Commerce was virtually nonexistent. Contemplating this bleak situation, Dessalines determined, as Toussaint had done, that a firm hand was needed. White residents felt the sting most sharply. While Toussaint, a former privileged slave of a tolerant white master, had felt a certain magnanimity toward whites, Dessalines, a former field slave, despised them with a maniacal intensity.
Although blacks were not massacred under Dessalines, they witnessed little improvement in the quality of their lives. To restore some measure of agricultural productivity, Dessalines reestablished the plantation system. Harsh measures bound laborers to their assigned work places, and penalties were imposed on runaways and on those who harbored them. Because Dessalines drew his only organizational experience from war, it was natural for him to use the military as a tool for governing the new nation.
The rule of Dessalines set a pattern for direct involvement of the army in politics that continued unchallenged for more than years. In Dessalines crowned himself Emperor of Haiti. The mulattoes resented Dessalines mostly for racial reasons, but the more educated and cultured gens de couleur also derided the emperor and most of his aides and officers for his ignorance and illiteracy. Efforts by Dessalines to bring mulatto families into the ruling group through marriage met with resistance. The voracious appetites of his ruling clique apparently left little or nothing in the treasury for military salaries and provisions.
Although reportedly aware of discontent among the ranks, Dessalines made no effort to redress these shortcomings. Instead, he relied on the same iron-fisted control with which he kept rural laborers in line. That his judgement in this matter had been in error became apparent on the road to Port-au-Prince as he rode with a column of troops on its way to crush a mulattoled rebellion. Under Dessalines the Haitian economy had made little progress despite the restoration of forced labor. Conflict between blacks and mulattoes ended the cooperation that the revolution had produced, and the brutality toward whites shocked foreign governments and isolated Haiti internationally.
These men were known for the meat that they barbecued French for smoked meat is viande boucanee , and so eventually were named… Buccaneers. When these hunters learned that piracy was more profitable than selling meat, they were soon making regular raids on the Spanish ships sailing the local trade routes. An early French governor named Jean le Vasseur used his training as an engineer to build a gun fort by the harbor which helped to repel Spanish attacks. French governors preferred to use the buccaneers for local defense, as the British governors were later to do at Port Royal, and Tortuga Island became well-known for those men calling themselves the Brethren of the Coast.
Sir Henry Morgan started his career of piracy from this very island. Tortuga was initially founded by the French in , who realized Hispaniola was awfully thick with Spaniards and so turned their attentions to the large island just northward. There the French and some English with them began setting up plantations and making themselves at home. However, the Spaniards and their new neighbors took periodic swats at each other and control of the island switched back and forth a few times.
Most of the English on Tortuga decided to move elsewhere, but a few remained to form their own small colony. For a time the French and English on Tortuga both had their own colonies and governors, and managed an uneasy co-existance. It was the French who first encouraged privateers to use Tortuga as their base, in large part as a deterent to Spanish incursions. By Tortuga is a haven for the wolves of the sea. Tortuga comes under attack by the Spanish several times over the years, the struggle for control bloody and fierce. In the French governor was assassinated, whereupon the Spanish instantly pounced on his predecessor, and when the smoke cleared the English returned to hold the island from But once again the balance of power changed to French hands.
About the governor of Tortuga wished to somewhat civilize his piratical folk, and did his best to encourage proper colonization and trade of their hard-won goods. He met with dubious success, but the island continued to be the playground of the Brotherhood of the Coast.
By a great many privateers sailed under commisions granted by the governor of Tortuga, not the least being the infamous Henry Morgan, who led his fleet to attack Santa Marta, Rio de la Hacha, Puerto Bello and Panama. Thereafter if any Englishman was found privateering under any flag other than his own — and after the Treaty of Ratisbone England no longer issued letters of marque — he would be hanged. In Henry Morgan died in Jamaica, and the glory days of the privateers was over.
In , during the time that Don Pierson was attempting to lease the ship which had been the former homes of [pirate stations] Swinging Radio England and Britain Radio, he received a response from the Ambassador for Haiti in Washington, DC. This offer became a plan to develop the island itself as a freeport and he was asked to assist the government of Haiti to encourage business investment in that poverty-stricken land. This contract provided for the establishment of Freeport Tortuga. Of equal importance. During this period he also became Honorary Consul of the Republic of Haiti to Texas from through A similar venture on the island of Dominica which was attempted in the wake of the failed project in Haiti, also met with disaster following governmental turmoil in Dominica.
If you ever hear of Haiti, it is usually because of something frightening. It is famous for hurricanes, deforestation, poverty, drug smuggling, violence, dictatorships, voodoo and slavery. Though Papa Doc has long gone, the nightmares have never ended in this Caribbean dystopia. Two centuries ago, the political economist Robert Malthus postulated that a society in which the population grew too fast could reach a point where people simply could not be fed, leading to a total collapse.
Over the past five years, Haiti has not only met but exceeded the conditions for a Malthusian catastrophe. The only things keeping the country from absolute disaster are imported food and charity. With a global economic crisis afoot, the question is how long that can be sustained. I had plenty of reservations about going to Haiti. It is a place born out of the darkest days of slavery: a country where white people have always been regarded, with some reason, as the enemy, and where, in some areas, half of all women and girls have been the victims of rape.
I am a historian, not a foreign correspondent or aid worker, but I wanted to see for myself what life was like in this haunted nation. Notables including Ban Ki-moon, Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton have visited Haiti in the past couple of months, highlighting the fact that the country is poised on the brink of what could be a humanitarian crisis of terrifying proportions.
Immediately I hear the epithet by which I will be known for the next week: la blanche, the white woman. If you hear gunshots, stay inside. Smile at the man toting an assault rifle who stands at the hotel entrance. Just why is Haiti in such a dire situation, so much worse than any other country in the Americas, and as bad as anywhere on Earth? Some blame the United Nations. Some blame the Americans.
Some have theories about the collision of global warming with global capitalism. All are careful to point out that the Haitian elite deserves its reputation for being greedy, negligent and kleptocratic. History tells a different story. The appalling state of the country is a direct result of having offended a quite different celestial authority — the French.
France gained the western third of the island of Hispaniola — the territory that is now Haiti — in It planted sugar and coffee, supported by an unprecedented increase in the importation of African slaves. Economically, the result was a success, but life as a slave was intolerable. Living conditions were squalid, disease was rife, and beatings and abuses were universal. But France demanded reparations: m francs, in gold. For Haiti, this debt did not signify the beginning of freedom, but the end of hope.
