posted on Jan, 16 2010 @ 05:55 PM
Prior to Christopher Columbus stumbling upon this Caribbean Island there was no recorded history. It is true, and recorded by the very "white men"
the O.P. makes an undeniable effort to point out, that once arriving on this island it was shortly after that the indigenous people, known alternately
as Taino or Arawakan, suffered near extinction, by what is commonly accepted as a lack of immunity to Old World diseases brought over by the Spanish
Before Columbus had claimed this island in the name of the Spanish crown it was referred to by its inhabitants as Ayiti, Bohio, or Kiskeya. Columbus
renamed it La Isla Espanola otherwise known as The Spanish Island. This was in 1493, but by 1520 Spanish interests in this island were diminished
for the more compelling riches of gold and silver found in South America and Mexico.
Pirates from the British, French and Dutch countries soon took control of this island, as the indigenous population grew slowly and Spanish colonists
made many strategic mistakes as a reaction to the pirates. The villainy of Columbus and his attitudes toward indigenous people is well documented, as
well as the ambitions for building empires of European countries that goes well back to Alexander the Great and before. Of course, "white male"
European's were not the only men who engaged in these ambitions of empire building.
Before the Athenian and Roman Empires, examples of "white men", there were the Egyptian, Notre Chico, Indus Valley, Akkadian, Babylonian, Ancient
Chinese, Hittite, Assyrian, Persian and Carthaginian Empires, who were not the "white men" the O.P. endeavors to single out. Empire building comes
with its own villainy and "white men" don't hold any monopoly on the evils of humanity.
In terms of the suppression imposed upon Haiti by European colonists this is well documented and no one reasonably denies it. However, it should be
made clear that Haiti is the world's oldest "black" republic and the second oldest republic in the entire Western Hemisphere. While the U.S. did
not officially recognize Haiti until 1862, and indeed, that recognition was held back due to the efforts made by the Southern slave states of the
U.S., it was also due to the efforts, of Senator Charles Sumner, who was famously anti-slavery, their independence was recognized.
While this thread is about Haiti, the O.P. did make an effort to single out "white males" as being the scourge of Haiti, it should be noted that
these "white males", at least those of the U.S., are constantly lumped in with "white males" who fought earnestly, passionately and with strong
conviction against crimes such as slavery and the abrogations and derogation's of the rights of all people regardless of their race.
This republic established by the Haitians came with a constitution established in 1804 that, among other things, established freedom of religion in a
clear repudiation to the tyranny of the Catholic church, declared all citizen's "black" regardless of their skin color in an attempt to reverse the
hierarchy where "white" people had previously ruled at the top, and forbade "white" people to own property or establish domain upon Haitian soil.
This constitution was authorized by the Haitian General Jean-Jacques Dessalines who was a leader in the Haitian Revolution that led to their
independence. He did, however, declare himself Emperor of Haiti and imposed an autocratic styled government upon the people of Haiti. He was
eventually assassinated by his own advisers, Henri Christophe and Alexandre Petion in 1806. These two assassins then divided Haiti into two rival
governments. Chirstophe was responsible for authoritarian State of Haiti where he attempted to impose a strict and brutal system of agriculture
similar to the plantations of the Southern States in the U.S. and over labor in general. Petion, on the other hand, was instrumental in establishing
the Republic of Haiti in the South. Tragically, it was Chirstophe's semi slave state that produced the more stable economy of the two state
While the state founded by Petion was one of the more liberal and tolerant governments ever to exist in Haiti, it was also constantly on the brink of
bankruptcy which brought with that its own political chaos. Petion was also a key ally and supporter of Simon Bolivar, the South American
revolutionary responsible for helping South America gain its own independence. Petion gave Bolivar asylum when he needed it, and supplied his army
with soldiers and other support. Despite these noble acts, Petion finally gave in to despotism himself, after years of fighting with the senate of
this Southern state, suspending the legislature and declared himself president for life, which was short lived as he died of yellow fever soon
By 1811 Christophe had declared himself King Henri I and emulated the very "white" European monarchs the O.P. clearly reviles. Christophe wound up
committing suicide in 1820 rather than face the coup de tat by a populace tired of his authoritarian regime and it was Petion's successor, Jean
Pierre Boyer who finally united the divided Haiti into one country. Boyer, however, was not above empire building himself, and in 1822 occupied Santo
Domingo an island that had declared independence from Spain in 1821. The government Boyer had established was known for its iron fist rule, and
because of this there are still deep resentments between people from the Dominican Republic and Haiti.
Even so, Boyer had orchestrated the single largest free black immigration policy in history, aiding as much as 6000 black people from the U.S. in
immigrating to Haiti and helping them to settle in various parts of Haiti. Due to political debts, primarily with France, Boyer faced difficult
political and financial struggles and attempted to impose what is known as the Code Rural, which was an effort of forced labor not willingly accepted
by veterans of a revolution fought to escape such tyranny. For this reason, the exportation of sugar became virtually non existent and the economy
came to rely more upon the exportation of coffee that required less cultivation and can grow in a semi-wild state.
The political struggles of Haiti continued as Charles Riviere-Herard overthrew Boyer's regime in 1843, and this was followed by a series of
presidents transient in political nature until General Faustin Soulouque, a former slave, and it should be noted at this point that their obvious
French names should not be confused for European "white males", first became president but soon declared himself Emperor Faustin I. Faustin also
ruled with an iron fist until he was disposed by General Fabre Geffrad who also went by the name of the Duke of Tabara.
It wasn't until the election of Michel Domingue that a more feasible government and constitution was worked out, and by 1879 under the leadership of
Domingue, Haiti was finally able to pay off its debt to France and what followed was a time of prosperity and cultural renaissance.
It was that constitutional government established in 1867, that allowed Haiti to finally experience a time of relative peace and prosperity with much
progress in stabilizing the economy and political faith of the government by the Haitian people. For a time, the development of sugar and rum
industries in Haiti were considered to be models of economic growth in Latin America.
By 1911 the stability had come to an abrupt end with yet another revolution that led to foreign interventions, which is a history in scope too grand
to cover in the space that is left, but the point of the history related in this post is to counter the obvious myopic history lesson offered by the
O.P. and to stress that while "white males" no doubt engaged in villainies perpetuated upon the Haitian people, so too did Haitians engage in this
villainy as well, all too willing to enslave their very own people in the name of ambition and wealth.
[edit on 16-1-2010 by Jean Paul Zodeaux]