Skip to comments.Haiti and the Voodoo Curse: The cultural roots of the country's endless misery.
Posted on 02/06/2010 6:02:35 AM PST by reaganaut1
Haiti has received billions of dollars in foreign aid over the last 50 years, and yet it remains the least developed country in the Western Hemisphere. Its indicators of progress are closer to Africa's than to those of Latin America. It has defied all development prescriptions.
Why? Because Haiti's culture is powerfully influenced by its religion, voodoo. Voodoo is one of numerous spirit-based religions common to Africa. It is without ethical content. Its followers believe that their destinies are controlled by hundreds of capricious spirits who must be propitiated through voodoo ceremonies. It is a species of the sorcery religions that Cameroonian development expert Daniel Etounga-Manguelle identifies as one of the principal obstacles to progress in Africa.
Voodoo is practiced mostly by poor Haitians, who make up the vast majority of the country's population. But all Haitians feel its influence, as one of my sons-in-law, who is Haitian and holds a graduate degree from Harvard, assures me. Wallace Hodges, an American missionary who lived in Haiti for 20 years, observed: "A Haitian child is made to understand that everything that happens is due to the spirits. He is raised to externalize evil and to understand he is in continuous danger. Haitians are afraid of each other. You will find a high degree of paranoia in Haiti."
But voodoo is not the only progress-resistant force at work in Haiti. The treatment of the slaves in French St. Dominguethe colony that would become independent Haiti in 1804 was particularly brutal. The Haitian slaves won their freedom through an uprising that left them in charge of their destiny, but they were left with a value system largely shaped by African culture and by the experience of slavery.
(Excerpt) Read more at online.wsj.com ...
The slavers in Haiti never wanted the slaves to learn to read and write, nor even to be converted to Christianity.
Hence, they kept their African religions and knew next to nothing about what was happening on the next plantation, let alone the outside world.
By contrast, in the mid-19th century free blacks in Jamaica were penning a petition to Queen Victoria—ie., they could read and write, knew about the world, and were led by a pastor (whose photo shows him wearing glasses).
A world of difference...
My ex-wife (a Christian) believed that my rock albums contained evil spirits and refused to allow them in our house.
Your link to the entire article doesn’t work, it is only an excerpt. This one does
The African culture was to live in a land of plenty and when the game ran out to move on. There is no work ethic culture.
The haitians havent changed they have no work ethic, they wait for the US or someone else to do any work that gets done.
That one only gives me an excerpt too.
You have to have a WSJ account to get the entire article.
Try this one, maybe I copied the wrong one.
Hook ‘em Horns!
Scarlet O’Hara’s grandmother escaped from Haiti after the revolution and settled in Savannah, Ga.
No go. The other guy’s right - you have to have a subscription. Damn capitalists.
Here is how I got in: I went to google, typed in Lawrence Harrison, wall street journal and it was the first thing that came up, and it was the entire article.
Nice! You work good juju.
Would that be the juju that I do so well? (With apologies to Cole Porter)
Your comments do not help. Go away.
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