The U.S. is using the pandemic as a pretext to further shut down asylum, while spreading the virus through deportations.
. . .
COVID-19 Weaponized to Shut Down Borders
The Trump administration began pushing its agenda of shutting down asylum in the U.S. right out of the gate, and COVID-19 has now provided a new justification. Purportedly to protect public health, the government has essentially shut down asylum at the southern border with Mexico while the U.S. spreads the virus through deportations. Asylum deals with Central American nations are currently in limbo, but the administration could begin sending people to a third country, Honduras, at any time.
In 2019, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security signed a series of bilateral agreements with security officials in Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, including an asylum cooperative agreement (ACA) with each country. The agreements permit the U.S. to send asylum seekers of other nationalities to precisely those Central American countries that hundreds of thousands of citizens have been fleeing, and forcing them to seek asylum there instead or return home.
More than 900 Hondurans and Salvadorans were sent to Guatemala under the agreement between November 2019 and mid-March 2020, when implementation was suspended due to factors related to COVID-19, and the president of El Salvador said months prior that his country did not yet have any capacity to receive people under the third country deal. But implementation of the U.S.-Honduras asylum cooperative agreement could potentially begin at any time, following its publication on May 1 in the U.S. Federal Register.
“There are some reasons why the Trump administration might roll out some other ACAs like the Honduran ACA,” said Yael Schacher, senior U.S. advocate at Refugees International, a humanitarian and advocacy group based in Washington, D.C.
Together with Human Rights Watch, Refugees International just released a new report, “Deportation with a Layover,” that examines the U.S.-Guatemala asylum cooperative agreement. The May 19 report details rights violations and lack of protection at every step of the way, from U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) custody to Guatemala. People are effectively compelled to abandon their asylum claims, according to the report, which notes only 20 of the 939 Hondurans and Salvadorans sent to Guatemala under the deal applied for asylum in Guatemala.
“The initial rollout of the family-separation policy, and then its denial, showed the Trump administration that its campaign of dehumanization against Latino immigrants is weakest when it targets children. This is the reason for the secrecy behind the squalid conditions at immigrant-detention facilities holding minors, which contrasts sharply with the very public announcements of “millions of deportations” by the president himself.“They don’t want eyeballs on the actual conditions of these places,” said Amy Cohen, a doctor who consults on cases involving the 1993 Flores settlement, which continues to govern the conditions for children in immigration custody. “What they tell you is that they are protecting the privacy of these children. That makes no sense. What we need to be doing is protecting the lives of these children. And unfortunately, that does not seem to be a priority of the government.”The journalist Jonathan Katz argued in May that given the intent behind these facilities, and the conditions that migrants are being held in, they are best described as a concentration-camp system in the United States. That assessment was echoed by Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who was promptly accused of trivializing the Holocaust. “Allegations that somehow the United States is operating in a way that is in any way a parallel to the Holocaust is just completely ludicrous,” Representative Liz Cheney wrote. Although Ocasio-Cortez did not mention the Holocaust, the association between the Shoah and concentration camps is strong, and attacking an opponent for hyperbole is easier than defending the torture of children—not that Cheney is at all opposed to torture.”
Roots of Transformation International (“Roots”), now an international non-governmental organization (NGO)
Roots of Transformation International (“Roots”), founder, Carmen delRosaario, announced earlier today that Roots of Transformation International has been recognized as an international non-governmental organization (NGO).
“Dear Friends, I am happy to share with you that Roots of Transformation International (“Roots”) has been recognized as an international NGO, and it up and running! As many of you know, I have spent years reflecting and talking about creating Roots. This idea has been in the making for many years, and this idea is now a reality. Roots is committed to equipping people with the knowledge, wisdom, and tools needed to make decisions that will positively impact their futures- as individuals, for their families and for their nation. Roots is guided by knowledge and experience acquired from over 25 years working in different parts of the world, learning and sharing knowledge in diverse cultures and communities, working with men, women, and young people from all walks of life. The focus of Roots’ work is on how violence, including genocide, female genital mutilation, child soldier, sexual violence, racism and more affects the physical and mental health of so many people around the world. However, we do not stop there. The goal of Roots is to engage and empower individuals, families and communities to interrupt the cycles that perpetuate these forms of violence, starting with the self.
