Ezili Danto

Ezili Danto
August 01
Ezili Dantò is an award winning playwright, a performance poet, author and human rights attorney. She was born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, and raised in the USA. She holds a BA from Boston College, a JD from the University of Connecticut School of law. She is a human rights lawyer, cultural and political activist and the founder and president of the Ezili’s Haitian Lawyers Leadership Network (HLLN). She runs the Haitian Perspectives on-line journal and the Ezili Dantò Newsletter. Ezili’s HLLN is the recognized leading and most trustworthy international voice in Haiti advocacy, human rights work, Haiti news and Haiti news analysis. HLLN’s work is central to those concerned with the welfare of the people of Haiti, Haiti capacity building, sovereignty, institutionalization of the rule of law, and justice and peace without occupation or militarization. Ezili Dantò is also an educator who specializes in teaching about the light and beauty of Haitian culture; the Symbolic and Archetypal Nature of Haitian Vodun; the illegality and immorality of forcing neoliberal policies on Haiti and the developing world... Since the UN-imported cholera outbreak on October 2010, Ezili' HLLN has insisted that environmental clean-up, clean water and sanitation are the only permanent solution to stop the UN cholera spread. Zili Dlo is a humanitarian project that provides free clean water. For more go to the Ezili Danto/HLLN websites at http://www.ezilidanto.com/ and http://www.ezilidanto.com/zili

MAY 5, 2012 12:07PM

Not voting for Obama: We’re not even buying a voting ticket

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Not voting for Obama: We’re not even buying a voting ticket to the show

I speak my heart and mind on this. In 2008, Ezili’s HLLN supported a vote for Obama, not because we entirely believed the Obama fairytale (See, The America I Know, 2008.)

We supported a vote for Obama in 2008 for both pragmatic and idealistic reasons. But more so because eight years of Bush and the application of the Wall Street deregulation excesses left over from Bill Clinton and others had reached a crescendo point that was shockingly, brutally horrible and demoralizing for the entire world. But we also campaigned and urged a vote for Obama, despite his apparent selection by one-percenter forces, because the symbolic victory and metaphoric narrative of “The Whitehouse: From Sally Hemings to Michelle Obama” was a powerful and compelling vision we wished to participate in bringing to a reality for the human race. (That sentiment was expressed in this essay - I Don’t Know this America…But I’m Most Happy to Meet It .)

So, Ezili’s HLLN actively campaigned for getting rid of the Republicans that had presided over the 1991 and 2004 unconstitutional regime changes in Haiti. We campaigned so that Obama would give Haiti temporary protected status (TPS), end deportations, haitians new york Haiti: Not Buying a Ticket for Obamas Show stop unfair trade, promote democratic elections in Haiti, value and invest in the Diaspora remittances for reform in Haiti, instead of tied-aid to NGOs, end the US occupation of Haiti behind UN guns, provide relief to Main Street in America, universal health care, social justice, stop torture, end the resource wars abroad. (See, Towards A New US-Haiti Partnership: What Haitian Americans Ask of the New US President and Congress.)

Instead, for instance, it took the earthquake which ended the lives of 310,000 Haitians before front man, Barack Obama, deigned to give limited TPS and stop deportations. Then less than a year later he re-started deportations even with UN-imported cholera ravages and failed aid to the earthquake victims. But Obama would soon destroy even the tiny scraps of good he brought with TPS by unleashing Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton on Haiti’s head for the duration, not to mention the Bush-Clinton partnership for earthquake “relief”.

We wrote then our dissent. “Give us a 100 hard right-wing Republicans to face any day. Keep the namby pamby Democrats or progressive left selling their constituents out in the name of some mythical, so-called bipartisanship. They are the worst and most dangerous enablers of neoliberal globalization masturbating on the poor’s imposed pain, poverty and suffering.” (See Obama’s offered HOPE is sweatshop slavery . Since before the fall of the US-supported Duvalier dictatorships in 1986, the US has been bringing “hope” to Haiti. The newest, profit-over-people sweatshop hoax is Caracol, a sweatshop project masking the foreign appropriation of fertile Haiti lands and deep water ports.)

Today, any politician who uses the word “hope” and “change” – as in, “I am the change you’re looking for” – is unable to waste our time with US perverted elections whatsoever. The whole system is corrupt. Integrating with injustice is no longer an option. Obama was the straw that broke the camel’s back for us. Truly, his tenure has hurt our hearts in so many ways. Not least of which is the fact that a Black man has become number one superpower overseer of the profit-over-people paradigm.

