In Honor of Haiti – History’s Ground Zero

Today marks the 2nd anniversary of the tragic 7.0 earthquake that struck Haiti (or as the Indigenous Taino peoples refer to it: Quisqueya) in 2010.  Much light was shed on the condition of Haiti and how horrible it was that the earthquake would have such devastating impact on the impoverished nation.  What was left out of the mainstream media were the historical circumstances, by which that impoverishment came to be, like that fact that the country was forced to pay reparations to French slave owners for years after the revolution of Toussaint L’Ouverture.  Nor was it  mentioned that the U.S. backed Haitian dictators for their anti-communist tendencies and took over Haitian debt owed to France which ultimately wasn’t paid off until 1947.  By current value standards Haiti paid roughly 20 Billion dollars (USD) for it’s “independence” which occupied most of its GNP.

It is also important to keep in mind Haiti’s tragic history is a long standing one that began with the arrival of Columbus on his initial military expedition to the Americas in 1492.  Haiti, in other words, has also been a site of struggle and resistance.

This articulation of that history in poetic form, which I wrote a few months after the earthquake for a fundraising event hopes to honor Haiti and the struggle of the Haitian peoples.

The Trial of Quisqueya

By – Temicamatl

African Bodies Buried,

Deep in the rubble of time,

Now lie side by side with

Taino Souls forgotten,

Like historical epoch’s,

One piled on the other.

They push downward,

Until they reach the Core.

The Core where Mother Earth

Burns with fever,

As she shivers violently,

An act of Self-Defense,

Trying to shake off,

A 519-year old virus.

Because long before there was a 7.0,

There was a 1492,

And long before there were,

Neoliberal Imperialists,

Claiming to bring aid,

Their pale-faced Colonizing Murderous Grandfathers,

Claimed to bring God.

You see, Quisqueya,

Has always been ground zero,

A special place where Mr. White and Mr. West,

Pay homage to their wargod,

Hoping to maintain their dominion,

And contain our spirits.

But to that we resist.

Because our peoples dream visions,

That run long in the generations,

And one day HIS-tories,

Will give way to OUR-stories,

And in the Court of the Taino Ancestors,

Of the Arawak Confederacy,

And in the sprit of Brother L’Ouveture,

It is we who shall preside,

To bring the warmongers,

And their god….To Justice.

And they will be charged,

With the following crimes:

GENOCIDE, COLONIALISM,

SLAVERY, RACISM, SEXISM, ,

IMPERIALISM, HOMOPHOBIA, and

The Abandonment OF HUMANITY.

And like brother Malcolm said,

These charges cannot be denied.

So come brothers and sisters,

Let’s Sweat with our Mother,

While she quakes,

And let the lava rocks steam,

Until her fever breaks.

And you can keep your wargod,

Mr. Missionary because it is to,

Atabey and Bondye, we pray.

In our pagan and voodoo ways.

And let’s get one thing straight,

All that “help,”

All that “assistance,”

All that “charity,”

Ain’t nothing but a small down payment,

On your soul.

Because you can’t kill off one peoples,

Enslave another,

Undermine our resistance,

Make us pay for our freedom,

For One Hundred and Fifty Years,

Driving us into insurmountable debt,

Then kick us off our land (again),

To re-enslave us by,

Forcing us into your maquilas,

And all of a sudden think we’re cool—

Because you brought us a few bags of rice,

After you destroyed our rice fields,

In the first place,

When you installed,

Your puppet ass government.

Man fuck you!

And take your

Shock Doctrine and,

Your Soul snatching,

Child Stealing missionaries,

Back to the hell from which you came.

As a matter of fact,

This shit ain’t even going to trial,

Because we got all the evidence we need.

So here’s your double millenium plea bargain,

Mr. White and Mr. West.

I will do right by my ancestors by,

Keeping this Fire burning,

And their Knowledge sacred.

Because it is the only hope either one of us got.

And you will correct the wrongs of your people

By seeking the humanity that your grandfathers destroyed.

Starting at Ground Zero.

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