Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Conquest of Haiti

In the article, The conquest of Haiti, Herbert J. Seligman has a few talking points in regards to the United States role in occupying Haiti. The article talks about the struggles, Resistance, massacres and military presence/ role that occurred and positive aspects of occupying Haiti. I have selected a few quotes that I would like to elaborate on.

"The history of the American invasion of Haiti is only additional evidence that
the United States is among those Powers in whose international dealings
democracy and freedom are mere words, and human lives negligible in
the face of racial
snobbery, political chicane, and money."

The Americans wanted the invasion of Haiti to seem like it was for the benefit for the country or the people of the country when it was for the gains for the Americans. Throughout the whole process of the invasion, the Haitians were treated badly. Many Haitians died from military massacres.

"The invasion was one of defense against any Power which, taking control of Haiti, a weaker state, might use its territory as a base for naval action against the Panama Canal or the Unites States"

How I am understanding this quote from the article; the Americans wanted to protect itself from all that wanted to used the location of Haiti for their own personal defense against any potential attack against the United States or the Panama Canal.

"The American hold fortified by a convention empowering the United states to administer Haitian customs and finance for twenty years, or as much longer as the United states sees fit; and by revised Constitution of Haiti removing the Prohibition against alien ownership of land thus enabling Americans to purchase the most fertile areas in the country." This revision of the

Haitian Constitution was only for financial gain. The Americans took over land that would generate capital and make money off the Haitian land and leave the country in its demise. How is a country to thrive if most of its fertile lands are owned by Americans? How are the fruits of the Haitian labour brought back to the country? OK.... Yes there were a few accomplishments set forth like National Highways were built, all roads practically lead to the capital Port- Au- Prince, National Banks... But all were owned by Americans. Even the Sugar Mills and Lighting plants were owned by Americans. How are the Haitians supposed to prosper off of wealth that does not belong to them?

"One officer remarked to me that if he detest to draw a cartoon of the occupation of Haiti he wold represent a blank man held down by the white soldier, while another white man went through the black man's pocket."

This statement in itself speaks for itself but let me elaborate.... This statement alone represents the racial discrimination on blacks in the country; for instance the reference to the white soldier as apposed to saying a soldier... if this was not racially inspired then Soldier should have been a generalization as apposed to adding race with it. The quotes also talks about the white soldier holding the black man down.... this to me is a reference to the power the whites had over the blacks and the inequality. Lastly, the part of the quote that states " while another white man went through the black man's pocket" represents to me the lack of identity, individuality and loss of family in which the black man has had to deal with. To me this quote speaks truth to what black men and women have gone through throughout history. As people would always say 'This is a black man's struggle" never being able to hold anything down because some one is always taking from you and reminding you of who and what you are.... Inferior to the whites.