Ezili’s HLLN will not be supporting Obama's reelection. We suggest conscious folks nix the political theater of the Republicans and Democrats, concentrate on local self-reliance, local community building, local people empowerment, local building of relevant educational, health care, local food sovereignty, local production, local work and local communication self-sufficiency infrastructures. Don’t count on any government to “save you”. Not happening folks, not with perverted electoral politics, whether you’re in the US or Haiti.

The corporations have bought out the politicians and they’re about servicing Wall Street, giving corporate welfare, maintaining their jobs at ALL cost.

Obama’s betrayal of core justice values, cuddling Wall Street instead of making it accountable, just to get re-elected cannot sufficiently be offset by general fear of the Republican’s Supreme Court nominations. We must speak truth to power, live without fear. And the Supreme Court has presided over a judiciary that disproportionately favors the wealthy, puts more Black men into the prison system than anywhere else in the world for nonviolent crimes such as being addicted to “inhaling.”

Moreover, what has the Supreme Court done for Main Street lately anyhow? Or, to preserve its objectivity, its reputed sacredness? Like the Democratic and Republican members of Congress, the folks at the Supreme Court are a reflection of the times. They have simply become an arm of the global corporatocracy, giving more human rights to corporations than to human beings. Supreme Court appointments are simply not a sufficiently important issue to vote Democrat.

The old dog – “vote-for-the-lesser-of-the-two-evils” argument no longer has traction – won’t hunt. People, of all ethnicities, are tired of dealing with evil. Period.

If being a “pragmatist” or a “realist” means choosing only amongst evil, count us OUT.

The US-Euro pragmatic philosophy has a place, brings lots of comfort, but it is also responsible for the myopic resource wars and prevalent loss of the human soul amongst the schooled peoples worldwide, not to mention the rut and perennial impasse we’re in with perverted US electoral politics. Fact is, the US voting rights our Ancestors fought and died for, are redistricted out of legitimacy at the whim of the more wealthy and more powerful. And that’s LEGAL!

I am envisioning another world.

Not integrating with injustice.

Obama betrayed the American voters who expected he would not gut the US Constitution. But he has. And, some of us here at HLLN are lawyers.

This writer herself is a member of two US State bars where the oath I made was to protect the US Constitution. Moreover, as a born-Haitian – with a legacy to reach for -  who has spent what seems a lifetime advocating against the US destruction of legitimate elections in Haiti, against the US and the wealthy’s support of apartheid and ethnocide in Haiti, against US destruction of the 1987 Haiti Constitution with illegal US regime changes in Haiti, as an advocate who has had to deal with the poor Haitians’  indiscriminate indefinite detention simply because the US and Haiti’s repugnant undemocratic forces suspect these poor voted and supported Lavalas, I find NOTHING redeeming about the Constitutional lawyer, named Barack Obama. (President Obama Signs Indefinite Detention Into Law ; Activists sue Obama, others over National Defense Authorization Act ; Obama's abysmal record on civil liberties; Obama re-authorizes the Patriot Act ; Obama Supports - sweeping intelligence surveillance -FISA Legislation ; Obama preserves renditions ; Obama Endorses Bush Secrecy On Torture And Rendition.)

It’s simply unforgivable on so many levels that Barack Obama went further than George W. Bush in denying human rights and social justice to US and world peoples, like Haitians. Under the Obama tenure, indefinite military detention of U.S. citizens is lawful in the land of the free and home of the brave and Haitians are saddled with George W. Bush and Bill Clinton to help us become more a democratic and stable Black nation! Susan Rice takes over the role Colin Powell played for the Bushes while Cheryl Mills is out there pushing the Duvalierist agenda in Haiti previously championed by Bill Clinton’s commerce secretary, the late Ron Brown.

Yes racism against Obama exist. No doubt. But, Obama ruined his own integrity by betraying the hopeful world who wished respite from empire’s invasions, narcissism, resource wars, denial of social justice and land grabs behind the do-gooder facade. Obama especially betrayed the weary American people who voted for him. Yes, Obama probably will win again over Romney. The powers that be are very satisfied with the pretty Black-family mask of US imperialism and Americans, of all ethnicities, are programmed for the fairytale narrative and for suburban amnesia; would rather have comfort to liberty.

