There is the need to reconcile the UGLY history of Slavery and the Slave Trade.
Reconciliation and remembrance are the motives of this series of blog-commentaries from the movement behind the book Go Lean…Caribbean. With a documented start date in America of August 23, 1619, today marks 400 years exactly. This August 2019 series focuses on this 400 Year History of Slavery – past, present and future. This is entry 2-of-5 for this series; the full catalog is listed as follows:
- 400 Years of Slavery: America, Not the first
- 400 Years of Slavery: International Day of Remembrance
- 400 Years of Slavery: Emancipation Day – Hardly ‘Free At Last’
- 400 Years of Slavery: Where is home?
- 400 Years of Slavery: Cop-on-Black Shootings in America’s DNA
In this series, reference is made to the fact that many American institutions have still not reconciled this ugly history – the assumption of White supremacy still persists. While African-Americans are a minority ethnic group in their country, 29 out of the 30 Caribbean member-states have majority Black populations – descendants of slaves. So there is is opportunity for a different – better – societal interaction. Or so we hope…
The subject of the August 23 International Day of Remembrance of Slavery and the Slave Trade has been detailed in previous blog-commentaries from August 23, 2017 and August 23, 2016. Underlying, was the historic events of the successful Slave Rebellion in Haiti in 1791. It is apropos to Encore that original 2016 entry – there are lots of lessons for today and the 400-year Look Back.
See that previous blog-commentary here-now:
Go Lean Commentary – A Lesson in History – Haiti 1804
There are important lessons to learn from history. This commentary considers one particular lesson: the repercussions and consequences from Slavery and the Slave Trade.
Today – August 23 – is the official commemoration of the Slave Trade, as declared by UNESCO (United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization). It measures the date that the 1791 Slave Rebellion in Haiti commenced.
“All of humanity is part of this story, in its transgressions and good deeds” – Irina Bokova, UNESCO Director-General
This is a very important lesson that we glean from this history, no matter our race or homeland. Let’s consider this lesson from the perspective of the Caribbean and for the benefit of Caribbean elevation.
In jurisprudence, there is the concept of felony murder.
… if a perpetrator robs a liquor store and the clerk has a heart-attack and dies, that perpetrator, once caught is tried for felony murder. The definition is the consequence of death in the act of committing a felony. What’s ironic is this charge would also apply if its a co-perpetrator that dies of the heart-attack rather than a victim-clerk.
This justice standard also applies with family discipline. If/when a child is being naughty and accordingly a sibling is unintentionally hurt, the naughty behavior will almost always be punished for the injury, because it was linked to the bad behavior.
A lesson learned from family discipline; and a lesson learned from criminal law. All of these scenarios present consequences to bad, abusive behavior. This sets the stage for better understanding of this important lesson from the international history of the year 1804. After 200 years of the Slave Trade, repercussions and consequences were bound to strike. This happened in the Caribbean country of Haiti. The following catastrophic events transpired in the decade leading up to 1804:
- 1791 Slave Rebellion – See Appendix A below – A direct spinoff from the French Revolution’s demand for equality
- Leadership of Louverture – As Governor-General, Toussaint Louverture sought to return Haiti to France without Slavery.
- Resistance to Slavery – The French planned and attempted to re-instate Slavery
- Free Republic – The first Black State in the New World
- 1804 Massacre of the French – See Appendix B below – An illogical solution that killing Whites would prevent future enslavement.
Make no mistake, the Massacre of 1804 – where 3,000 to 5,000 White men, women and children were killed – was a direct consequence of Slavery and the Slave Trade.
See VIDEO here of a comprehensive TED story:
VIDEO – The Atlantic Slave Trade: What too few textbooks told you – https://youtu.be/3NXC4Q_4JVg
Published on Dec 22, 2014 – Slavery has occurred in many forms throughout the world, but the Atlantic slave trade — which forcibly brought more than 10 million Africans to the Americas — stands out for both its global scale and its lasting legacy. Anthony Hazard discusses the historical, economic and personal impact of this massive historical injustice.
