Democracy now! There was an excellent performance in response Time ‘ Tree. As co-host Juan Gonzalez notes, “It’s a lot new to people who haven’t noticed.”
We take a closer look at The New York Times’ new series, The Ransom, which explores how France destroyed the Haitian economy by forcing Haiti to pay heavy compensation for the loss of slave labor. In which the world’s first black republic was established. 1804.
We talk to historians Westenley Alsenat and Gerald Horn about the story of Haiti’s finances and how Haiti’s demand for compensation has been repeatedly blocked. Alsenat says the series “exposes the rest of the world to a knowledge that has actually existed for hundreds of years,” and while welcoming the series, he published it in 2010 by columnist David Brooks on racist Haitian conservatives. Apologies to The New York Times for doing so. .
Horn also asked the New York Times to document the revelations, which are accessible to a series of other historians. He says the series “hopefully will lead us to re-examine the history of this country and move away from the point of propaganda that somehow the United States was an abolitionist republic when in fact it was the foremost slave-owning republic.” . “
Amy Goodman and Gonzalez were two very informative guests at the event. Westenley Alsenat and Drs. Gerald Horn.
(Link to script)
Those of you who are Dr. For those unfamiliar with Alsenat, he was born in Haiti, and teaches United States, Atlantic, and Afro-Caribbean history at Fordham University in the Bronx. Here Dr. Linked to Alsenaat’s 2021 North American Congress on Latin America (NACLA) report.
Dr. Horn is a historian with an extensive bibliography, with more than 30 books published; Facing the Black Jacobins: The United States, the Haitian Revolution, and the Beginning of the Dominican Republic Must be read.
The Haitian Revolution, the product of the first successful slave uprising, was truly world-historic under its influence. When Haiti declared independence in 1804, the major powers – France, Great Britain and Spain – suffered a humiliating defeat and the New World was rebuilt. The island revolution also had a profound effect on Haiti’s mainland neighbor, the United States. Inspiring slaves and emancipators, terrorizing the whole of southern slavery, it brought the emerging nation one step closer to civil war. Gerald Horn’s new breakthrough explores the complex and often strained relationship between the United States and the island of Hispaniola
Dr. Christy Thornton, an assistant professor in the Department of Sociology and Latin American Studies at Johns Hopkins University, tweeted about previous coverage of this history, while Time.
Dr. Thornton is not wrong. A simple Google or Twitter search replaces some mainstream stories and a documentary, Aristide and the Infinite Revolution, Which is described by A. Details of the removal of Aristide, democratically elected President of Haiti by the United States. Features Aristide, Sen. Maxine Waters, Noam Chomsky, Rep. Charles Rangel [and] More. “
Here on the Daily Kos, July 30, 2013 edition of Black KosCaribbean affairs: It’s time to rekindle Haiti’s hatred and learn some of America’s hidden history.
Five years later, Al Jazeera made another call to this feature from 2021, noting that “Haiti was formerly a black-led republic, but is now often described as “poor,” “dangerous” and “unstable,” and it asks, “What has contributed to Haiti’s suffering? What is missing in this conversation?” ? “
Here is the coverage Patron In 2010.
From a different perspective, Drs. Peter James Hudson, Associate Professor of African American Studies and History at UCLA, posted this Twitter thread, which I have compiled here for your convenience. He celebrates the series to bring the story of Haiti’s looting to new audiences, when he names the conversation he wants “The Ransom” to inspire – and regrets some of the people he did. Done.
I hate to come to the rescue of the New York Times, a newspaper that I stopped reading regularly after 9/11, when they started running lifestyle articles justifying torture. Found in position.
They have covered every American military adventure since then, and of course, their coverage of Haiti has traditionally been horrific, reactionary and racist.
To give an example, his current history supplement published “An Inside View of Revolutions in Haiti” by racist city banker John H. Allen in 1930.
In the article, commemorating the beginning of the US occupation of Haiti, Allen gives us a special perspective on Haiti’s supposed atheism and backwardness and William Jennings Bryan’s unfortunate immortal line qualities, “Dear me, French-speaking Negroes!”
Yes, of course, their reference practice has been terrible. When a NYT reporter writes about the history of American intervention and Haitian occupations, it seems to borrow heavily from an article on the subject that Jemima Pierre and I just published in The Black Agenda Report.
However, while claims of “innovation” in their series on Haiti’s debt are high, they are not entirely wrong. Jonathan Katz explains what’s new, so I won’t rehearse his analysis.
