Wednesday, January 27, 2010


I think Malcolm X was right when he refused to divulge nor use his last name.

"A name given to me by my Slave Master. None of us blacks know our real names, our places of origins,our villages and our clans. That's why the X is just fine with me," he declared when he was interviewed on television in the early 60's.

Haiti was born out of tragedy. Picking cotton and planting rice as in the South of the United States makes for bloody hands and fingers and broken backs. Cutting sugar cane stalks two meters high is sheer torture. I doubt any strong, healthy, well-muscled man could last more than two years working 12 hours seven days a week. Sometimes, it seemed that the dead outnumbered the living. And so the slave ships kept coming to bring replacement after replacement in Haiti.

History books are by design methinks, hazy or ambiguous on just who was involved in the mega-profitable slave traffic. It isn't enough to say,"The white men."

Let's tear away all the omissions, lies, deceit and tergiversation. Let's put all the filth out in the open so that we can ALL get on with our lives.

Firstly: Everyone was involved in the slave trade.

The powerful African Kingdoms like the Balubas in the Congo, the Mandingos in the Congo as well as in what is now Senegal, the Zulus in Natal, South Africa, the Shangana Zulus of Mozambique, the Ashantis from Ghana and Somalia, the Watusis from north and central Africa, and the Ethiopian Amharics. I won't mention more because you now have an idea.

The warriors of these potent tribes would capture the meek and highly developed farmers, say the Bantus and the Yorubas and sell them for ivory, gold, gemstones, silver or other goods to the Arab caravans who did nothing but cross one end of the coast of Africa to another or crisscross the Sahara laden with camels carrying wooden cages of human black cargo.

One of the most important meeting points for the caravanserai was Zanzibar. It was ruled by a series of rapacious and capricious Kings. Once the slaves had been unloaded in Zanzibar and placed in crowded rooms where chains kept the men, women and teenage boys and girls from rebelling against their lot, they waited for the Negriere or Negriero Ships to pick them up.

The King of Zanzibar received a commission from the ship owners for each slave delivered "undamaged." More often than not, the shipping tycoons were Jews or Christian relatives of Jews. I have studied quite a few shipping registrations filed in Cadiz, Plymouth, Naples, Malta and Hamburg; their first and last names leave no doubt as to their religion. Jews.

To recapitulate; black animist kings sold their enemies or the weaker tribes off to the Muslim Arabs. The Muslims would then resell the slaves to the so called captains of the Negriere ships, Christians mostly. Except that the true owners of the ships were Jews. After unimaginable anguish, the ships would arrive at their destinations, Port-au-Prince, Havana, Acapulco, Veracruz and Charleston.

Some groups of black slaves had already been "reserved" by their Christian European owners. Most had not, and special slave markets took place. In it a prospective owner could see the so called " goods for sale."

It was rare to see a slave fully clothed. The Sales Reps liked their women and men totally naked. Scrutinized, touched, pinched, prodded, roughly fondled, and lewdly studied. Who were these middlemen? Christians and Jews.

At last the plantation owners made their selections.

"I'll buy that tall nigra with the peatrly teeth, the other one next to him with the biggest peckah I ever saw. Great for breeding. That Negresse with the fine hips is definitely a brood mare. I want more like her."

 And so it went. These men prattled on about God and Jesus and Love during Sunday services. They beat their breasts during  the Agnus Dei - Lamb of God part of the Mass, and loudly proclaimed" MEA CULPA, MEA MASSIMA CULPA".  Non-existent mea culpas, pharisaical breast beating but the practice of Slavery continued and flourished.

"Are the Masters and us following the same God?" asked the Enslaved, confused and angry.

I can only marvel at the resilience of the people of Haiti. Without their deep faith in the Creator and in Voudon, they would not have survived.

And then the earthquake struck. 200,000 souls perished, thousands more maimed, mutilated and wounded. All bridges and roads destroyed. What was the first thing the survivors did?


They did not wait for help and assistance which would often come as well they knew, with unbreakable strings attached. To their eternal credit MSF - Medecins Sans Frontieres, Doctors Without Borders came to Haiti years ago and STAYED.  Yet their hospital and clinic was reduced to rubble. Never mind, the doctors and nurses and aides set up tents and set to work. A few candles pierced the darkness and the bereaved people sang, celebrated Life and Death and chanted prayers in their Patois and in Voodoo.

The white media reported Looters. LOOTERS?????

Shut up!
What can one loot from those who POSSESS NOTHING of physical goods. What can be stolen from those who are beyond poor and exist in an eternal state of  affliction and disease known as POVERTY??????.

The walking wounded limped among the debris and rubble cutting their feet, legs, arms and hands to recover a pitiful blanket, a cracked chair, working flashlight batteries and flashlights ( painfully few indeed) a few gourds,bolts of fabric to place the dead, dying or the wounded.

These journalists and newscasters should look at their miserable lives instead of maligning the wounded and the far from crushed people of Haiti. Oh, their salaries are huge. I think most journalists and reporters are overpaid, underworked, oversexed, and should be sacked. I confess it's not a viable solution. Those who will replace them will be worse jackals and vultures. Better the devil you know.

Thank God for Al-Jazeera and Telesur. Thank the Creator for Sheikha Mousa of Qatar and Hugo Chavez of Venezuela. without them, the world would not have seen the ugly, unvarnished, uncensored news that was/is Haiti.    


  1. "Everyone was involved in the slave trade."

    Including the merchants of America's northern states, especially bloody New England. At least some of the Southern slaveowners, many of whom inherited them and were not able to emancipate them under strict manumission laws, treated them with basic decency. But the majority of American slave traders were Yankees.

    In this scene from "1776", at the 4:00 mark Mr Rutledge of South Carolina sings a blistering indictment of hypocritical Yankee slave traders:

  2. --

    See above link: for a wonderfuly inspiring look at the lives of the late Dr. William Larimer Mellon and wife Gwen, who founded the Hopital Albert Schweitzer in Deschapelle, Haiti -- which is doing God's work today, post-quake.

    On another note: although I haven't seen Al Jerezza or Chavez's Haitian reporting, the cable coverage here was pretty graphic.


Isabel Van Fechtmann

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