Even after it was reduced to 60m francs in the s, it was still far more than the war-ravaged country could afford. Haiti was the only country in which the ex-slaves themselves were expected to pay a foreign government for their liberty. In order to manage the original reparations, further loans were taken out — mostly from the United States, Germany and France.
TOUSSAINT L'OUVERTURE AND THE SAN DOMINGO REVOLUTION
Instead of developing its potential, this deformed state produced a parade of nefarious leaders, most of whom gave up the insurmountable task of trying to fix the country and looted it instead. In , Haiti finally paid off the original reparations, plus interest.
Doing so left it destitute, corrupt, disastrously lacking in investment and politically volatile. Haiti was trapped in a downward spiral, from which it is still impossible to escape. It remains hopelessly in debt to this day. Like all cities, Port-au-Prince has better and worse neighbourhoods. Unlike all cities, several of its worst neighbourhoods are declared conflict zones. Some slums are so dangerous that even the United Nations peacekeeping troops, who carry machineguns, do not venture in. The UN is not popular here.
Peacekeepers are rumoured to have massacred unarmed slum-dwellers on several occasions. Many Haitians palpably mistrust foreigners. Pedestrians and peanut-sellers keep their eyes on me but stay back, as if I were a predator. The streets are too narrow and rutted to drive. I walk up steep paths in between shacks of mud and rusting corrugated iron. At every turn, the route is obstructed by heaps of discarded packaging, decomposing rubbish and human waste, over which goats and children crawl, foraging for food. In the blazing midday sun, the stench is hard to endure.
Most people are illiterate, unskilled and unhealthy. The only vaguely legal option open to the majority of residents is to buy a few items of cheap produce, and sell them at a tiny profit in the markets. The remaining jobs open to them make an unappealing list: selling drugs, selling weapons, robbery, blackmail, prostitution and kidnapping. It is the kidnappings that make headlines. For the gangs, in a country that produces virtually nothing, terror is one of the few reliable sources of income.
Gang members ambush an ordinary person, usually someone unlikely to resist, such as a woman or a child. Even if the ransom is paid, the victim often ends up dead. At one point, kidnappings were reported five times a day. There was another peak in the first few months of , but some arrests of gang leaders were made over the summer, and now the official statistics have stabilised at something closer to one incident every couple of days. Foreigners have been targeted, which is why nobody will let me walk around on my own, but the greatest danger is to ordinary Haitians.
Even slum-dwellers are often abducted and tortured by the gangs, sometimes for a ransom as little as the price of a cocktail in London. It means the family can afford to eat. So far, they do not appear to be having much impact: population growth is rising. Haiti was considered unsustainably overcrowded in the s, when the population was 3m. Now it is 9m. Survival is a daily effort, and these starving slum-dwellers will seize on any opportunity to earn money, however unpleasant.
The focus is on agriculture and garment factories. A similar scheme has been running since , and the results look good on paper: 3, jobs are said to have been created. On the street, though, the word is not good. Pay is subsistence level at best, and does not keep pace with food prices. Conditions are dangerous and unsanitary. Workers are charged for going to the toilet. Abuse is widespread. There are people who argue that rich countries, too, once went through a stage of sweatshop labour, and that this is some sort of necessary purgatory on the road to improvement.
It is an easy argument to make from a comfortable armchair in the home counties, but it is ahistorical. The reason it has not become sustainable is that, for two centuries, rich countries and their banks have menaced almost all of its wealth out of it. For how much longer should the Haitians do penance? Exploiting Haitian beliefs in the traditions of voodoo most Haitians still practise it today , he established a personal militia, the Tonton Macoutes, rumoured to be zombies he had raised from the dead, who soon gained a chilling reputation for rape and torture.
Papa Doc himself affected the style of Baron Samedi, the spirit of the dead, appearing in a black top hat and pinstriped suit. Reports from Haiti brought forth disgust from the developed world, but the protests did not turn into action. In , American-owned plantations in the Dominican Republic paid Papa Doc directly for rounding up 20, Haitians to work on their lands. The Duvaliers swindled international creditors and aid agencies for enormous sums. The American government, via various agencies and banks, lent millions to both dictators.
The Duvaliers were always happy to sign up to new loans, and to give lucrative contracts to American corporations. Most of the projects went nowhere. Haiti is littered with half-built and abandoned schools, hospitals, bridges and roads. Most of the money lent to the Duvaliers found its way into private bank accounts. None of the creditors finds the fact of their complicity a compelling argument for cancellation. Haiti must meet certain conditions, including poverty reduction and inflation controls, before any debt can be written off.
By international standards, the sums are small, but for Haiti they are enormous. Undoubtedly, the American gift is a boon, and Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton do seem to be making a genuine effort to help. Clinton has also announced that she will re-examine US policy on Haitian migrants. At the moment, unlike the Cuban refugees who are given asylum, Haitians are considered economic migrants, and are imprisoned and deported. He could not have done so: he is in exile in South Africa, having been ousted in a highly controversial UN intervention in There is some hope Clinton will award temporary work permits to Haitian illegals in the US.
And the question of France repaying some or all of the compensation it extracted for Haitian independence is not even on the agenda. The Artibonite valley is the rural heart of Haiti. The potholed road out of the capital runs north through miles of bleak marshland. We drive past Titayen, a dumping-ground for the bodies of people murdered by political groups or criminal gangs. The hot air is oppressive with the weight of storm clouds. Near the town of Cabaret is a tent-city full of refugees.
On both sides of the road, houses are stoved in, with walls and roofs ripped off, and whole floors of concrete folded in on themselves like origami. This is the parting gift left by Fay, Gustav, Hanna and Ike, four storms that devastated Haiti in three weeks last summer. All around the valley rise high mountains. Fifty years ago, these were covered in dense tropical jungle. Now, there is nothing but brownish scrub. Eighty per cent of Haitians live below the poverty line, and cook on charcoal from scavenged wood.
As the population has shot up, the forests have been cut down. The roots of those trees held the land together. Now, every time a hurricane hits Haiti, the rains and floods sweep topsoil and soft clay from these hills down to the valleys and the coast. Arable land is stripped back to barren rubble, while whole towns such as Gonaives — until last August a city of , people — are buried under sludge. At a nearby village, Robuste, dozens of excited children ambush me. Not many strangers come here, and they are intrigued.
Even in the middle of horrific poverty, the people have not lost their sense of humour. I raise my camera to take a picture, and an old woman immediately begins weeping and howling. Shocked, I lower the camera, and she points at me and roars with laughter. It was a joke, and a clever one: she was satirising the usual news-agency photos.