Lesson by Anthony Hazard, animation by NEIGHBOR.
View full lesson: http://ed.ted.com/lessons/the-atlanti…
- Category – Education
- License – Standard YouTube License
The review of the historic events is more than just an academic discussion, the book Go Lean…Caribbean aspires to economic principles that dictate that “consequences of choices lie in the future”. The book serves as a roadmap for the introduction and implementation of the technocratic Caribbean Union Trade Federation (CU). Haiti – the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere – is one of the 30 member-states for this Caribbean confederacy.
The people of the Caribbean need to understand the cause of this country’s decline and dysfunction; and by extension, the cause of dysfunction for the rest of the Caribbean. It is tied to the events of 1804. How will this lesson help us today?
- Reality of the Legacy – The new Black State of Haiti was censored, sanctioned and scorned upon by all European powers (White people). According to a previous blog-commentary, to finally be recognized, France required the new country of Haiti to offset the income that would be lost by French settlers and slave owners; they demanded compensation amounting to 150 million gold francs. After a new deal was struck in 1838, Haiti agreed to pay France 90 million gold francs (the equivalent of €17 billion today). It was not until 1952 that Haiti made the final payment on what became known as its “Independence Debt”. Many analysts posit that the compensation Haiti paid to France throughout the 19th century “strangled development” and hindered the “evolution of the country”. The CU/Go Lean book assessed the near-Failed-State status of Haiti – “it is what it is”; Haiti is as bad as advertised – and then strategized solutions to reboot the economic-security-governing engines of this Republic.
- Security assurances must be enabled to complement economics objectives – Slavery was introduced to the New World as an economic empowerment strategy, though it was flawed in its premise of oppressing the human rights of a whole class of humans. The only way to succeed for the centuries that it survived was with a strong military backing – fear of immediate death and destruction. The CU/Go Lean premise is that economics engines and security apparatus must work hand-in-hand. This is weaved throughout the roadmap.
- Minority Equalization – The lessons of slavery is that race divides societies; and when there is this division, there is always the tendency for one group to put themselves above other groups. Many times the divisions are for majority population groups versus minorities. If the planners of the new Caribbean want to apply lessons from Slavery’s history, we must allow for justice institutions to consider the realities of minorities. The CU security pact must defend against regional threats, including domestic terrorism. This includes gangs and their junior counterparts, bullies. The CU plans for community messaging in the campaign for anti-bullying and mitigations.
- Reconciliation of issues are not optional, more conflict will emerge otherwise – The issues that caused division in Haiti where not dealt with between 1791 and 1803. A “Great Day of Reckoning” could not be avoided. The Natural Law instinct was to avenge for past atrocities – “an eye for an eye”. The CU/Go Lean roadmap accepts that an “eye for an eye” justice stance would result in a lot of “blindness”; so instead of revenge, the strategy is justice by means of Truth & Reconciliation Commissions – a lesson learned from South Africa – to deal with a lot of the latent issues from the last Caribbean century (i.e. Cuba, Haiti, Dominican Republic, etc).
The purpose of the Go Lean roadmap is to turn-around the downward trends in the Caribbean today, to reverse course and elevate Caribbean society. The CU, applying lessons from best-practices, has prime directives proclaimed as follows:
- Optimization of the economic engines in order to grow the regional economy to $800 Billion & create 2.2 million new jobs.
- Establishment of a security apparatus to protect the resultant economic engines.
- Improve Caribbean governance to support these engines.