But I would add that what is new and important about the series is the collection of debt histories by many historians during a fragmented time. The 19th century is seldom associated with the years of occupation, the years of occupation are associated with the Duvalier era, and so on.
This synthetic but granular approach is important, especially since it allows us to make socio-political claims about the present and the present. We make a big deal out of money, that’s what they did.
About a year ago, two writers contacted me and talked to them several times. I was willing to share what I could because I thought what they were doing was important, just because it was for the NYT.
Over the years, I have published Black Agenda Report on Citibank and Haiti, Bloomberg, Haiti Liberty, Radical History Review, Boston Review, The LSE Blog, and my book, Bankers and Empire.
But all these publications combined in a decade have not received an audience this time in less than a week.
If this means that people who do not buy academic books or do not have access to Pewald, academic magazines begin to think critically, or differently, or specifically about credit, banking, Haiti, imperialism, and Citibank. Begin to increase their knowledge, I am. Happy about it.
And if this piece takes readers to other sources that I think it has, that’s fine too. Also, when they used some of my research, they also built on it in some important ways that I didn’t, that is, I think, when you put your research there, all Can expect.
(He also consulted and named Guy Pierre, a Haitian economic historian whose work on banking I have always dreamed of, but which is seldom quoted by North American Anglophone historians.)
Would I like to see more radical consequences, more calls for direct action, a manifesto condemning Citibank, an outline for Haitian compensation from France? Of course.
But this is NYT. Surprisingly, however, in the form of NYT, they actually provided us with an amazing ballast to support more radicals than they claim: for example, let’s follow Citibank. Or, what about Puerto Rico? Or England and the West Indies.
Yet unfortunately – but perhaps in general – the opportunity seems to have been lost quickly. Debate over the series has not become a critique of the ethics of debt and compensation or the role of Citibank et al in American imperialism and Caribbean backward development, but it is a reference.
Historians effectively hijacked a potentially critical dialogue so that it would not be part of the story. Why did we ask North American historians that Haiti was not the subject of this story?
It’s a little disgusting, this answer. But what can be expected from an academy built by the same racist and imperialist powers that have shaped Haiti’s history?
And Western knowledge production of Haiti, owned by nature, is part of the day-to-day expulsion regime that has made Haiti “the poorest country in the world.”
For once, the NYTimes, with all its problems, wrote against the governments that fired them. It is a pity that historians have disproved it
New Republic The award for best title on this story should probably go to journalist and professor Amy Willentz: “New York Times Corrects poor Haiti coverage in New York Times“
Dr. Valentz Echoing Hudson’s Twitter thread: “The Twitter hub is a one-sided demonstration of uncredited scholars. The real people who have suffered in the way of covering Haiti are Haitians.
Valentz also responded to the US defense and denial Miami Herald.
Jonathan M. Katz, journalist and author The gangsters of capitalismWeighed in.
Katz posted a comment on his blog, The Racket, In a post titled “What’s New (and What’s Not) in NYT’s Big Haiti Story”.
That story finally subsided over the weekend. The “story” doesn’t really cover it: it’s a four-byline, six-article package that includes a paper in Sunday’s edition, covered in a box that dominates the front page. It is, in other words, a news event – almost certainly built on the epic success of the 1619 project – as only the New York Times can try.
Reactions … have been intense. For the majority of readers who have never heard (or forgotten) that much of France and Citigroup’s wealth was literally stolen from Haiti at gunpoint, it is a scam and a shock. (I get emails from relatives I talk to once every other year and ask if I’ve heard this story before.) Meanwhile my Twitter feed is full of historians who Angry That they were not cited for the help provided by the Times, or the incredible “record paper” Columbus The central story of the place where Columbing was discovered.
At the risk of being a little timeless on both sides, I think both camps have a point. The package covers a lot of old land, much of which is presented as new. There are so many things that have been known and talked about by millions of people for decades. But it is worth making this story more widely known in France and the United States. And besides, important reporting is that many people who think they know the story are missing.
Read the whole thing.
Katz has been reporting on Haiti for some time.
No matter how you feel about it New York Times, I, like Professor Hudson, hope you read the “The Ransom” series. And I hope that if this story was news to you, or even if it wasn’t new, but you want to dive a little deeper into history for a better understanding, you will take some time to follow the links given in it. Watch the story and video.
Please join me in the comments for others and for the weekly Caribbean Twitter Roundup.