Haiti

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Haiti is a French and Creole speaking Latin American Caribbean country located on the western third of Hispaniola island, which it shares with the Dominican Republic.

History

Haiti has an unusually high Black share of the population for a country outside of Africa. In part, this is due to there being few Amerindians on the island when France established a colony named Saint-Domingue, with a plantation economy based on Black slaves. After the French Revolution in 1789, and during the following conflicts between Britain and France, there was a period of slave rebellions, wars, external interventions by Britain and France, and White flight.

In 1804, a genocide of the remaining White population occurred as the country became independent.

Afrocentric descriptions may include that Blacks defeated France and Napoleon, not mentioning the roles of French liberals, Mulattoes, the ongoing wars between Britain and France, British support to anti-French forces and the British blockade preventing support to the French forces, and tropical diseases killing a large part of the French forces.[1]

After independence, Haiti has been ruled by Blacks for two centuries and few Whites have lived in the country.

A 2006 article stated that "For a time, abolitionists believed black-run Haiti would be a shining example of what emancipation would achieve. They predicted lush prosperity, with Haitian merchantmen cruising the world’s seas. This only proves how far back white naïveté goes. In the 1820s, as Haiti sunk into misery, President Jean-Pierre Boyer invited free blacks from America to come help build the country. At least 6,000 arrived from the Philadelphia area, but thousands returned disillusioned. Better to live in a slave-holding society run by whites than in black-run chaos."[2]

Poverty

Haiti's border with the Dominican Republic in 2002 shows deforestation on the Haitian side. Haitians use wood and charcoal as their primary fuel source.

Haiti is one of the world's poorest countries and the poorest in the Americas region.

A 2001 articles stated that "Haiti is a nation of eight million people packed into an area the size of Maryland. The illiteracy rate is 60 percent, the unemployment rate 65 percent, and the average per capita annual income is estimated at $225 — the lowest in the hemisphere and less than one tenth the Latin America/Caribbean average. The United Nations says 60 percent of the population is sexually active by age 12 and the average number of births per woman is 4.8-the highest in the hemisphere. The population is expected to double to 16 million by 2030, and Haiti’s overpopulation is ravaging the environment. At the turn of the century it still had half of its original forests, but today only 1.5 percent are left. Most Haitians depend on firewood for fuel. Every year American relief workers plant six million saplings but Haitians cut down 25-30 million trees, causing the erosion of 15,000 acres of farmland. As a result, 25 of Haiti’s 30 watersheds are essentially denuded. Haiti must import 60 percent of its food, and is teeming with poor, diseased, desperate people eager to come to America. Only the US Coast Guard prevents the nation from moving en masse to Florida. It was not always like this in the land once called “the gem of the West Indies.” [...]

The colony was one of the leading exporters of coffee, sugar, cocoa and cotton, and in 1789 the dollar value of its trade exceeded that of the United States. [...]

Many Haitian children are fed by aid from the U.S. and the U.N. Haiti gets by far the biggest slice of U.S. aid in the Western Hemisphere (20 percent). From 1994 to 1999, U.S. taxpayers poured over $2.3 billion dollars into Haiti but relief officials are giving up in dismay at the meager results."[1]

Contemporary slavery

"Besides AIDS, crime, drugs, poverty and environmental destruction, Haiti has a form of slavery called restavec. A Haitian Creole term meaning “stays with,” a restavec is a poor child sold to a wealthy family as a servant. The government itself accepts a U.N. estimate of 300,000 such children in Haiti. Jean-Robert Cadet, a former restavec who escaped to America wrote a book in 1999 called Restavec: From Haitian Slave Child to Middle Class American. He says restavecs “are treated worse than slaves because . . . their supply seems inexhaustible.” Mr. Cadet says restavecs are often beaten and raped. Despite prodding from the U.N., the European Union, and the Catholic Church, Haitian officials have done nothing to stop this practice."[1]

Blacks and Mulattoes

Despite few Whites having lived in the country for two centuries, there is still a racial hierarchy, with Mulattoes usually having a higher socioeconomic status than Blacks.[3]

"With the defeat of the whites, mulattos expected to rule in their place, exploiting the labor of black slaves, but the blacks, led by General Pierre Dominique Toussaint L’Ouverture (1743-1803) and supported by the French government, rose up against the mulattos. Badly outnumbered and without allies, “the yellow caste” soon met the same fate as the whites. L’Ouverture and his troops slaughtered them by the thousand."[1]

Haitians in Canada

The French-speaking Canadian province Quebec has had a policy of favoring immigrants from French-speaking Haiti. Despite the dissimilar history to Blacks in the United States, outcomes on many variables have been stated to be similarly negative.[4]

See also

External links

Article archives

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 The Revolution in Haiti https://www.amren.com/news/2005/09/the_revolution/
  2. Slavery in the New World https://www.amren.com/news/2017/10/slavery-david-brion-davis-inhuman-bondage/
  3. Lynn, Richard. The global bell curve: Race, IQ, and inequality worldwide. Washington Summit Publishers, 2008.
  4. The Great ‘White’ North https://www.amren.com/archives/back-issues/march-1991/#cover
Part of this article consists of modified text from Wikipedia, and the article is therefore licensed under GFDL.