Roots of Transformation working with men for non-violence in the DRC
According to a popular quote from Einstein, “the world as we have created it is a process of our thinking, and it cannot be changed without changing our thinking.” Roots is creating sustainable change in behavior by renewing individual, community and group minds. For example, in my experience working on prevention of female genital mutilation with the people who cut the girls (sometimes as early as 2 months old), some of them are telling me that “well, they also did it to me” or “I want my girl to get married”, reasons based on a mindset that they have not themselves fully understood or agree with . I call this the cycle of knowledge, information, and practices that repeat from generation to generation, and which can be interrupted- not by simply telling or asking people to stop, but through transformational processes that result in people wanting and creating a different outcome for themselves and their children.
OUR COMMON GROUND Voice, Carmen del Rosario, Founder, Roots of Transformation International
About Roots of Transformation International
Roots of Transformation International is a non-governmental organization (NGO) that facilitates organizational stability, change, and transformation by the renewal of individuals’ minds through individual and institutional capacity building. Roots works in collaboration and partnerships with a wide range of government, religious and civic organizations, as well as both national and international NGOs. These partnerships are the means to provide technical assistance and support to local communities by increasing their knowledge of themselves in a holistic manner; a tripartite definition of self as being (1) physical, (2) mental, and (3) spiritual. Roots is committed to equipping people with the knowledge, wisdom, and tools needed to make decisions that will positively impact their futures-as individuals, for their families and for their nation. At this point, Roots needs your help in order to continue this work. This Mother’s Day, please consider supporting Roots in our efforts to support hundreds of women and girls of all ages in their struggle to survive the consequences of female genital mutilation, and in our work to bring an end to this harmful practice.
There is no such thing as too small, even just $10 or $20 can go far in some communities. With much appreciation, Carmen” del Rosario
Donations can be made via PayPal
OCG encourages you to donate. No where else has the need for non-violence work and transforming the meaning of community taking a deep meaning in the lives of each citizen more needed. Roots has been there fighting a culture of non-violence in communities struggling to survive the cultural remnants of war and genocide.
You can listen to Carmen delRosario sharing her passion and hopes for Roots (ROT) here:
“The court seems to buy into the concept that there are exactly two genders, and that there’s a bright line dividing them: If Caster Semenya has 4.99 nanomoles of testosterone per liter, the “integrity of female athletics” will be preserved, but at 5.01, it won’t.So, if you were forced to submit to a testosterone test, would you bet your livelihood and your identity on the hope that your measurements would turn up on the correct side of the line? If they didn’t, would you alter your identity based on this new data — or might you argue that your personhood was more than a number? Most women have never been forced to submit to such a test; most of us are quite sure we know who we are without one.How should athletes who are born with hormonal differences be allowed to participate in the world?
If a higher-than-normal level of testosterone makes someone excel in certain pursuits, do we then dictate that they have to stay away from those pursuits — that they can only do things they suck at?”
Listen or Call-In to add your voice to the discussion (347) 838-9852 Press 1 to join the discussion
This week we discuss the political future of Black Americans in the era of a imperialist Executive and Legislative government. The critical question is not how we react to the fascism that has embedded itself but how we plan to organize our resistance and survival. There are some who say we have been here before. No,THIS is very different AND WILL be totally destructive to any viable Black empowerment strategies . They are bent on a strategy that will destroy the vulnerable infrastructure that keeps us from drowning. We talk with Pascal about preservation and building.
Pascal Robert (pronounced Ro-Bear like Stephan Colbert) is a Blogger who loves all things politics. SHEER political independent; unafraid to slay the most sacred cows of ideological orthodoxy from the Left, or the Right and one who enjoys global affairs and aspects of pop culture. In all ways he is a child of the Haitian Revolution.
Pascal Robert has been known for years to the online world as THOUGHT MERCHANT.