But most of the devastation here is all too real. In the hurricanes, half the houses in Robuste were washed away. The village pastor takes me into his church, a comfortless hall in which over refugees have been sleeping rough. One woman lies here, suffering from unidentified sickness in the aftermath of the floods.
There is no doctor. Her year-old baby is left unattended on the concrete floor. He crawls up to me, wide-eyed. Slavery did not end with the revolution. A grim fate awaits many of the children in Robuste. When destitute Haitian families cannot feed their children, they send them to the towns. They are known as restaveks — a Creole word from the French rester avec, to stay with. Host families provide restaveks with food, clothing, shelter and in some cases education, in return for having the child work as a servant. Often these children are beaten, sexually abused, starved, denied medical treatment.
In a couple of years the baby in front of me could be given up to this modern form of slavery. Restaveks as young as three have been found in Port-au-Prince. His mother rolls over in her sleep. She looks desperately ill. Soon, nobody in this village will have enough to eat. At that point the sending away of their children will begin.
Even before the hurricanes hit, Haiti was in the grip of a food crisis. A year ago, when the price of rice soared across the world, Haitians began to starve. There were confirmed reports of people being reduced to eating dirt. Cookies made of mud mixed with vegetable oil were all they could scrape together.
In the slums of Port-au-Prince, Oxfam is funding community restaurants in an attempt to provide something more nutritious. People bring tin pots and pay 10 gourdes 16p to have them filled with rice, beans and vegetables. The restaurant is at a busy intersection, surrounded by a huge mass of people, mostly young men, shouting, banging their tin pots and jostling to get to the front.
Food riots are common. A little boy of about eight wanders up to us. He looks even thinner and more nervous than the other children, and is barefoot, dressed in a worn-out black string vest and threadbare shorts. The boy wanders back to join the people waiting for food. He goes to a woman in her late thirties. Koko rat!
The name she has called him is one of the strongest insults in Creole, literally a crude expression for the genitals of a female rat, but the implication is worse. The woman means that the little boy is a traitor. The little boy runs off. Moments later, he appears beside me again. He looks lost, and wears an expression of unbearable sadness.
He had a tin bowl before, but it has gone. She asks him. Nobody has a spare, and everyone here needs to eat. Just down the street, market stalls display mouldy vegetables and half-rotten meat crawling with flies. Even rotting food is too expensive for most slum-dwellers.
By now the crowd is getting seriously aggressive. Men are shoving each other, and punches are thrown. The organiser hurries back to us. The next morning I board a bus to make the long journey through the mountains to Santo Domingo, the capital of the neighbouring Dominican Republic. Driving through Haiti, there are almost no trees to be seen.
The roads are lined with scrub, thorns and piles of refuse. At the exact point of the border line, the world surges back into life. Suddenly the road is thick with towering mature trees, their branches heavy with lush green leaves, fat blossoms, singing birds. It is beautiful but heartbreaking, a reminder, if any were necessary, that things need not be as they are. Medical provisions are scarce. There is one doctor for every 3, patients. The survival rate of newborns is the lowest in the western hemisphere.
One-third are born underweight. The mortality rate for children under five is in 1, There is a sense of desolation at the palace. During the 16th and 17th centuries, Benin played a key role in the slave trade. Thousands of men and women were uprooted and sold as slaves to work in plantations in Europe, the Caribbean and America. He was named Breda after the plantation as was the custom for slaves. His master, the relatively humane Mr Baillon de Libertat, encouraged Toussaint to learn to read and write, and appointed him as his coachman and then as his foreman.
Later Toussaint led a revolution against slavery and Haiti became the first republic to be ruled by leaders with African ancestry. Apart from the historical ties between Haiti and Benin, the two countries share the religion of their ancestors: voodoo. This religion is central to the worship and traditions of thousands of Haitians and Beninese. Was it negligence, was it that nobody believed in it?
In an outburst of solidarity with the victims of the earthquake, the people of Benin and particularly those of Allada have organised traditional ceremonies to appease the spirits and seek the blessing of their ancestors for the Haitians. This would be an inappropriate label. The story is based upon a myth created to justify a belief in White Supremacy, and has been maintained and repeated by Southern Christians to this day. Robertson was speaking in a code not understood by Northerners and Westerners, so it appears to fall to me to explain the origins off the myth, and the reasons it has survived in the South to this day, and continues to influence our foreign and domestic policy.
The irony of course is that world cuisines would be very different today without basic Native American crops such as potatoes, tomatoes, chili peppers, corn, blueberries, strawberries, and so on. But, that is another history for another day. I must add here, that is was not only the approval, but the destiny supported and guaranteed by the Southern God. When Haiti achieved independence in , the foundation of that set of beliefs was shaken.
The only way to reconcile the belief of White Superiority with a Black Nation achieving independence was the intervention of the Devil. This belief has influenced our dealings with Haiti, from Thomas Jefferson to the present day. This is not a fringe belief. Many of the mindless prejudices of the briefing would resurface later as official documents, from Intelligence, Psychological Operations, and Civil Affairs.
It was part of the attempt to minimize American contact with Haitian realities. It is going on to this day, and it is effective. Now, the bullshit is being disseminated by the United States Embassy. The press laps it up and regurgitates it for us uncritically, awed as always to be allowed so near the powerful. They also inform the myth-building in Southern States on how to deal with the election of President Barack Obama. The mad scramble for a label from Anti-Christ to NAZI is a reflection of irreconcilable cognitive dissonance between Southern belief systems and reality.
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This is belief and praxis, naked. To fail to recognize the importance of the system of beliefs in the behavior of Southerners, the praxis of those beliefs, and the way in which those beliefs are transmitted is to fail to recognize the danger of the situation. His belief in the Curse of Haiti, is supported by a belief system that cannot reconcile the United States having elected a Black President. The disbelief that Barack Obama is President along with the signs displayed at the various protests in the South, among significant portions of the South are indicative of the cognitive dissonance among that population.
The situation parallels the cognitive dissonance caused by the independence of Haiti. The scale of the calamity is unprecedented. In many ways, Haiti has almost ceased to exist. The earthquake that will forever change that nation came as subterranean plates shifted about six miles under the surface of the earth, along a fault line that had threatened trouble for centuries.
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But no one saw a quake of this magnitude coming. The 7. Orphanages, churches, markets, homes, and government buildings all collapsed. Civil government has virtually ceased to function. Without power, communication has been cut off and rescue efforts are seriously hampered. Bodies are piling up, hope is running out, and help, though on the way, will not arrive in time for many victims. Even as boots are finally hitting the ground and relief efforts are reaching the island, estimates of the death toll range as high as , Given the mountainous terrain and densely populated villages that had been hanging along the fault line, entire villages may have disappeared.