The Go Lean book details a series of assessments, community ethos, strategies, tactics, implementations and advocacies to empower all the factions in the Caribbean region:
|Community Ethos – Deferred Gratification||Page 21|
|Community Ethos – Economic Systems Influence Choices & Incentives||Page 21|
|Community Ethos – Consequences of Choices Lie in the Future||Page 21|
|Community Ethos – “Crap” Happens||Page 23|
|Community Ethos – Minority Equalization||Page 24|
|Community Ethos – Ways to Impact the Future||Page 26|
|Community Ethos – Ways to Manage Reconciliations||Page 34|
|Community Ethos – Ways to Improve Sharing||Page 35|
|Community Ethos – Ways to Promote Happiness||Page 36|
|Community Ethos – Ways to Impact the Greater Good||Page 37|
|Strategy – Vision – Integrate region for Economics & Security||Page 45|
|Strategy – Agents of Change – Globalization||Page 57|
|Tactical – Separation of Powers – Department of Homeland Security||Page 75|
|Tactical – Separation of Powers – Department of Justice||Page 77|
|Implementation – Assemble Existing Super-national Institutions||Page 96|
|Implementation – Ways to Pay for Change||Page 101|
|Implementation – Foreign Policy Initiatives at Start-up||Page 102|
|Implementation – Security Initiatives at Start-up||Page 103|
|Implementation – Ways to Deliver||Page 109|
|Implementation – Ways to Promote Independence||Page 120|
|Planning – Ways to Make the Caribbean Better||Page 131|
|Planning – Ways to Improve Failed-State Indices||Page 134|
|Planning – Lessons from the US Constitution||Page 145|
|Advocacy – Ways to Grow the Economy||Page 151|
|Advocacy – Ways to Create Jobs||Page 152|
|Advocacy – Ways to Better Manage the Social Contract||Page 170|
|Advocacy – Ways to Foster Cooperatives||Page 176|
|Advocacy – Ways to Impact Justice||Page 177|
|Advocacy – Ways to Improve Homeland Security||Page 180|
|Advocacy – Ways to Mitigate Terrorism||Page 181|
|Advocacy – Ways to Protect Human Rights||Page 220|
|Advocacy – Battles in the War on Poverty||Page 222|
|Advocacy – Ways to Re-boot Haiti||Page 238|
Why bother with all this dark talk about Slavery and the Slave Trade?
UNESCO has provided a clear answer for this question with this declarative statement:
Ignorance or concealment of major historical events constitutes an obstacle to mutual understanding, reconciliation and cooperation among peoples. UNESCO has thus decided to break the silence surrounding the Slave Trade and Slavery that have concerned all continents and caused the great upheavals that have shaped our modern societies.
The subject of Slavery and the Slave Trade relates to economic, security and governing functioning in a society. The repercussions and consequences of 1804 lingers down to this day. There have been a number of blog-commentaries by the Go Lean promoters that have developed related topics. See a sample list here:
|http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=8724||Remembering African Nationalist Marcus Garvey: Still Relevant Today|
|http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=7682||Frederick Douglass – Pioneer & Role Model for Single Cause: Abolition|
|http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=7221||Street naming for Martin Luther King reveals continued racial animosity|
|http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=5695||Repenting, Forgiving and Reconciling the Past Bad Deeds|
|http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=5123||A Lesson in History – Royal Charters: Zimbabwe -vs- South Africa|
|http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=4971||A Lesson in History – Royal Charters: Truth & Consequence|
|http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=451||CariCom position on Slavery/Colonization Reparations|
This commentary purports that there have been watershed events in history since the emergence of the slave economy. They include:
No doubt the Massacre of 1804 was a crisis. It was not wasted; it was used in a good way to escalate the abolition of the Slave Trade in 1807. It was also used in a bad way to justify further oppression of the African Diaspora in the New World.
A pivotal year.
Let’s learn from this year of 1804; and from the repercussions and consequences from that year. In many ways, the world has not moved! Racism and the suppression of the African race lingers … even today … in Europe and in the Americas.
Our goal is to reform and transform the Caribbean, not Europe or America. We hereby urge everyone in the Caribbean – people, institutions and governments – to lean-in to this Go Lean roadmap. It is time now to move. We must get the Caribbean region to a new destination, one where opportunity meets preparation. This is the destination where the Caribbean is a better homeland to live, work and play. 🙂
Appendix A Title: International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition 2016
— Message from Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO —
In the night of 22 to 23 August 1791, men and women, torn from Africa and sold into slavery, revolted against the slave system to obtain freedom and independence for Haiti, gained in 1804. The uprising was a turning point in human history, greatly impacting the establishment of universal human rights, for which we are all indebted.
