I walked home late from class in a deep freeze and watched the news for a few hours last evening after which I pulled out Queimada for a little late-night entertainment. The film had come up earlier in the day and I watched it as much for the sights and sounds as anything else, winter blues and all. Pat Robertson is an idiot and an easy target. Just as racist is this Op-Ed from the newspaper of record. As nauseating to me is all of the liberal hand-wringing on Haiti’s plight that, while perhaps sympathetic, is as part of the nature of the beast as the jackasses above. For instance, Rachel Maddow ‘s understanding of Haiti’s history is as blinkered in its way as Brooks is in his. The world exists only through the imperium, they can’t understand it in any other way. For Maddow, the United States and Haiti are old republican friends, simpatico in spirit- a sort of family. Sure they are. One of many pieces of the story missing from Maddow’s little narrative is that one republic was built by expansionist slave-owners and the other built by rebellious slaves. Nowhere does Maddow mention that the United states has routinely occupied Haiti, out of sisterly love we are sure, including a twenty year stretch into the 1930s. No, we’re not all in this together; we have different interests. While not about Haiti per se, Queimada sure looks a lot like it and has something to say on the general subjects generated by Haiti’s history. I’ll let Pontecorvo’s film speak for itself. “But to go where, Anglais?” indeed.
Thinking About Haiti, Watching Burn!