Since 2007 he has been recognized for his hard hitting, blunt unvarnished style of bringing attention to current events and global affairs, especially those affecting communities of color. Join him in these social media outlets:
Dr. Ruby N. Sales, Co-Moderating LISTEN LIVE and Join the OPEN Chat: http://bit.ly/1LS3Pfj
Call In – Listen Line: 347-838-9852
RESISTANCE and REBELLION Series
We continue our series of discussions of REBELLION AND RESISTANCE required to fight American racism and white supremacy.
Tonight on OUR COMMON GROUND, we discuss white supremacy as a system of power which is a fundamental undergird and foundation of economic, political and cultural imperialism. Part of our discussion will focus on examining the parallels of the struggle to dismantle that system with the struggles of other victims of white supremacy across the globe. Joining us will be representatives of a visiting Palestinian activist group here in the US to make its case before the UN Commission on Human Rights. We are grateful to have Dr. Ruby Sales, a featured commentator on OCG to join us and to lead this discussion, taking your calls and comments.
ABOUT OUR GUEST, Shardi Yardi
“The bloody cycle in which I live…is a vicious circle that is sustained by the choice of both sides to engage in violence. I refuse to take part in this choice.”
Sahar Vardi is a Jerusalem based activist. She publicly refused her military service and was imprisoned in 2008. Since then she has been active with Israeli anti-militarist groups such as New Profile and today works as the Israel Program Coordinator for the American Friends Service Committee based in Jerusalem. The focus of her work is on countering militarism in Israeli society, including challenging the Israeli military-industry complex. Sahar is also part of Boycott from Within (a group of Israelis supporting the Palestinian call for boycott) and has been active with direct action groups such as Taayush and Anarchists Against the Wall. Today much of her activism is in Jerusalem in Palestinian lead struggles against house demolitions, child arrests and discrimination of East Jerusalem.
White supremacy is a historically based, institutionally perpetuated system of exploitation and oppression of continents, nations and peoples of color by white peoples and nations of the European continent; for the purpose of maintaining and defending a system of wealth, power and privilege.
White supremacy operates through racial oppression against people of color: slavery, genocide, anti-immigration, driving while Black, etc. White supremacy maintains real power for the ruling class who control the major institutions of society. Racism is white supremacy; white supremacy is racism. There is no other form of “functional” racism in the known universe. Therefore it is illogical purporting victims of white supremacy (racism) worldwide are capable of practicing white supremacy simultaneously. It doesn’t compute.
“Racism | White Supremacy – One or more white persons using deceit, direct violence, and/or the threat of violence to promote falsehood, non-justice, and/or incorrectness against non-white people on the basis of “color” in order to “satisfy” white people, in one or more areas of activity including economics, education, entertainment, labor, law, politics, religion, sex and/or war.”
“Everything that a Racist (White Supremacist) says, and everything that he or she does is intended to help establish, maintain, expand, and/or refine the practice of Racism (White Supremacy).” – Neely Fuller Jr. The United Independent Compensatory Code/System/Concept a textbook/workbook for thought, speech and/or action for victims of racism (white supremacy)
“The local and global power system structured and maintained by persons who classify themselves as white, whether consciously or subconsciously determined; this system consists of patterns of perception, logic, symbol formation, thought, speech, action and emotional response, as conducted simultaneously in all areas of people activity (economics, education, entertainment, labor, law, politics, religion, sex and war). The ultimate purpose of the system is to prevent white genetic annihilation on Earth – a planet in which the overwhelming majority of people are classified as non-white (black, brown, red and yellow) by white-skinned people. All of the non-white people are genetically dominant (in terms of skin coloration) compared to the genetically recessive white-skinned people.” – Dr. Frances Cress Welsing, “The Isis Papers”
“To think of White supremacy in terms of American dynamics alone eschews the fact that much of the racism, the legacy of slavery in sheer size actually occurred outside of the United States (i.e. Brazil). Much of the colonialism globally impacts America (in terms of capitalism and trade) yet didn’t occur here. The idea that White supremacy evaporates when White people are not present or when some Whites are oppressed for other facets of identity beyond their race is simply untrue.”