Obama will most likely win again because denial is easier than the hard reality of Obama’s betrayal of Main Street and championing of corporate welfare for Wall Street. Under Obama, like it was under Bill Clinton, the one-percenters continued their white supremacist and land/resource grabbing invasions and betrayal of Africa, continued the perennial US war in Haiti, against the poor worldwide, against countries like  Afghanistan, Iraq, et al…

Obama did not bring American soldiers home but started other wars. Both parties are the same. And, in a world of infinite possibilities we choose not between the lesser of two evil. In fact, those of us who are not into denial and work at the human-rights front lines prefer to face the Republican snake head-on than the confused and gutless Democrat chameleon whining about being a progressive when it is NOT.

There’s no difference between the two US political parties, except one is more direct in its tyranny against the most vulnerable amongst us. The other hides behind pseudo liberalism and gives us Clintonesque deregulation, NAFTA unfair trade and loss of US jobs, gutting Glass-Steagal to serve the Goldman Sachs cadres, Welfare-to-Work when all work has flown overseas where US superpower might makes sure there’s no minimum wage, no human rights, unions or respect for Black and Brown life.

Whoever is in charge of the profit-over-people paradigm, Democrat or Republican, Ezili’s HLLN will be confronting 24/7. Full time. Frankly we prefer watching the Democrats in the opposition to the Republicans opposing EVERYTHING that they sat by and watch OBAMA preside over. There’s much less emotional tie-in for me there. If that means facing Romney, so be it. But there are other choices, like everyone NOT showing up for this theater and nullifying the elections. Envision that. A courageous electorate that stops believing things must stay as they are with the duopoly. Just imagine it.

Yes indeed I am a dreamer. Nothing changes without risk. Pragmatism is just a cop-out. Since it doesn’t matter who we vote for, best to make a statement. I think that’s pragmatic. More so than voting for Obama, the more effective evil servicing U.S. neo-feudalism.

Share your thoughts with us on this position.

With respect,
Ezili Dantò
May 4, 2012

See: May 5th:
[ezilidanto] 12 Ezili Listserve comments on : Not voting for Obama
May 10th:
[ezilidanto] Comment #13 to 21  on : Not voting for Obama


The Obama Deception
In 1862, Abraham Lincoln is quoted to have said the following: “The money powers prey upon the nation in times of peace and conspire against it in times of adversity. It is more despotic than a monarch, more insolent than autocracy and more selfish than a bureaucracy. It denounces, as public enemies, all who question its methods or throw light upon its crimes. I have two great enemies, the Southern Army in front of me and the bankers in the rear. Of the two, the one at the rear is my greatest foe.” Today, the PRIVATE Federal Reserve Bank runs the US economy and is above the law - no other agency of the US government can overule its actions, according to Alan Greenspan.


Zeitgeist Addendum

“We send this out yearly for those who haven’t yet watched it, mostly because of the first part of the  documentary that details how the monetary system and corporatocracy works; how the profit-over-people system is fueled by artificially-kept scarcity in an abundant world. This, to get you re-thinking some of what you were taught. Take what you can, leave what you can’t fit into your mind or reference points. The posting is not meant to confer our support to the notion, espoused in the latter parts of the video, that technology is the only agent for sustainable world change. Universal comfort and technological consumption cannot replace human ethics, conscience or values that define human-ness such as compassion, empathy, elevation of beauty, community, universal connection, fairness, justice, equality and the importance of public engagement, purpose and service to human dignity. Besides, having a global economic system that would put people-before-profit, perhaps a legal structure where human beings and not just capital had human rights and maybe could freely move around the globe without undue restraints. Just a thought. There may be many agents working together that might bring about a better world. Life is not static, reality is constantly in motion – emergent – as the video points. Old patterns, obsolete and illogical assumptions should not still be readily accepted.” –Ezili Dantò of HLLN


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There is not and there has not, since JFK, been a real candidate to choose from. Dem or GOP, they are nothing but the puppets selected by the Electoral College.

The entire "faux-democratic" election process within the U.S. is a sham, railroaded by special interests, corporate America and the religious fanatics.

We do not have politics in the U.S., we have parasiticticks, who suck the wealth from every pocket they can, piss on the world and spread discontent to occupy us while they ravage the Earth.

No vote from me either this time around. No point in bothering and that's not from apathy, it's pure logic and realism.

