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Vivens Joachim Column Picture ProfileHaitians have become smarter slaves, don’t you think?
By: Doudou Joachim, NTK contributor

In my humble opinion, I think Haitians living abroad have become smarter slaves within a more complex, sophisticated, and well-planned system. For years, countries like the USA, France, and Canada have preached around the world the fundamentals of freedom for all, human rights, and equity or equality amongst all people. While in the surface, these are indeed some of the fundamental rights that all human-beings should have, but for whom these basic rights apply to in today’s geopolitical atmosphere? Are they simply for Americans, for French, or for Canadians only? Isn’t it a bit too obvious that there are just a few countries that are the ultimate benefactors? If questions are meant to enlighten our mind, we, Haitians, should ask ourselves these simple questions. Why are we living away from home, away from our homeland, away from our culture, and away from our people? Some may seek to provide the more obvious reasons like: Economic reasons! Political reasons! Peace of mind! Greater life fulfillment! Stability! Etc…What was it REALLY that forced us to leave?

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What I am trying to address here is that reason that most cannot explained but is engrained in our subconscious and may never come out as we simply don’t know it’s there to analyze. Others will provide Freudian-type analysis that may offend some, and that's how it should be. That’s freedom, right? My questions to all Haitians living abroad (including myself) are: have we ever considered the toll our choices to leave have taken on us, our family, our culture, and our country? Have we ever wondered why many of us have more than one full time job, children where we live or in Haiti, relatives left behind, all of whom we maintain an economic and moral responsibilities to take care of? How many of us cannot find time to socialize with folks within our own community? Sadly, times to be parents to our own children are lost because we cannot be at their school's events; we cannot check if they are doing their homework; we leave them to educate themselves through interaction with peers, with unsupervised internet surfing, and the television-set too often on and for far too long? How many of us have fallen to the habit of buying “materials” for our kids to compensate for our absence and for our parenting weaknesses hoping to avoid the natural stress that comes with normal parenting?

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I can go on and on with a long list of things we choose to do instead of what we ought to do. If we want to be honest, we can add to this list and look ourselves in the mirror and ask: "what am I doing? What is the point of being away from home? Why am I living to basically enrich another nation and its people? Anyway, the point is that we have done a lot to improve, to enrich, and to benefit a system that is simply not ours. Sadly, many of us have not given this any thought of consequences, and many others make the simple choice to not take the time to fully grasp it. For instance, most of us may have been told at some point in our lives that we could "make it" in America, in France, in Canada, or any other developed-countries. I draw a subtle line in the definition of “making it” in the sense that it can be personal, and quite frankly, it is more subjective than we all can ever come to agree on. Funnily, I was talking to a Greek man, a friend I would say, who recited the same story that many of us have heard before: "In America, money grows in trees." The problems hit our door once we found that it requires a lot of hard work (and for many some gruesome hardship) to make money, especially for those who have not gotten the adequate education to prosper financially, economically, and socially.

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Guess what happens then? Many of us allow our ego to kick in. Our ego tells us that we cannot disappoint those relatives and friends left back home. Since we tend to convince ourselves that we have a solution for every bad decision we’ve made, we therefore fully engage into the system. Two full time jobs; three part time jobs; and many other bad habits become our answer to fill the emptiness that living away from home naturally creates. Unfortunately, for too many of us, such behavior becomes our new normal. In other words, if someone tries to work one job, we tend to label that person "lazy," "irresponsible," "inconsiderate," etc. The pressure mounts and we all become part of a system of 'neo-slaverism' that benefits the super-riches; reward us with some form of social acceptance; give us some financial compensation in return for our blinded support; allow us to give back (or share) some of our financial and material acquisitions to those left back home; sadly force many of us to create a larger gap between social groups within our own culture; live to show the world that “Yes we made it,” etc.

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I guess my point is with those accomplishments (scholarly, financially, economically, socially, etc…), Haitians do not see that they are actually servant of a system that is not theirs. Sadly, our mission to serve the US, Canada, or France is accomplished. Our personal financial mission to accommodate and help family left behind (for some) is fulfilled. Never have we asked ourselves why all our accomplishments are not for the betterment of our own system? A Haitian system that calls us to be better parents! To be better educators! To be better leaders! And more importantly, shouldn’t we be asking ourselves why do we have to live according to any other country’s standard of living? Why aren’t we makers instead of users? Why aren’t we producers instead of mostly consumers? Why aren’t we protectors of our culture instead of being too passive to display it to the rest of the world? Why most of our Haitian intellectuals are guests instead of hosts? On a moral level, why can't we live humbly within our financial means, free of social or cultural pressure from ourselves, and also from other countries that do not understand and accept our culture? It seems to me that if we have opened our doors to allow the world to see us as a weak and divided nation, whose fault is it then if they seek to exploit us? Freedom comes with responsibilities. For those who have no interest in promoting real cultural freedom for Haitians, I would simply ask our people to manifest our collective strengths in “L’union fait la force” to reject all agenda that do not promote equitable benefit for all? Again, who I am kidding! Those are some of the questions that have started to cross my mind? I guess that’s part of me growing up. What are your questions?

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Until next time! Peace, patriotism, and love paske Nou Tout Konekte!

Haitians living abroad, are they smarter slaves? Right or Wrong?

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