“Racism Isn’t Only American. White Supremacy Isn’t Only Western.” Gradient Lair, http://www.gradientlair.com/post/63803685383/racism-and-white-supremacy-are-global
Listen & Call In Line: 347-838-9852
Saturday, September 26, 2015 10 pm ET Join us Here: http://bit.ly/1LS3Pfj
The word imperialism fell into disuse in recent decades. If it seems slightly retro, that is only because there aren’t enough Americans committed to telling the ugly truth about their government.
During the Cold War era we were told that communism increased in influence via a domino effect, knocking down nations one by one and forcing them into Moscow’s or Beijing’s orbit. In the 21st century there is a new domino theory which puts every part of the world into America’s cross hairs.
Barack Obama has succeeded in expanding America’s influence in ways that George W. Bush and Dick Cheney could only dream about. The neo-conservative project for a new American century has reached full fruition under a Democratic president, who now has many notches on his gun. He and the rest of the NATO leaders began the trail of destruction with Libya, tearing that country asunder under the guise of saving it.
Using lies and their servants in the corporate media, they constructed a tale of a tyrant and a people yearning for protection. That evil success emboldened them and their Gulf monarchy allies further and they decided that Syria would be the next domino.
That plan didn’t work quite as well as Obama and the rest of the murder incorporated team thought it would. When the British parliament said no to new military adventures Obama was left sputtering on national television. He was forced to back down from an adamant position he had taken just days earlier.
The semi-comedic setback was only temporary because the monster must be fed at all cost. The system can no longer sustain itself and brute force is the only out. There is nothing old fashioned about imperialism. This malevolent force is still alive and well.
George W. Bush made efforts to overthrow the democratically elected Bolivarian revolution in Venezuela when he plotted with the opposition against the late Hugo Chavez. Obama is clearly more committed to violence than his predecessor and has helped to stir up right wing Venezuelans who want to rid themselves of Nicolas Maduro. Maduro has been weakened by the ginned up protests and is now forced into talks with an opposition that won’t be satisfied until he is dead and gone too.
The Venezuelan people have voted for their revolution numerous times. The U.S., a country that never ceases to call itself a democracy, has thwarted their clearly expressed will time and time again. But that is the essence of empire after all.
While armed force against Syria was temporarily blocked, the West, the Persian Gulf monarchies, Israel, and jihadists have not given up their effort to topple the Bashir al-Assad government in Syria. The savage war has made thousands of Syrians homeless and starving refugees, all because the empire needs its next domino.
Not only does the United States meddle in its own backyard, it also relentlessly interferes on the other side of the world in far away Ukraine. Popular discontent against that country’s president became a successful effort to bring that country into the western sphere of economic influence but with the awful strings of austerity attached. Ukraine has the choice of going bankrupt or being bailed out and dying a slow death à la Greece.
While the machinations were afoot, president Obama warned Vladimir Putin away with threats of sanctions. The scenes of sometimes violent street protests in Ukraine made a fortuitous tableau for the United States which claimed the infamous “responsibility to protect” which never protects anyone who actually needs help and which has brought so much suffering to people around the world. Every invasion, occupation and disruption in recent years can be laid at the feet of the United States and its allies. Iraq has been destroyed quite literally, Iran has been destroyed economically. Libya was taken out and Syria is on the brink.
The United States quite openly makes it clear that it wants to have its way in the world. If Russia attempts to use its influence then it is vilified and caricatured as a cruel dictatorship controlled by a tyrant. No matter how many elections Chavez and now Maduro won, they are called dictators by American talking heads.
A superpower can foment conflict anywhere it wants to at anytime it chooses. Venezuelans must knuckle under or face the prospect of more turmoil and violence. Ukraine must sign onto economic policies which have already proven disastrous. The United States leaves its fingerprints in these and many other places and that is the essence of imperialism. It is all about control with the rawest brute force available.
The United States hasn’t officially made Venezuela or any other a colony but it doesn’t have to do that. It just has to show that it is boss and the dominos will fall wherever it chooses.
This blog explores and examines the intersections of rhetoric, race, and religion.
