Why blame others?
The Editor, Sir:
It is such a pity that so-called historians are using the disaster that occurred in Haiti as a pretext to blame the Europeans and Americans again for the backwardness of that country. Why is it that when we hear talk about the reasons for Haiti's poverty it is the Europeans and Americans who are to blame?
Let us assume that these 'historians' are correct. Haiti is poor because the Europeans and Americans were, and are still, keeping its people poor. Isn't this then an excellent basis on which to conclude that the Haitians lack the intellectual means to pull themselves up despite the odds? According to these historians, the Europeans have managed to hold down the Haitians now for more than 200 years, and the Haitians can do nothing about it!
I am especially baffled by the claim of these historians that after winning their war of independence, the Haitians were forced to pay reparations to France for its victory. What a laugh! I always thought it was the victor who dictated the peace terms. If this claim is true, then either the French were very smart, or the Haitians were very dumb!
I think these so-called historians are doing a better job of dehumanising the Haitians than any American, European or even earthquake could!
The claims of these historians can be summed up in two words: total nonsense! What about the Haitians themselves? Don't they have anything to do with their lot? Isn't two centuries more than enough time for a people to become great, despite the odds?
Wouldn't it be good if Haiti was a strong country today in spite of its past? Wouldn't it have been even better if these so-called historians could suggest ways in which this could have been so? Or is it that, as they cannot see the Haitians as ever being able to be a great people, they have to find others to blame?
When are we going to grow up? These historians - they read much, but understand little.
I am, etc.,
MICHAEL A DINGWALL