In truth, it is hard not to describe the earthquake as a disaster of biblical proportions. It certainly looks as if the wrath of God has fallen upon the Caribbean nation. Add to this the fact that Haiti is well known for its history of religious syncretism — mixing elements of various faiths, including occult practices. The nation is known for voodoo, sorcery, and a Catholic tradition that has been greatly influenced by the occult. According to this account, the Haitians considered the French as Catholics and wanted to side with whomever would oppose the French.
Thus, some would use that tradition to explain all that has marked the tragedy of Haitian history — including now the earthquake of January 12, Does God hate Haiti? God does judge the nations — all of them — and God will judge the nations. His judgment is perfect and his justice is sure. He rules over all the nations and his sovereign will is demonstrated in the rising and falling of nations and empires and peoples. Every molecule of matter obeys his command, and the earthquakes reveal his reign — as do the tides of relief and assistance flowing into Haiti right now.
A faithful Christian cannot accept the claim that God is a bystander in world events. The Bible clearly claims the sovereign rule of God over all his creation, all of the time. We have no right to claim that God was surprised by the earthquake in Haiti, or to allow that God could not have prevented it from happening.
The universe, even after the consequences of the Fall, still demonstrates the character of God in all its dimensions, objects, and occurrences. And yet, we have no right to claim that we know why a disaster like the earthquake in Haiti happened at just that place and at just that moment. The arrogance of human presumption is a real and present danger. We can trace the effects of a drunk driver to a car accident, but we cannot trace the effects of voodoo to an earthquake — at least not so directly.
Will God judge Haiti for its spiritual darkness? Of course. Is the judgment of God something we can claim to understand in this sense — in the present? No, we are not given that knowledge. Jesus himself warned his disciples against this kind of presumption. Why did no earthquake shake Nazi Germany? Why did no tsunami swallow up the killing fields of Cambodia? Why did Hurricane Katrina destroy far more evangelical churches than casinos?
Why do so many murderous dictators live to old age while many missionaries die young? God hates sin, and will punish both individual sinners and nations. God does hate sin, but if God merely hated Haiti, there would be no missionaries there; there would be no aid streaming to the nation; there would be no rescue efforts — there would be no hope.
The earthquake in Haiti, like every other earthly disaster, reminds us that creation groans under the weight of sin and the judgment of God. This is true for every cell in our bodies, even as it is for the crust of the earth at every point on the globe. The entire cosmos awaits the revelation of the glory of the coming Lord. Creation cries out for the hope of the New Creation. In other words, the earthquake reminds us that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is the only real message of hope.
The cross of Christ declares that Jesus loves Haiti — and the Haitian people are the objects of his love. Christ would have us show the Haitian nation his love, and share his Gospel. In the midst of this unspeakable tragedy, Christ would have us rush to aid the suffering people of Haiti, and rush to tell the Haitian people of his love, his cross, and salvation in his name alone. Everything about the tragedy in Haiti points to our need for redemption.
This tragedy may lead to a new openness to the Gospel among the Haitian people. That will be to the glory of God. If you have any doubts about this, take your Bible and turn to John For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
Write me at mail albertmohler. The only golf course. The politics seem logical — the impoverished country has endured plenty of socioeconomic chaos in addition to natural disasters in recent history. And now, more than ever, there is a moral and geopolitical imperative for the U. But rallying domestic support for a long-term U. And here is another example why:. The communications director for California Republican Senate candidate Chuck DeVore tweeted on Thursday that America, the world and even charity organizations should immediately leave the island once immediate and limited recovery is done.
This seems a bit blunt, even for the most non-interventionist of Republican candidates DeVore is a Tea Party favorite. And I think that has been a problem in maintaining a consistent American interest. My team was given the mission of controlling almost a thousand square kilometers in the Northeast Department of Haiti.
We were to base ourselves out of Fort Liberte, a political center near the northern Dominican border. Prelude to the dance This briefing would be the one and only predeployment intelligence briefing we were to receive. For this presentation, the staff had conscientiously avoided using any of the former Haitian nationals that worked and lived in Fayetteville and Fort Bragg.
These included a professor of physics at Fayetteville State University, his wife, a Creole instructor at the Special Forces school, and various Haitian-American soldiers on active duty in Fort Bragg. To ensure that we had a reliable source for this one and only predeployment brief, our intelligence gurus selected an expatriate, white, American, fundamentalist Protestant preacher. He was an emaciated, blepharitic man, tall and thin, in a black suit, reeking of Calvinist austerity and burning with years of besieged righteousness.
He began his account with a personal introduction and a brief history of his mission. Then came a brief historical account of the nation of Haiti. The account was perfectly informative as long as it confined itself to events, personalities and dates. What followed his synopsis, however, was a bizarre narrative.
He flatly declared that the successful Haitian revolution against the French Army was inaugurated with a bargain. Jean Jacques Dessalines, the Haitian leader of the revolution, according to this preacher, had struck a deal with the devil. With complete seriousness, our intrepid young missionary, explained that Satan himself, disguised as a voodoo deity, contracted with Dessalines to assure him a military victory. In exchange for the victory, Satan was to be given control of the new nation for a period of years.
The outlandish characterization of the first independent black nation in the Western Hemisphere? The fact that an Intelligence Officer on the Group staff had coordinated for his presence? Or the spellbound attention being paid this crackpot by hundreds of allegedly rational grown men who were in the room listening? The problem was this. Most of the Special Forces soldiers there had no previous interest in Haiti. Most of them harbored cultural and racial preconceptions of Haiti. All had been exposed to the drumbeat of skewed media coverage of Haiti.
Many were fans of both the CIA and Jesse Helms, both of whom were staging a concerted venture to shape foreign policy on behalf of the Cedras regime, by fabricating rumors about Aristide. Almost all of them were thoroughly ignorant of both the history of Haiti and the dynamics of the current crisis. It was easy then, in support of the anti-Aristide sentiment already afoot in the special operations community, for this charlatan to get away with his prevarication.
He was positively obsessed with voodoo, which he repeatedly characterized not as a religion which it is, with components of West African polytheism and Catholicism , but as worship of demons. He stated that Haitians were childlike, and in need of outside direction, morally and spiritually lost, still practicing human sacrifice and cannibalism.
The racist echoes were not lost on the largely white Special Forces audience. Aristide was a particularly hot issue. Aristide, the minister explained to the audience, was not really a priest, at all. He had been defrocked. Aristide, also a closet communist, according to our preacher, had personally ordered riots and murders of countless people during his brutal eight month regime.