The Boston Bombing: A Reader
On April 15, 2013 around 3:00pm EST, two explosions rocked participants and onlookers at the Boston Marathon. We here at Rhetoric Race and Religion are collecting posts that focus on this horrific event. If you have one to share or would like to write one for our blog, please email us at email@example.com
Despite the army of NGOs and a strong commitment of the international community, Haiti is still broken and its prospects are dim. Is something fundamentally wrong with the aid programs? And can Haitians break out of it? Ezili Dantò, Stanley Lucas and Nicolas Rossier share their first-hand experience on CrossTalk.
The Revolution which created the nation of Haiti was inspired by the divine decree of the warrior love goddess known as Ezili Dantò who danced in the head of the great Haitian priestess, Cecile Fatiman, on that famous Haitian night in 1791, on a red hilltop, at a forest thicket in Haiti called Bwa Kayiman.
Led by the powerful warrior spirit of Ezili Dantò, Cecile Fatiman crowned the African warrior Boukman with her royal red Petwo scepter, ushering in the Haitian war which forever slashed the chains of European slavery in Haiti to create Africa’s sacred trust, Manman Ayiti – the first Black nation in the Western Hemisphere.
Ezili Dantò is the symbol of the irreducible essence of that ancient Black mother, mother of all the races, who holds Haiti’s umbilical chord back to Africa, back to Anba Dlo*. Calling on her essence, breath, vision and cosmic power brought forth Haiti’s release from 300-hundred years of brutal European enslavement.
Ezili Dantò of HLLN performs the banda dance as Gede for Breaking Sea Chain. See also Intro to Breaking Sea Chains and RBM Video Reel
Ezili Dantò is the spiritual mother of Haiti and the preeminent cosmic symbol of Black independence, unity, self-determination, justice, equality and freedom.
The Ginen root – Haitian identity – forged at Bwa Kayiman is THE UNITY that’s never wavered in Haiti. One people, one African culture, one language, one Vodun spiritual imperative – to live free or die. That’s the consensus, the- “Linyon Fè la Fòs” – Haitian union, that’s never wavered.
One of Joseph Campbell’s most famous quotes is that “If you want to change the world, you have to change the metaphor.” The power of myth, metaphor and archetypal psychology are no longer disputed. If we were to look upon Ezili Dantò as a major African-Haitian archetype, myth, metaphor or narrative and note Vodun’s major role in the Haitian revolution and that during the Haitian revolution, this archetype was the only spirit principle or hero who was injured, who actually lost her voice, then it would be easier to understand why our work at Ezili’s HLLN has used Vodun lexicon to describe modern pathologies and given the great mother Goddess, Ezili Dantò, her tongue back. Supposedly, after Bwa Kay Iman, in the course of the war for liberation and freedom, Ezili Dantò was the only higher spirit and the only female symbol of love and nurture that was mutilated. Her tongue was cut out. And thus, in some sections of Haiti when this intangible, invisible, untouchable and eternal energy manifests into form through a living Haitian being, it can’t talk. This generation of Haitians at Ezili’s HLLN are not willing to continue putting life into that particular neocolonial metaphor. At Ezili’s HLLN, our work intends to change the world, Haiti’s world, by changing the metaphors and colonial narratives and uplift the warrior mother Goddess Ezili Dantò’s spirit, Dessalines’ three Ideals and the Haitian paradigm for universal freedom. We understand the psychological warfare, neocolonialism, racism and paternalism that would silence the feminine warrior, Ezili Dantò and the role archetypes and archetypal psychology plays in the liberation, life, values and culture of a people. Haiti doesn’t have superman, batman, Tarzan or any vampire heroes in its cultural narrative or popular folklore. But there’s Jean Jacques Dessalines, Toya, Sanit Belè, Defile, Kapwa Lamò, Ezili Dantò, Danbala, Ayida Wedo, Papa Legba, Simbi, Ogou Feray, Gede yo, et al. To witness to the African-Haitian ancestors’ original and untrammeled inherited pattern of thought or symbolic imagery derived from the collective past African experience is to counter the distasteful, inferior, neocolonial patterns inculcated, over two centuries of colonial/French ecclesiastic and other re-education, present in the individual conscious and unconscious of many modern Haitians.