I'll be protesting instead these days.
Thanks for this. I wish more Americans were honest about the ridiculous, narcissistic liar that is Barak Obama. Hope and Change and now Forward! Puleeezzze. There is so much wrong with him and his idealogy. rated.
Haiti is not someplace I think about often- too busy worrying about my part of Ohio- The advice you give about taking back LOCAL politics first is very sound, but it is also good to know that other people in the world are aware of the problems and are also acting locally- How should one help and support Haiti from smalltown Ohio?, you already have my best wishes.
At least I pretend to be your friend and give you lip service before screwing you. That's got to count for something!
Deborah Young, Boomer Bob, rwnutjob. Thank you all for sharing your thoughts, much appreciate you and your continued gaze at the posts I put on OpenSalon. I know Jack will be here to add a comment soon. He never fails in his support, which I must tell you is so nice in a world where I am deemed the anti-Christ for going against Officialdom's poverty pimps masking their evil works in Haiti behind the "humanitarian" label. Don't always get the time to write a response to everyone's comments. But please know your feedback are always welcomed and treasured.

@Herr Rudolphus der Rude
Welcome. Thank you for adding me to your "favorites". Thank you from the heart for the best wishes.

@Deborah Young, agreed. When frontman Obama smiles and says the words "hope," "change" and "believe in me" he means believe in Bush warmonger Robert Gates, Raytheon Lobbyist Leon Panetta, NAFTA and Rwanda-Bill Clinton, Katrina-Bush, 2000-no-recount Bush, Lobbyist Tom Daschle. Obama's "believe in me" means believe in Larry Summers, Diana Farrell, Ron Emmanuel, Jon Corzine,Wall Street speculators -Jacob Lew (Citigroup), William Daley (J.P. Morgan Chase), Gary Gensler (Goldman Sachs), Phil Murphy (Goldman Sachs), and such folks who helped destroy Main Street's remaining financial security like the private Federal Reserve's Timothy Geithner. Yes, Deborah Young - Puhleeze indeed.

rwnutjob, there's no restrictions for going to Haiti. In fact, Bill Clinton and the Red Cross are building new hotels for foreign tourist with donation dollars from earthquake donors. (See my piece called"Corruption Uninterrupted" on ezilidanto com/zili ) The UN-imported cholera only affects those who can't buy imported bottled water. That would be the disenfranchised majority in Haiti. So far 5% of the Haitian population are infected with this UN cholera blanket - 7,000 dead, 539,000 sick in over one year. Cholera doesn't affect the 47,000 US and foreign organizations in Haiti and their foreign staffs living, on donation dollars, in relative luxury in the hills with the repugnant Haiti Oligarchy or in gated homes with mountain views they could not afford in the US.

Boomer Bob, Herr Rudolphus der Rude:
I think the most important fact for the public to understand is that the Democrats, the media, the church, the universities -especially the Ivy League ones, the labor unions, most of our Legislators and all their various scholarly talking heads, are as progressive as a general in the US military. What that means is that they follow the directives of corporate capitalism, don't speak in the language of class struggle, don't point to structural racism, don't point out the Federal Reserve serves private not public interests, don't point out that the charitable NGO industry, like the Red Cross are PRIVATE corporations with no responsibility to the public at large, nevermind to those who donated and those who they solicited donations to help, don't point out the MORAL imperative to care for the most vulnerable in our society, to provide access to all citizens so to bring into application the unalienable right of all to the pursuit of happiness. No, they don't.

Some so-called progressives or liberals or "Left" may talk about revitalizing the manufacturing sector, cherishing workers rights, stopping the imperial wars abroad, reforming Wall Street's grip on the US treasury, providing a living wage and relevant jobs, but that is mere political theater, as hollow as Obama's "hope" and "change."

There is mostly no liberal sector working within Officialdom. The so-called Left in the US and abroad are mostly gluttonous courtiers, opportunists, subcontractors, agents, sell-outs, whores and bureaucrats servicing the global Anglo-American global world empire and their corporate state.

They are well-paid to ignore that the transnational corporations have taken power from the hands of citizens, bombard the public with lies and pretty scenes to further control the political, economic and intellectual discourse worldwide. The Left are well-paid to ignore that the US Constitution and its guarantees of human rights and liberties has been gutted, that electoral politics has been rendered more meaningless by the monied class buy-offs; that the Legislative process is also claimed by the corporations not to mention the Supreme Court.

The traditional liberal frontlines upholding universal moral and humane values for all no matter economic influence -- ie. respected spiritual leaders in the Church from all denominations, scholars at universities, The liberal/progressives in US - gave in, en mass, to ending communism as a good reason for US resource wars and now to war-on-terrorism as a good reason for Wall Street's current resource-wars. All is right if the mythical "protecting-US-national interests" is invoked. No one blinks. Or, explains that US national interests is mostly the SPECIAL INTERESTS of the gluttonous one-percenter Oligarchy, which does not equal to national interests and the well-being of the majority of citizens. Consent of the public will be bought with media hyped Weapons of Mass Destruction and fear mongering like John McCain's "I-am-suspending-my-campaign-to-go-back-to-Congress, vote on a 7Billion-Wall Street-Bailout-to save-the-US-economy-from-bankrupcy."