Cedras and Francois showed up just in time to save the country, and any intervention to oust Cedras would be a terrible mistake, not to mention the dangers to young, Christian GIs, of working with HIV-riddled demon worshippers. He stated that the reports of violence by the Cedras regime were exaggerated. And if they did support Aristide, that demonstrated that they were not yet ready for democracy.
The briefing was only partly inexplicable to me. I want to emphatically state that the distortions and prejudices of this one man can not be generalized to any particular group. Haitian landing That said, I entered Port au Prince on the 19th of September, where we were summarily informed, in the wake of the Carter-Nunn-Powell agreement, struck, by the way, in the absence of a single legitimate representative of the democratically-elected government of Haiti, and signed by Emile Jonassaint, the Cedras-installed illegal president, that we would now become the friends, patrons and trainers of the Haitian armed forces, whom I shall refer to as the FAdH.
These groups were illuminating the gross contradictions between policy toward Haiti and Cuba. By the same token, business interests, represented by Commerce Secretary Ron Brown, whose Madison Avenue public relations firm had a happy and lucrative history of dealings with key Duvalierist elites in Haiti, were strenuously opposing the reinstallation of Aristide. In a telling analysis of this phenomenon, Catherine Orenstein, anthologized in a highly recommended book called The Haiti Files, edited by James Ridgeway, points out the complete collaboration of the US mainstream press in this gross misrepresentation of Haitian reality.
Regulating the tropical heat The question of disarming the paramilitaries was another subject that shifted repeatedly in the conduct of the mission. Before the soft option entry negotiated by the Carter team, military necessity made the question of weapons clear cut. If you carried a firearm, you were hostile. If a weapon were discovered, it was confiscated. But with the permissive entry, the Rules of Engagement stated that we were obliged to behave as police do, demanding that an armed individual relinquish his weapon and giving that individual an opportunity to do so, before employing deadly force.
This ROE, as it is known, did not present a great problem. It was the question of seeking out and confiscating weapons that changed. No reason was ever given. Though we still had the authority to confiscate displayed weapons, we were prohibited from searching buildings and houses, even if we received multiple reports alleging their presence. That prohibition against searches for the purpose of confiscating firearms and other ordnance remains in effect to the end. The eventual justification was that Haitians had a constitutional right to own firearms…even though we were an extraconstitutional force.
This would not be the first time that we were subjected to selective interpretations of the Haitian Constitution. And what it ignored was the practical fact, that nearly every weapon in the country was owned by a supporter of the de facto regime, this being the means by which they had retained their power. By itself, this shift could be interpreted as an error in judgment, which it certainly would be, but other facts on the ground tend to support the thesis that it was part of an overall effort to achieve a specific circumstance. When we left the intrepid 10th Mountain Division in Port au Prince, they had begun fanning out, not into the slums where human rights violations continued to be reported, but to protect the property of the rich in Petionville from anticipated angry mobs who never materialized.
The task force set up its headquarters on the factory complex of the second richest family in Haiti. He and hundreds of other charming members of the armed forces had been miraculously rehabilitated by the stroke of a pen. Independent of the conventional commanders, special operations commanders sent us the order to squash FRAPH. In my own sector, we made three detentions the first day, two the second, and ten the third when we entered Fort Liberte, including Nyll Calixte, former Haitian ambassador to France, and chief financier to FRAPH in the Northeast Department.
Calixte was released within 24 hours on a presidential order from the United States, with apologies. Mozart was returned in three weeks, with the admonition that FRAPH was now to be recognized as a legitimate political party, kind of like the loyal opposition. All but one of the original detainees were released. We were told to stop all detentions unless we could provide a laundry list of information and evidence that would have daunted the average FBI agent, citing the need for due process.
Our argument that due process implied the presence of a functional police force, a forensics capability, a viable court, and a normally operating government, was viewed as evidence of a smart-assed attitude. These were accurate accusations, but in my own defense, our team had established effective rapport with the local population, predicated on our ongoing credibility and our open association with Lavalas, and broadcasting messages that insulted the intelligence of the local population with the transparency of the missive, stood to undermine that credibility.
Miller Time for Democrats To understand how fragmented certain aspects of the operations were, it is important to explain that individual Special Forces Teams had a great deal of autonomy, much to the chagrin of a host of micromanaging, anal compulsive, career-obsessed commanders. My team, with only eight people on the initial entry, was responsible for hundreds of square kilometers of territory. For this reason, to this day, attitudes of Haitians in various sectors of the country will be wildly divergent with regard to American military. Some teams moved into FAdH garrisons, emplaced concertina wire, and built what appeared to be a Vietnam style firebase.
Our team lived in a house, accessible to all, with neighbors on three sides, who listened to music with us on the porch and dropped by for coffee. We shopped at the local market, and drank an occasional Presidente beer from the little street store down the road. It was not at all unusual to shoo chickens out of the house in the morning. In fact, the presence of beer, though its consumption by Special Forces was widespread in Haiti, was presented to us as a violation of a General Order in December of that year, and I was asked to leave the country.
During the investigation regarding the General Order violation, the subject of beer seemed to preoccupy the investigating officer far less than our cozy relationship with Lavalas, to which I credited the remarkable stability of our sector throughout the operation. The original concept, briefed to us, was that the new police would be organized from the general population, even allowing certain decent, nonabusive gentlemen and there were a few from the original force, to continue employment. This sat well with the locals and with us.
We were told to vet current members of the garrisons to determine which police had potential, and which were absolutely unacceptable to the general population. We did this, and were succinctly blown off. Instead of dropping the identified thugs from the rolls, a shell game was implemented, where Haitian police were abruptly reassigned to other towns, far away.
We knew it. The Haitians knew it. Officialdom never acknowledged it. If I were attracted to conspiracy theories, I might have thought that someone was trying to protect the Haitian military from future legal action by removing them from places where they perchance would be deposed against. The ostensible military action to restore democracy was launched on the heels of a bargain made with an outgoing military dictator and a phony president.
The US military wasted no time setting up their headquarters on the industrial property of the Mev family, first stringers with the ultrarich, ruling elite. The operation advanced at a glacial pace, with emphasis placed on establishing security around the property of the wealthy.
US soldiers were given guidelines for detention so stringent that by the 5th of October, , virtually all detentions had ceased. Weapons buyback programs were implemented which allowed unserviceable weapons to be exchanged for money, while the serviceable ones were carefully cached for future use. In my own sector, dozens of reports came to us of large quantities of weapons being packed across the Dominican border, where many de facto criminals were being given sanctuary. The former military were dressed up in new uniforms, after a cosmetic vetting of past activities, and put back on the street with an apprehensive public who continually told American military authorities that this was an unacceptable arrangement.