There’s much work to done to counter the colonial narrative. Ezili Dantò’s HLLN focuses mainly on two archetypes – Ezili Dantò and the historical Papa Jan Jak. There’s nothing more important than putting our life force behind the re-MEMBERment of Ezili Dantò and Jean Jacques Dessalines to counter our African/Haitian dismemberment. Just as, there is also a move to not use the pictures of the white Catholic saints to stand for the African principles, values and irreducible Vodun essences – Lwa yo. The twenty-one nations who gathered at Bwa Kay Iman in 1791, the amalgamated African tribes who became African-Ayisyen in the land of the Taino-Ayisyen formed the only nation in the Americas not named by the white settlers and not founded upon colonial imperatives and values. Our imperative, their descendants, is to extend the universal freedom they fought for, live free or die.
The powerful nations’ constant attack on Haiti’s poor has not changed much. Haiti’s is still an international crime scene where the Haitian Oligarchs/mercenary families act for the neocolonialists. But Haitian resistance is deep with too many creative and spititual roots for capitulation to be a factor. Haitians use the power of the enemy to bend the enemy, never living by the values of the enemy. For, there are some things worst than death. Haiti’s masses refuse to submit to the colonizing nations’ mindset. What does it profit a (wo)/man to gain the whole world but to lose her/his soul. Nature recycles all form, including the tyrant’s form and profits, back to source even as the universal energy warehoused in all form is eternal and always safe, so why lose virtue or bother assist these others fearful and small enough to wish to shatter you for earthly profit.
During the Haitian Revolutionary War, this was the white nations’ “enlightenment” mindset Haitians faced:
“It is not everything to have removed Toussaint, there are two thousand other chiefs here to have taken away…Here is my opinion of this country. It is necessary to destroy all the negroes of the mountains, men and women, sparing only children under the age of twelve, and destroy half of those of the plain, without leaving a single colored man in the colony who ever wore an epaulette. Without that, the colony will never be at peace.” —French General Charles Victor Emmanuel Leclerc
The Haitian revolution helped the United States double its size and gain 15 extra States through the Louisiana Purchase. The Haitian people got rid of physical enslavement but were forced, after the assassination of Haiti’s founding father, into the Independence Debt. Today, economic enslavement reigns unfettered with the UN occupation, endless debt, free trade, privatization and wage slavery.
But, to the colonizing nations’ everlasting dismay, the great triumph of Ezili Dantò’s Haitian warriors, where Dessalines did what Spartacus couldn’t, cannot be equaled or erased in world history. No matter the tyranny imposed over the last two centuries of Haiti’s existence, Haiti’s invisible essence still cannot be colonized.
During the great Haitian war of liberation, the old Haitian ancestors burnt down all the port cities and retreated INLAND, knowing that if they valued any property, family, children or valuables above their freedom and liberty, that that would be used by the more powerful white tribes and their enforcers to re-enslave Africa’s masses. The African warrior Henri Christophe burnt his great mansion down first and then went to meet Lerclerc’s 50,000 French soldiers come to commit genocide and re-enslave the African masses. That courage, that single-minded focus, that ultimate Haitian sacrifice, after 300-years of Euro-enslavement, allowed for the eventual freedom for all the Blacks in the Americas and ended racial slavery. It is evidence that living from the unseen center where Haitians meet the primordial energy that has always been and is behind everything, where they stand together with the vital African Ancestors and Ezili Dantò, the warrior mother’s invisible but tangible and eternal love – is and has always been the core protection, faith and sustenance of the Haitian people. It used to be “Grenadye alaso, sa ki mouri zafè ya yo, nanpren manman, nanpren papa, sa ki mouri zafè ya yo. The revolutionary song, because African-Haitians are still here despite all powerful efforts to silence Ezili Dantò and her warriors, is updated: Grenadye alaso, sa ki mouri na vanje yo!
Haiti, the first Black nation in the Western Hemisphere, is the pioneer in ushering back the reign of the goddess and of women as religious figures equal with men in performing religious ceremonies.
