The reply does address the accountability, the 200 years practice was over since Jan 12, 2010. The Haitian government used to be a way to get rich quick, but not anymore and make no mistake about it.
Secondly, Haiti is an independent country. It is truth that most of Haiti past leaders cannot explain their fortune but if we implement the constitution as it is writing and not selectively; we should not have this problem. Also, the constitution called for decentralization; again, if we implement it, we will not be in this mess today. The constitution has called for a Permanent Electoral Council and all Departments shall be represented; again, if we implement the constitution, we will not be in this mess today. The constitution called for a Professional military force; again, if it was implemented, we will not be in this mess today. (Oops! we do not need a military force, but what I see right now is the U.S. military controlling the airport and the streets)
When talking about corruption with the past and current Haitian leaders, you should remove the name of these three outstanding Haitian leaders: President Dumarsais Estime, Nissage Saget and Madame Pascal Ertha Trouillot. Remember, the first woman President, Madame Ertha Pascal Trouillot had organized a free, a fair and an impartial election. She remained neutral from start to finish.
My friends Haiti has serious and responsible people; when they are in charge, you will like what you see. Key posts will be allocated to those who can and not on friendship. The new Haiti is coming and it will be faster than you can imagine.
An Earthquake of proportion had just destroyed 2 Departments. The remaining 8 departments are still vulnerable to any other natural disaster, men-made disaster and as well as accidents.
As I’m writing this note, we still have people who have not received any assistance. The focus should be right now to provide them food and shelters. We lost score of professors and students, the focus should be: finding teachers to go teach our kids and children and our youths in camp that will be erected around Port-au-Prince and other affected area.
There is a time for everything; now, it is the time to put on your boots, your gloves and get to work. This is not the time for any literature my friends. Shelters need to be built, camps need to be built, relocate score of people throughout the country and provide them assistance.
Most of you are from somewhere in Haiti. May be your hometown or parents hometown has electricity. Last Christmas I was in my hometown Ouanaminthe to say a final goodbye to my mother who left this world two days shy of her birthday. As I went up to the roof of a heavy concrete house, I contemplate the city, I saw lights everywhere and house nested to each other. The houses are built so close that two people may not be able to walk side by side; now, imagine of an accidental fire.
How come a town with electricity does not have a fire station with trained firefighters? I do not believe that you have one in your hometown either.
Therefore, we who are living in the Diaspora shall team-up with the people in your region to build a fire station, buy at least a fire truck and provide training to the fire fighters. This shall be done now.
Each time there is a fire, we heard three hundred houses burned and people trying to extinguish fire with bucket of water. A major fire with a high wind may destroy the whole city and this can be avoided.
I do not address the Haitian Government or the International community, I address you. You need to team-up with the people from your hometown who are living in the U.S. and Canada and other places and join with those who are living back home and put in place an emergency response unit which will include: A fire station, at least one fire truck, trained firefighters, common disaster medicine and staff it at least with one LPN.
Where the fund will come from? Your pocket, your wallet. Regional collection and do it.
The people of Ouanaminthe, the people of Fort-liberté, Hinche, Pestel, and throughout the country; you need a fire truck and an emergency response unit.
The American people organized a nationwide telethon for Haiti; if we were organized, we could have done a similar one in the U.S.
Concerned Haitian Nationals can use the Civism Conference that will be taking place in Atlanta, GA this summer (July 10, 2010) to put in place a skeleton committee in the Leadership segment.
My Question to you: should the United States and the International Community put a fire station in every town in Haiti or should you be the one doing it?
Should you organize yourselves in the U.S. like the Jews, the Cubans or should a different nationality invite you to do it?
Organizing the Haitian Diaspora in the U.S.!
If the State Department has a desire to communicate important information to the Haitian Diaspora: Whom they will call?
If these states, such as New Jersey, NY, Florida, Georgia, California, Illinois, Massachusetts, Louisiana, Arizona and so on, want to communicate pertinent information to the Haitian Diaspora within their own state: Whom they will call?
If the state of Haiti requested the presence of an official Delegation of the Haitian Diaspora in the U.S to attend an important function: who are going to be part of that official Delegation?
When the Haitian Parliament decides to amend the 1987 Constitution, it will create a constitutional amending commission. It will be great to include a member of the Haitian Diaspora in the U.S., Canada and so on. Whom will be invited?
Today, no one in this room can answer these legitimate questions. If I ask the same questions to the Jews and the Cubans in the U.S., they will provide an answer. (The Jews and the Cubans do influence the U.S. policy toward their country.)
Ladies and Gentlemen: Organization is the key of creating a structural Haitian Diaspora in the U.S.
If we organize ourselves and put structure in place, we will be able to influence the U.S. policy toward Haiti and most significantly we will receive respect from the new Haitian generation who has been complaining tremendously …
How to organize the Haitian Diaspora in the U.S.?
A long time ago, NY and Miami used to be the strong hold of the Haitian Diaspora but during the last 20 years we have seen score of emerging Haitian communities throughout the continental of the United States and the territories.