While there is no doubt that without intervention, the Cedras regime would have continued indefinitely, the best thing that could happen in Haiti at this moment would be the discontinuation of American, IMF, and World Bank influence. But, as always with both Democratic and Republican administrations, corporate wishes will prevail in the long term.
The greatest miscalculation that the Haitian people can count on now, is the foolish but persistent belief that being illiterate means one is stupid. Note to Pat Robertson: Haiti is not a nation of Vodou practitioners. It is, and continues to be, overwhelmingly Christian.
Yesterday morning as I settled onto my elliptical at the gym, I anxiously turned to the television silently playing captioned CNN. It was before sunrise, and I knew it would be a good thirty minutes before daylight would reveal the devastation the 7.
I ignored him and I wish I had not. I also wanted to correct his erroneous assumption that Haiti is a nation of Vodou practitioners. I confess that I have been fairly glued to CNN in the past twenty-four hours, and two things have struck me as I watched the constant onslaught of images of suffering and destruction. The second is the sheer amount of U. The two are inter-related. Recent studies estimate that the Protestant population of Haiti is somewhere around thirty percent. In Port-au-Prince that number jumps to almost forty percent.
The majority of these churches are Pentecostal. These churches are overwhelmingly independent, indigenous Haitian entities, though some are linked to North American denominational Pentecostal churches. Haiti, along with Jamaica and Puerto Rico, is home to one of the fastest growing Pentecostal populations in the Caribbean.
As I watch the drama unfold in Haiti, and feel it here in Miami, the home of the largest Haitian Diaspora in the United States, I cannot help but think of another earthquake, another country. In a 7. My husband, a child at the time, has told me of the silence, the fear that followed this catastrophe. As a scholar of religion, I have often wondered of the theological impact of this natural disaster. Thankfully, the scholarship of Virginia Garrard-Burnett provides some answers. She correlates the explosion of Pentecostalism in Guatemala, who like Haiti, is an epicenter of Pentecostalism in the Americas, in part as a response to the earthquake.
An overwhelmingly high percentage of Guatemalans saw the earthquake as a form of divine punishment and a call for repentance. Arriving in the guise of aid and relief, Protestantism provided an alternative way of being Christian. Yet Pentecostalism primarily emerged in Guatemala, as it did in Haiti, disconnected from North American denominations. Indigenous Pentecostalism, with its apocalyptic theology, also gained momentum among Indigenous Guatemalans.
Haiti had barely recovered from the four devastating storms of prior to this earthquake. Haitian Pentecostals, with their biblical literalism and their certainty that the second coming of Jesus is imminent, could see this time of tribulation as a challenge where the faithful will be rewarded on judgment day.
Religion will surely play a role in the manner in which Haitians make sense of this tragedy, and I suspect we will find growing numbers of Pentecostal converts as Haitians attempt to find meaning in what can only be described as senseless and inexplicable suffering. Heavily armed pirates from the lawless Horn of Africa nation have terrorized shipping lanes in the Indian Ocean and strategic Gulf of Aden, which links Europe to Asia through the Red Sea.
The gangs have made tens of millions of dollars from ransoms and a deployment by foreign navies in the area has only appeared to drive the attackers to hunt further from shore. It is a lucrative business that has drawn financiers from the Somali diaspora and other nations — and now the gangs in Haradheere have set up an exchange to manage their investments.
One wealthy former pirate named Mohammed took Reuters around the small facility and said it had proved to be an important way for the pirates to win support from the local community for their operations, despite the dangers involved. Haradheere, km miles northeast of Mogadishu, used to be a small fishing village. The administration has no influence in Haradheere — where a senior local official said piracy paid for almost everything.
In a drought-ravaged country that provides almost no employment opportunities for fit young men, many are been drawn to the allure of the riches they see being earned at sea. Abdirahman Ali was a secondary school student in Mogadishu until three months ago when his family fled the fighting there. Given the choice of moving with his parents to Lego, their ancestral home in Middle Shabelle where strict Islamist rebels have banned most entertainment including watching sport, or joining the pirates, he opted to head for Haradheere.
Now he guards a Thai fishing boat held just offshore. As well as investors, sobbing wives and mothers often turn up there seeking news of male relatives missing in action. Every week, Mohammed said, gang members and equipment were lost to the sea. But he said the pirates were not deterred. A basic piracy operation requires a minimum eight to twelve militia prepared to stay at sea for extended periods of time, in the hopes of hijacking a passing vessel.
Each team requires a minimum of two attack skiffs, weapons, equipment, provisions, fuel and preferably a supply boat. The costs of the operation are usually borne by investors, some of whom may also be pirates. To be eligible for employment as a pirate, a volunteer should already possess a firearm for use in the operation. Pirates who provide a skiff or a heavier firearm, like an RPG or a general purpose machine gun, may be entitled to an additional A-share.
The first pirate to board a vessel may also be entitled to an extra A-share. At least 12 other volunteers are recruited as militiamen to provide protection on land of a ship is hijacked, In addition, each member of the pirate team may bring a partner or relative to be part of this land-based force. If a ship is successfully hijacked and brought to anchor, the pirates and the militiamen require food, drink, qaad, fresh clothes, cell phones, air time, etc. The captured crew must also be cared for.
In most cases, these services are provided by one or more suppliers, who advance the costs in anticipation of reimbursement, with a significant margin of profit, when ransom is eventually paid. When ransom is received, fixed costs are the first to be paid out. The crew of the Maersk Alabama, having survived an attack by pirates in Somalia last week, has returned home for a much-deserved rest.
But with tensions ratcheting up between the U. Peter Leeson, an economist at George Mason University and an occasional Freakonomics guest blogger , offers a brisk and fascinating look at old-school piracy in his new book The Invisible Hook: The Hidden Economics of Pirates. Leeson agreed to sit down and answer some important piratical questions for us:. Q: The Invisible Hook is more than just a clever title. A: In Adam Smith, the idea is that each individual pursuing his own self-interest is led, as if by an invisible hand, to promote the interest of society.
So they were driven to build systems of government and social structures that allowed them to better pursue their criminal ends. For pirates, self-interest results in cooperation that destroys wealth by allowing pirates to plunder more effectively. Q: In the book, you write that pirates had set up their own early versions of constitutional democracy, complete with separation of powers, decades before the American Revolution. Was that only possible because they were outlaws, operating entirely outside the control of any government?
