Saturday, January 16, 2010

There Really Was A Pact With The Devil by Anthony McCarthy

The fine Boston Globe columnist, Derrick Jackson, has a reminder that the real pact with the devil re Haiti was one which the United States, itself, made. It wasn’t done at a crossroads by moonlight and it wasn’t signed in blood. Not the blood of the men who made it, that is. It was just one in a line of gentleman agreements with evil that are the congenital disease that has plagued our country, part of the fully known and suppressed reason that bad things are done by those who pretend to the highest ideals.

Slavery was accommodated in the formation of the United States, the infamous 3/5ths and other provisions were part of the bribe paid to the evil of slavery in order for the deal to be sealed. When the slaves of Haiti threw off the French, the secular saint, Thomas Jefferson* didn’t have any problem, once again, putting aside his lofty rhetoric in order to protect the slavery that kept him and his acknowledged family in luxury. The line of measures that American racists from his time up to Rush Limbaugh have taken to make certain that the tiny country couldn’t develop into a black Republic are sparsely punctuated by less malignant, shortly lived, policies. Barack Obama, for obvious reasons, would not be expected to continue with the customary policy. While the horrible death and destruction of the earth quake can’t really be an opportunity, it could be an occasion to do something right. Jackson hopes in his column today that it might be possible in the next few years to try to repair what two-hundred years of crimes against that country have produced. If the government of the United States can’t fix a country of ten million people it’s no wonder that it can’t do much in Afghanistan or here. You have to wonder if that isn't intentional.

Derrick Jackson’s brief survey of how the United States can begin to live up to its pretended morality in respect to Haitians is worth thinking about.

* The Founders fetish is one of the intentionally promoted devices used to prevent us learning from the past.