It is neither by chance nor accident that we convene today in Chicago, a city that was founded by a Haitian National in 1772. It is neither by chance nor accident that many of our ancestors who freed Haiti were involved in the Battle of Savannah in 1779. There is always some precedence and the Haitian people are known for their creativity and their heroine.
We have done great thing in the past and we had a great past. During our independence war, we had various groups that were fighting the French independently like we have today score of Haitian Based organizations that are assisting Haiti independently. They were winning many battles but it was impossible to win the war. The Haitian Based organizations are doing a great job in assisting the Haitian people but they were powerless in meeting all their needs and two months ago, that hunger strike can be a decisive moment to change course. On May 18, 1803 our ancestors had finally convened at Arcahais and created a Union and six months later Haiti became the second independent country after the U.S. in the new world. If all these Haitian based Organizations and willing Haitian Nationals and friends of Haiti can link themselves together, I strongly believe that they will be in a better position to assist the country effectively and efficiently.
The time to organize the Haitian Diaspora in the U. S. was yesterday and we can do it. The United States is looking forward to speak to a legitimate Haitian Representative in the Diaspora. The elected Haitian officials who are here today cannot wait to speak to a legitimate Haitian representative in the Diaspora. Today, they are talking to this group or that group and sometimes within the same city or the same state.
Two years ago, I was invited to the Atlanta Regional Commission for a snapshot. I saw the representative member of the Somalis Community, the Mexican, the Nicaraguan, the Brazilian, the Jamaican, the Congolese, and the Ethiopian and so on and I wish that the Haitians in Atlanta could have had one as well.
Many of you today are coming from various states and Haitian communities; I wish that you could have represented the Haitian communities of New Jersey, NY, Miami, Chicago, Boston, and Atlanta and so on instead of a group or your group.
Here are my suggestions:
We can create a temporary Representative Team of 11 members with willing people from various states such as Florida, NY, Illinois, New Hampshire, MA, California, and New Jersey and so on. The required criterions: they have to be involved and actually do some thing and diverse and it shall be open to all.
And at the same time, we have to organize ourselves within our individual state and also our needs are different from state to state.
1) A city Link (One representative) 2) A county Link (One representative)
3) A metro Link (One representative) 4) a District Link (One representative)
5) A State Link (One representative)
Then divide the U.S. into 4 to 5 regions
Western Region (One representative) Northern Region (One representative)
Eastern Region (One representative) Southern Region (One representative)
Midwest Region (One representative)
Each Region will then select a Regional Delegate and These five Regional Delegates are ipso facto the legitimate elected leaders of the Haitian Diaspora in the U.S.
Among them they will vote for a president (for protocol only) but all five shall have the same power and everything must be decided by an open vote.
If we arrive to put this in place, we will be in our way to assist Haiti more efficiently, influence the U.S. policy toward Haiti and Haitian Nationals and also play a political role in the U.S. and as well as in Haiti.
It is doable and it can be done. Can we use the power of the net to link every willing Haitian Community throughout the United States? Yes, we can.
If we organize ourselves, we can be soon doing the same thing the Jews and the Cubans are doing in influencing the U.S. policy toward their respective country. Most Haitian nationals who are coming here have to struggle like we did; again, if we organize ourselves, we can make their transition a little better and we can assist Haiti effectively and efficiently.
It is my hope that one day like today when the U.S. government wants to contact the Haitian Diaspora; it will meet with a legitimate Representative member of the Haitian Diaspora in the U.S. and not a group. Also, it is my hope that when a Delegation of the Haitian Diaspora visiting Haiti, it will speak for the Diaspora and not for a group.
We have to learn from our ancestors; back then, they knew that they had to unify to win the war; today, if you want to win the economic war, if you want to assist the Haitian people back home, we have no other choice but to unify our force.
On Saturday, May 31, 2008 the Democratic Party and the two remaining candidates had sent a clear message to all of us. They invited you to Compromise. It cannot be your way or no way. You can say whatever you want but they have voted with a show of hand live on TV to uphold the rules of law. The supporters of Senator Clinton wanted to count all and she lost; the same supporter asked to support the 50/50 split and life goes on.
My fellow Haitian people, we are living in a country of opportunity and a country that has always used the language of compromise to resolve its problems. We are also the product of a compromise and a Union.
La promotion de l’homme Haïtien aux Etats-Unis; La fierté de l’Haïtien; Sa capacité de travail; Ensemble on peut tout, seul on ne peut rien, il faut l’Union. Maintenant, concrétisons cette devise qui n’a jamais été appliquée en Haïti. Prenons cette devise, unissons-nous, “mettez-nous” ensemble, unissons pour être plus fort.
Joseph Alfred, MA in Foreign Language Education (USF, Tampa, FL)
Doctoral Candidate in Educational Leadership (Argosy University, Atlanta, GA)
World Language Dept Chair at Avondale High School
P.O. BOX 1022
Douglasville, GA 30133-1022