"Racist Stereotypes About Haiti in the Media Dehumanize Haitians," by Christine JEAN-BAPTISTE
Racist Stereotypes About Haiti in the Media Dehumanize Haitians
“To deny someone their complexity is to deny them their humanity, period.”
This Valentine’s Day, the streets of Port-au-Prince overflowed with millions of Haitians waving the national flag, chanting “Aba diktati,” or “down with dictatorship.” It happened to be the same exact date that many Haitians took to the streets to overthrow the Jean-Claude Duvalier regime 35 years ago. Civilians in Haiti have been demanding justice for decades, but who’s listening?
This time around, protesters gathered in seven different cities to denounce the presidency of Jovenel Moïse, an autocratic ruler who has been ruling by presidential decree for over a year. Led by Protestant pastors, civil society groups, nonprofits, and unions — and supported by the international community — the demonstrations made it clear the nation is tired of living through another dictatorship: “Yo bouké [they’re tired].”
Working on the front lines as an activist, feminist, and cofounder of Nègès Mawon, Pascale Solages saw thousands of Haitian protesters attempting to reclaim control of their lives. “I see people who know that when they go out on the street, it may be putting their lives in danger, but they know they don’t live enough to not tell themselves that they have to take risks,” she tells Teen Vogue.
The protests were ignited after Moïse refused to step down, announcing on February 7 that he was beginning “the first day of my fifth year” in office. After a tumultuous yearlong electoral delay due to allegations of fraud in 2015, his opposition argues that his mandate actually expired last month, saying his five-year term began in 2016 and not the year after. Not only did Moïse reject those claims, but he accused opposition leaders of planning a coup against him. He retaliated by arresting 23 people, including a Supreme Court judge, a surgeon, and a senior police official. This crackdown did not stop Haitians of all ages from mobilizing against Moïse’s questionable term and foreign support. As The Nation reported, “It’s not about one criminal; it’s about a criminal system, supported by very heavy hitters, including the international community.”
Read the rest here: https://www.teenvogue.com/story/racist-stereotypes-haiti-media?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=onsite-share&utm_brand=teen-vogue&utm_social-type=earned