"Recall everything I have sacrificed to fly to your defense -- relatives, children, wealth, so that now the only riches I possess is your freedom. Recall that my name horrifies all those who are enslavers, and that tyrants and despots everywhere only bring themselves to utter it when they curse the day I was born. Remember, if you should ever discard or forget the law that the God who watches over your well being has dictated to me for your happiness, you will deserve the fate that inures to ungrateful peoples. " -- Janjak Desalin (Jean Jacques Dessalines), Haiti's Founding father, quote from the Haitian Act of Independence, January 1, 1804
January 1, 2012 will make 208 years since Haiti abolished European enslavement, the Triangular Trade, force assimilation/ethnic cleansing, direct colonialism and became an independent Black nation. Since the assassination of Haiti's founding father, Janjak Desalin in 1806, just two years after independence, Haiti has been struggling against neocolonialism.
Ours has been a long struggle. It started, 509 years ago in 1503 when the first kidnapped African captives set enchained feet on what is now known as Haitian soil.
As Bayyinah Bello says, "Ayiti's mission is to create a land, a space, where all Black people who are in trouble anywhere in the world can come in and find refuge. So when you understand that, you also understand why, any nation with this kind of mission in this white supremacist world we are living in, will be, must be, continuously under attack from every corner. That's normal. That's natural." (See also, Haiti the Rebel)
Back on Jan. 1, 1804, European/U.S. barbarity and savagery received its greatest blow in the Western Hemisphere. We continue to face their guns, greed, foreign germs and odious cruelties. But we also continue to celebrate our victories, humanity and determination not to be as shallow and violent as those who endlessly destroy our people for sport and greed. Haitians have been stigmatized and forced to pay with their lives and freedom for that achievement ever since.
Every Jan. 1st marks Haiti's freedom day.
Oceans of our blood have poured and watered the soil to nourish civilized co-existence on this planet Earth and continue, this very minute, to soak the earth needlessly, simply because Haitians were the first to counter, in combat, European/U.S. biological fatalism, destroy their myth of white superiority and to do what even Spartacus could not.
How should Haitians mark this anniversary? Who should we confer with
about our awesome burden, our plight, our long struggle to be treated as
human beings by the European "discoverers" and settlers? About the U.N.
soldiers' massacres, rapes of our women, importation of cholera and
repression of Haiti's defenseless poor? About this insane Western force
that attacks all that is not like itself, even though it had no
attackers? About Bartholomew De La Casas' "New World," enmeshed in its
own armor of materiality, caged in centuries of self-serving lies that
defends itself endlessly from the planet's masses, bringing genocide it
veils in false declarations of benevolence? (See full text of HLLN's
regular Jan 1st essay at Another Independence Day Under Occupation.)