The pirates of the 18th century set up quite a thoroughgoing system of democracy. So pirates, more than anyone else, needed to figure out some system of law and order to make it possible for them to remain together long enough to be successful at stealing. Q: So did these participatory, democratic systems give merchant sailors an incentive to join pirate crews, because it meant they were freer among pirates than on their own ships?
A: The sailors had more freedom and better pay as pirates than as merchantmen. But perhaps the most important thing was freedom from the arbitrariness of captains and the malicious abuses of power that merchant captains were known to inflict on their crews. In a pirate democracy, a crew could, and routinely did, depose their captain if he was abusing his power or was incompetent. How does the invisible hook explain their behavior? They would have had to battle it out more often, because the merchants would have expected to be tortured indiscriminately if they were captured.
So instead, what we often see in the historical record is pirates displaying quite remarkable feats of generosity. The other side of that, of course, is that if you resisted, they had to unleash, you know, a hellish fury on you.
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But I speculate that the pirate population had no higher proportion of sadists than legitimate society did. And those sadists among the pirates tended to reserve their sadistic actions for times when it would profit them. Direct confrontation is not the only challenge facing the United States. One could even make the case that war is not even at the top of the list.
Competition for natural resources and access to markets is likelier to result in lawfare, economic sanctions and other soft power confrontations than kinetic actions. The danger is that a normative approach to foreign policy might crash into a real world of realpolitik and hard power. Speaking softly will only get you so far, unless you carry a big stick. Neither do we seek to bully, intimidate, cajole, or persuade others to accept our unique values or to share our national objectives.
Rather, we will let others draw their own conclusions based upon our actions. We last saw the former during the presidency of George W. Bush, when foreign policy thinking was dominated by the belief that the United States had to take active measure to promote American values of liberty abroad. Merely being an example was not enough to cause change. The latter, which is on display in the Y article, is the idea that the United States should sort out its own house first and act as a beacon of light to the world, instead of forcing its ideals on others.
This would not be isolationism — as noninterventionism is often, and mistakenly, called. It would be a policy based on the genuine belief that the United States cannot, and should not, run the world. There are limits to U. Human Rights Situation. Following is the full text:.
As in previous years, the reports are full of distortions and accusations of the human rights situation in more than countries and regions including China. However, the United States turned a blind eye to its own terrible human rights situation and seldom mentioned it. Every year, one out of every five people is a victim of a crime in the United States. No other nation on earth has a rate that is higher.
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In , an estimated 4. The crime rate surged in many cities in the United States. Detroit residents experienced more than 15, violent crimes each year, which means the city has 1, violent crimes per , residents. Twenty-five murder cases occurred in Los Angeles County in a week from March 29 to April 4, ; and in the first half of , people were killed in murders in Los Angeles County www. As of November 11, New York City saw homicide cases, up 16 percent from the reported at the same time last year The Washington Post, November 12, The United States exercised lax control on the already rampant gun ownership.
Reuters reported on November 10, that the United States ranks first in the world in terms of the number of privately-owned guns. Some 90 million people own an estimated million guns in the United States, which has a population of about million. Four U. And 18 other states allow weapons in restaurants that serve alcohol The New York Times, October 3, Tennessee has nearly , handgun permit holders.
The Washington Times reported on June 7, that in November , a total of , more people in the United States purchased firearms than had bought them in November This was a more than fold increase, compared with the change in sales from November over November From November to October , almost 2. The frequent campus shootings in colleges in the United States came to the spotlight in recent years. It would become only the second state, after Utah, to enforce such a rule. The United States had high incidence of gun-related blood-shed crimes.
Figures released by the U. Department of Justice on October 13, showed weapons were used in 22 percent of all violent crimes in the United States in , and about 47 percent of robberies were committed with arms www. On March 30, , five men killed four people and seriously injured five others in a deadly drive-by shooting The Washington Post, April 27, In April, six separate shootings occurred overnight, leaving 16 total people shot, two fatally www. On April 3, a deadly shooting at a restaurant in North Hollywood, Los Angeles, left four people dead and two others wounded www.
One person was killed and 21 others wounded in separate shootings around Chicago roughly between May 29 and 30 www. In June, 52 people were shot at a weekend in Chicago www. Three police officers were shot dead by assailants in the three months from May to July Chicago Tribune, July 19, A total of people were shot and 33 of them were killed in Chicago in the 31 days of July in Between November 5 and 8, four people were killed and at least five others injured in separate shootings in Oakland World Journal, November 11, On November 30, a year-old boy in Marinette County, Wisconsin, took his teacher and 24 classmates hostage at gunpoint abcNews, November 30, On January 8, , a deadly rampage critically wounded U.
Gabrielle Giffords. Six people were killed and 12 others injured in the attack Los Angeles Times, January 9, According to figures released by the American Civil Liberties Union ACLU in September , more than 6, travelers had been subject to electronic device searches between October 1, and June 2, , nearly half of them American citizens.
A report on The Wall Street Journal on September 7, , said the Department of Homeland Security DHS was sued over its policies that allegedly authorize the search and seizure of laptops, cellphones and other electronic devices without a reasonable suspicion of wrongdoing. There is no provision for judicial approval or supervision. When Colombian journalist Hollman Morris sought a U. Patriot Act. It also claimed that passengers can not refuse the security check based on their religious beliefs.
Civil rights groups contended the more intensive screening violates civil liberties including freedom of religion, the right to privacy and the constitutional protection against unreasonable searches AP, November 16, Travel Association have been getting thousands of complaints about airport security measures The Christian Science Monitor, November 20, Abuse of violence and torturing suspects to get confession is serious in the U.
Among them was a case that an unarmed man was killed in a bullet police shooting on his wedding day. The three police officers were acquitted of manslaughter and the NYDP simply settled the case with money China Press, October 15, In June , a federal jury found former Chicago police lieutenant Jon Burge guilty of perjury and obstruction of justice. Burge and officers under his command shocked, suffocated and burned suspects into giving confessions in the s and s The Boston Globe, November 5, On March 22, a distraught homeless man was shot dead in Potland, Oregon, by four shots from a police officer China Press, April 1, An off-duty Westminster police officer was arrested on suspicion of kidnapping and raping a woman on April 3 while a corrections officer was accused of being an accessory Los Angeles Times, April 6, On April 17 in Seattle, Washington, a gang detective and patrol officer kicked a suspect and verbally assaulted him Seattle Post-Intelligencer, May 10, On March 24, Chad Holley, 15, was brutally beaten by eight police officers in Houston.
