in Haiti. However, each person is waiting for the other one to do so because they think the next one has more time to start the revolution that the people in Haiti desperately need. Much like the mice community, intelligent individuals are in the Haitian diaspora, but they are garrulous, cowards and lazy.

Much like the mice, the Haitian diaspora continues to make excuses for not showing up for Haiti. Like the mice, the Haitian diaspora is the first to go on social media to convey their opinions or disagreement with government actions. However, when it is time for them to contribute either physically or financially to their homeland’s reconstruction efforts, they go off the grid. They hope that someone else does it for them.

These mice were not energetically devoted to applying retaliatory methods against the cat that kept harassing and pouncing on them. So is the Haitian diaspora. Haitian Americans complain about lousy governance as they think they are the solution to the country’s problems. However, between their ideas and their feasibility, they lack the courage to affect the value of their plans. 

To conclude:

  1. The Haitian diaspora is all foam, no actions; they are selfish, narcissists and self-interested.
  2. Haitian diaspora organizations are multiplying in the United States faster than political parties in Haiti.
  3. Haitian diaspora’s ideas are unfeasible because they never leave Zoom meetings and WhatsApp groups. 
  4. The Haitian diaspora believes that only the United States can save Haiti.
  5. The Haitian diaspora is coward, lazy and slothful.

Bobb Rousseau holds a Ph.D. in Administration and Public Policy with specializations in Public Law and Managing Local Government. Dr. Rousseau firmly believes that the Haitian diaspora in the United States is at a prime stage to build an attractive political force that can shift U.S. immigration, diplomacy, and humanitarian aid to Haiti and to advance the Haitian agenda around the world.

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  1. Bobb Rousseau- tag you’re it! Take the lead, perhaps others will follow. Best of luck. Sidebar- without the Haitian diaspora many Haitian nationals (who the government of Haiti is responsible for…) would not have a place to stay, a meal to eat today, would not be able to pay school fees, or deal with any of day to day crisis. To dismiss their contributions is unethical on your part.

  2. I think this opinion is very harsh in its treatment of a very complex issue. I understand the strong feelings of the writer but I would rather less name calling and more in the way of actual alternative plans. The 5 summary points are mostly name calling and offer no alternatives. I would submit that the stop trying to continue the wedge between the “Haitian Diaspora” and Haitians in Haiti and find a way to unite the two. As a Haitian-American, I can’t possibly know all that’s needed to fix what ails Haiti, I haven’t lived there in over 30 years. However, just like those that continue to live there my love for Haiti is strong and my desire to see prosperity in Haiti is absolute! So instead of calling people like me cowards, do the brave thing and engage with us on a level that helps us to put our good intentions into action. Sign on to the next zoom call and be a part of the conversation. Ask for action items, timelines, concrete steps for the things being proposed and be a part of those that want to help. “Nan lavi sa! Pa jete san w pa gade!”

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