The courage of these men and women has created obligations for us. UNESCO is marking International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition to pay tribute to all those who fought for freedom, and, in their name, to continue teaching about their story and the values therein. The success of this rebellion, led by the slaves themselves, is a deep source of inspiration today for the fight against all forms of servitude, racism, prejudice, racial discrimination and social injustice that are a legacy of slavery.
The history of the slave trade and slavery created a storm of rage, cruelty and bitterness that has not yet abated. It is also a story of courage, freedom and pride in newfound freedom. All of humanity is part of this story, in its transgressions and good deeds. It would be a mistake and a crime to cover it up and forget. Through its project The Slave Route, UNESCO intends to find in this collective memory the strength to build a better world and to show the historical and moral connections that unite different peoples.
In this same frame of mind, the United Nations proclaimed the International Decade for People of African Descent (2015-2024). UNESCO is contributing to it through its educational, cultural and scientific programmes so as to promote the contribution of people of African descent to building modern societies and ensuring dignity and equality for all human beings, without distinction.
Source: Retrieved August 23, 2016 from: http://www.unesco.org/new/en/unesco/events/prizes-and-celebrations/celebrations/international-days/slave-trade-and-its-abolition/
Appendix B Title: 1804 Haiti Massacre
The 1804 Haiti Massacre was a massacre carried out against the remaining white population of native Frenchmen and French Creoles (or Franco-Haitians) in Haiti by Haitian soldiers by the order of Jean-Jacques Dessalines who had decreed that all those suspected of conspiring in the acts of the expelled army should be put to death. Throughout the nineteenth century, these events were well known in the United States where they were referred to as “the horrors of St. Domingo” and particularly polarized Southern public opinion on the question of the abolition of slavery.
The massacre, which took place in the entire territory of Haiti, was carried out from early February 1804 until 22 April 1804, and resulted in the deaths of between 3,000 and 5,000 people of all ages and genders.
Squads of soldiers moved from house to house, torturing and killing entire families. Even whites who had been friendly and sympathetic to the black population were imprisoned and later killed. A second wave of massacres targeted white women and children.
By the end of April 1804, some 3,000 to 5,000 people had been killed and the white Haitians were practically eradicated. Only three categories of white people, except foreigners, were selected as exceptions and spared: the Polish soldiers who deserted from the French army; the little group of German colonists invited to Nord-Ouest (North-West), Haiti before the revolution; and a group of medical doctors and professionals. Reportedly, also people with connections to officers in the Haitian army were spared, as well as the women who agreed to marry non-white men.
Dessalines did not try to hide the massacre from the world. In an official proclamation of 8 April 1804, he stated, “We have given these true cannibals war for war, crime for crime, outrage for outrage. Yes, I have saved my country, I have avenged America”. He referred to the massacre as an act of national authority. Dessalines regarded the elimination of the white Haitians an act of political necessity, as they were regarded as a threat to the peace between the black and the colored. It was also regarded as a necessary act of vengeance.
Dessalines was eager to assure that Haiti was not a threat to other nations and that it sought to establish friendly relations also to nations where slavery was still allowed.Dessalines’ secretary Boisrond-Tonnerre stated, “For our declaration of independence, we should have the skin of a white man for parchment, his skull for an inkwell, his blood for ink, and a bayonet for a pen!”
At the time of the civil war, a major reason for southern whites, most of whom did not own slaves, to support slave-owners (and ultimately fight for the Confederacy) was fear of a genocide similar to the Haitian Massacre of 1804. This was explicitly referred to in Confederate discourse and propaganda.
The torture and massacre of whites in Haiti, normally known at the time as “the horrors of St. Domingo“, was a constant and prominent theme in the discourse of southern political leaders and had influenced American public opinion since the events took place.
Source: Retrieved August 22, 2016 from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1804_Haiti_massacre