The teen claimed he was face down on the ground while officers punched him in the face and kneed him in the back. After a two-month-long investigation, four officers were indicted and fired Houston Chronicle, May 4, June 23, Family members of the three injured argued why the police fired into the van when nobody on the van fired at them The Washington Post, August 14, On September 5, , a Los Angeles police officer killed a Guatemalan immigrant by two shots and triggered a large scale protest.
On November 5, , a large demonstration took place in Oakland against a Los Angeles court verdict which put Johannes Mehserle, a police officer, to two years in prison as he shot and killed unarmed African American Oscar Grant two years ago. Police arrested more than people in the protest San Francisco Chronicle, November 9, By , America will have more than 1. The sharp increase will lead to overcrowding prisons. California prisons now hold , inmates, double their intended capacity The Wall Street Journal, December 1, In a New Beginnings facility for the worst juvenile offenders in Washington DC, only 60 beds are for youths who in were charged with the most violent crimes.
Many of them would violate the laws again without proper care or be subject to violent crimes The Washington Post, August 28, Due to poor management and conditions, unrest frequently occurred in prisons. According to a report on Chicago Tribune on July 18, , more than 20 former Cook County inmates filed suit saying they were handcuffed or shackled during labor while in the custody, leaving serious physical and psychological damage.
On October 19, , at least inmates took part in a riot at Calipatria State Prison, leaving two dead and a dozen injured China Press, October 20, In November, AP released a video showing an inmate, being beaten by a fellow inmate in an Idaho prison, managed to plead for help through a prison guard station window but officers looked on and no one intervened until he was knocked unconscious.
Wrongful conviction occurred quite often in the United States. In the past two decades, a total of people were exonerated through DNA tests, among them 17 were on death row Chicago Tribune, July 11, A report from The Washington Post on April 23, , said Washington DC Police admitted 41 charges they raised against a year-old boy, including four first-degree murders, were false and the teen never confessed to any charge.
Police of Will County, Illinois, had tortured Kevin Fox to confess the killing of his three-year-old daughter and he had served eight months in prison before a DNA test exonerated him. Similar case happened in Zion, Illinois, that Jerry Hobbs were forced by the police to confess the killing of his eight-year-old daughter and had been in prison for five years before DNA tests proved his innocence.
Barry Gibbs had served 19 years in prison when his conviction of killing a prostitute in was overturned in and received 9. The U. House and Senate candidates shattered fundraising records for a midterm election, taking in more than 1. The midterm election, held in November , finally cost 3. Interest groups have actively spent on the election. As of October 6, , the 80 million U. One of the biggest spenders nationwide was the American Future Fund from Iowa, which spent 7 million U. One major player the 60 Plus Association spent 7 million dollars on election related ads.
While advocating Internet freedom, the U. On June 24, , the U. Handing government the power to control the Internet will only be the first step towards a greatly restricted Internet system, whereby individual IDs and government permission would be required to operate a website. An article on the U. Unemployment rate in the United States has been stubbornly high. From December to October , a total of 7.
According to statistics released by the U. Department of Labor on December 3, , the U. The jobless rate of California in January was Unemployment rate of New York State was 8. There were nearly , people unemployed statewide, and about , people were collecting unemployment benefits from the state The New York Times, November 19, Employment situation for the disabled was worse. Department of Labor on August 25, , the average unemployment rate for disabled workers was The unemployment rate for those with disabilities had risen to In , more than 21, disabled people complained to Equal Employment Opportunity Commission EEOC about their experience of employment discrimination, an increase of 10 percent and 20 percent over the numbers of and The World Journal, September 25, Proportion of American people living in poverty has risen to a record high.
Census Bureau reported on September 16, that a total of 44 million Americans found themselves in poverty in , four million more than that of The share of residents in poverty climbed to Florida had a total of 2. In New York City, People in hunger increased sharply. A report issued by the U. Department of Agriculture in November showed that About 50 million Americans experienced food shortage that year. The number of households collecting emergency food aid had increased from 3.
The number of Americans participating in the food-stamp program increased from 26 million in May to 42 million in September , approximately one in eight people was using food stamps The Associated Press, October 22, In the past four years, Number of homeless Americans increased sharply. According to a report by USA Today on June 16, , the number of families in homeless shelters increased 7 percent to , from fiscal year through fiscal year Homeless families also were staying longer in shelters, from 30 days in to 36 in , and about , American families were living with extended family, friends, or other people because of the economy.
The number of homeless students in the U. In New York City, 30 percent of homeless families in were first-time homeless www. New Orleans had 12, homeless people News Week, August 23, An estimated , men, women and children experienced homelessness in Los Angeles County during some part of the year.
Approximately 82, people were homeless on any given night. African Americans made up approximately half of the Los Angeles County homeless population, 33 percent were Latino, and a high percentage, as high as 20 percent, were veterans www. American veterans served in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars could become homeless one year and a half after they retired, and about , retired veterans become homeless each year in the US homepost.
Statistics from the National Coalition for the Homeless showed that more than 1, violent offences against homeless people have occurred in the U. The New York Times, August 18, The number of American people without health insurance increased progressively every year. According to a report by USA Today on September 17, , the number of Americans without health insurance increased from Sixty-eight adults under 65 years old died due to lack of health insurance each day on average in the US.
Proportion of children without health insurance in the state rose from Racial discrimination, deep-seated in the United States, has permeated every aspect of social life. An Associated Press-Univision Poll, reported by the Associated Press on May 20, , found that 61 percent of people overall said Hispanics face significant discrimination, compared with 52 percent who said blacks do.
Minorities do not enjoy the same political status as white people. Since winning a third term in November , Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg has announced a parade of major appointments: bringing aboard three new deputy mayors and six commissioners. All nine are white. Of people who advise the mayor or hold one of three top titles at agencies that report directly to him — commissioners, deputy commissioners and general counsels, and their equivalents — 78 percent are white.
And of the 1, employees who must live in the city, under an executive order, because they wield the most influence over policies and day-to-day operations, 74 percent are white The New York Times, June 29, Minority groups confront discrimination in their employment and occupation. The black people are treated unfairly or excluded in promotion, welfare and employment Chicago Tribune, March 12, It is reported that one-third of black people confronted discrimination at work, against which only one-sixteenth of the black people would lodge a complaint.
The Washington Post reported on October 15, that about 30 black firefighters alleged systematic racial discrimination within the D. Department of Fire and Emergency Medical Services, claiming that black employees faced harsher discipline. Shirley Sherrod, who was black, was fired by the Agricultural Department after a blogger posted her truncated comments that 24 years ago, she did not help a white farmer when she was working for a nonprofit agency established to help black farmers.
Agriculture Department in February, reached a 1.