On August 14, 1791 Haitians remembered their dark, African mothers and honored Her culture. August 14, 1791 Boukman remembered Mother Africa. Cecil Fatiman remembered Mother Africa. All the “Feys” – leafs – at Bwa Kayiman remembered Mother Africa. Then, the amalgamated African tribes, in Haiti, found and took hold of Ezili Dantò who said, “Kanga Mundele” – Kill the stranger amongst us, meaning both the brutal enslavers as well as mental colonization. Over two hundred delegations of Blacks from various plantations throughout the North of Haiti where present.
The Haitians had stretched their heart, nerve and sinew way back to call on this authentic pagan (or the pre-Judeo-Christian, pre-Muslim described) spirits of ancient and pre-colonial Africa – they called on – Ezili Dantò (along with Danbala, Atibon Legba, Ogou Feray, Manman Lasirene, ect). But Ezili Dantò appeared first at that Petwo ceremony on August 14, 1791 day on that red clay hilltop in Haiti.
Performance poet, Ezili Dantò of HLLN (in RBM) onstage as Ezili Dantò performs Anba Dlo, Nan Guinen (See also Bwa Kayiman (texts) and PhotoGallery)
All the Africans at Bwa Kayiman, all, be they Muslim or Christians converts, went HOME that day, back to Vodun and, that, has been the road less traveled by any African nation to date. That Movement has made ALL the difference to Africans in the New World and around the world, globally, for it initiated and propelled forward universal human rights as well as initiating the first sparks for Pan-Americanism and Pan-Africanism in modern world history. For, the Haitian people were the first Blacks and enslaved workers taken in shackles out of Africa to the “New World”, the first treated as savages and as subhumans and the first to respond to this treatment definitively and forever, by validating themselves as human beings entitled to equality, self-defense and entitled to their own African religious beliefs. For those days, as well as for today, that was REVOLUTIONARY. (See Video excerpt of Bwa Kayiman playand the Bwa Kayiman performance texts).
But a Black nation inspired by an African goddess/liberator was a bad omen for the white European settlers who claimed themselves superior to Blacks and certainly to free Black women. Yet, the Haitian people, without arms, allies or financial resources where so inspired by their Vodun gods and goddesses and the powers of their Ancestors that, led by the warrior goddess, Ezili Dantò, and after 300-years of Christian-based enslavement in the Americas and over one thousand years of Islamic conquest and enslavement incursions all over Africa, they decided to “live free or die” – liberte ou lamò! and set themselves free in Haiti, defeating all the mighty European powers of that time – France, Spanish and British, in combat.
Today, Haitian women and men follow the long legacy of the warriors of Haitian independence. They are tireless fighters, beholden to no-one – heroic leaders on the cutting edge of the human rights struggle.
Ezili Dantò of HLLN
(See also info on: Ezili Dantò/Aset/Isis (photos) and Bio of Ezili Dantò, 1791 and Ezili, Aset, Isis and Black Woman: Mother of All the Races and Vodun: The Light and Beauty of Haiti.)
Ezili Dantò performs the banda dance as Gede for Breaking Sea Chain. See also Intro to Breaking Sea Chains and RBM Video Reel
The Haitian struggle – the greatest David vs. Goliath battle being played ou on this planet
*Anba Dlo literally means “beneath the ocean, the waters.” It is that primordial, cosmic space where all potentiality lives. It’s the mythological “Haitian Heaven” (to use a non-African point of reference). It’s where all that ever lived, will live and is living will end up. It is, to the African warriors who founded Haiti, the road back to Manman “Africa” – Nan Guinen, that cosmic space where the world began with “Lè Marasa, lè Mò e lè Mistè.”
Anba Dlo to the Haitian is where the great African Ancestors’, where our sacred energies, our strengths and force – the “Lwa yo,” – those sacred irreducible essences of the Haitian/African/Black soul – reside. Anba Dlo is the sacred stillness, cosmic place, where life sources issue from and return to.
Performance poet, Ezili Dantò of HLLN (in RBM) onstage as Ezili Dantò performs Anba Dlo, Nan Guinen (See also Bwa Kayiman (texts) and PhotoGallery)
More info on the sacred energies, light and beauty of Haiti and Haitian culture and on the Haitian Lwa – Gods and Goddesses, the irreducible essences.