Second, the regular American citizen must know and become well-versed in this:

US foreign aid abroad to countries like Haiti is - like the George W. Bush bailout of Wall Street just before his term ended - corporate welfare to the well-connected corporations' charitable arms. US aid to Haiti is used to destroy Haiti's local manufacturing so to dump Arkansas rice from large agribusiness. US aid to Haiti is used to make markets for the surplus goods of the corporations the US Legislators' service. US aid to Haiti, and everywhere else, is mostly used to pursue US national interests. And I've already defined what that means.

Essentially, most of the large NGOs and their charitable industry are money launderers, blood-sucking vampires and poverty pimps feeding on the pain, poverty and suffering of those in crises manufactured or imposed by the corporate state profit-over-people failures.

Foreign aid is corporate welfare for the well-connected Washington insider and tied-aid for Haiti. It's only used to buy US rice, US fertilizer, pesticides, US bottled water, US Monsanto poison seeds/herbicides, the godly Paul Farmer/Harvard/CDC's useless cholera vaccines, mostly used to pay for CDC and other countless USAID studies after studies after studies, to buy rejected US/FEMA formaldehyde trailers as earthquake housing relief for Haiti school children and Haiti Parliament, et al. Never mind the toxic fumes and headaches in the hot sun that make these toxic trailers not fit for any sentient being. Somebody got paid well.

Thus, U.S. so-called foreign aid to Haiti in particular, and in the neocolonially-oppressed world in general, is a way of laundering government paybacks to industry, with USAID serving as the intermediary.

OK, if we leave frontman Obama's feudal corporatist World Bank/IMF policies in Haiti, Afghanistan, Iraq, Africa especially Lybia and Congo alone for a moment and just look upon US citizen domestic civil liberty's denials and injustices wrought on during his term, we see for instance, as noted and linked in the subject essay: President Obama Signs Indefinite Detention Into Law ; Activists sue Obama, others over National Defense Authorization Act ; Obama’s abysmal record on civil liberties; Obama re-authorizes the Patriot Act ; Obama Supports – sweeping intelligence surveillance -FISA Legislation ; Obama preserves renditions ; Obama Endorses Bush Secrecy On Torture And Rendition..."

rwnutjob asks: "if one actually wishes to go to Haiti to help out, how does one do this."

Herr Rudolphus der Rude says: "but it is also good to know that other people in the world are aware of the problems and are also acting locally- How should one help and support Haiti from smalltown Ohio?

The best way to help Haiti is for the disenfranchise US citizen to take back their own country and redefine US national interests. Please help lift up US bankers boots off the necks of countries like Haiti. Don't come to Haiti, vote out the current slate of Wall Street courtiers. Haitians will do the rest. Without the powerful US meddling and destruction of local Haiti manufacturing, local Haiti food sovereignty, World Bank IMF endless debts and tied-aid provisions that prevent local Haiti politicians from using State funds to invest in their own public's welfare - health care, infrastructure, public education, communication, et al. (Neoliberal economic folks say to leave this to the monopolitic "free market!!!") , Haiti cannot come out from under the poverty pimps containment-in-poverty. If US public takes back their government, define for themselves what "national interests" is, nixing the profit-over-people crew than that would help the WORLD.

Haiti and US voices like mines may then have a chance to locally empower the people, use the $2 and a half billion in Diaspora remittances each year to put in clean water infrastructure, build roads, local governance, et al..

At the moment, the inducements of the corporate state is so great, we get marginalized, vilified, put into the periphery.

Grassroots Haiti voices like mines and the Ezili Networks' make small incremental changes, check and sometimes BLOCK the "humanitarians" both from Right-wing benevolent imperialism and the Left-wing neutral white supremacy. Since the colonial narrative is that they are bringing democracy, good governance, human rights and good-neighborly helping hand and charity, and Americans actually BELIEVE this, it is hard for us to transcend what animates the Left-Right game of neutral imperialism and philanthropic white supremacy. That makes pushed Ezili Danto aside possible. We are pushed aside by the Haiti white progressive/experts- who make CNN, New York Times, AP, Washington Post and Reuters. Folks like the godly Dr Paul Farmer and actor Sean Penn are the "experts" on Haiti who are put up front by the corporate state to keep the colonial narratives going.

The Left and foreign "do-gooders" in Haiti use their platforms, access and skin privileges to uphold the illogic of protecting US national interest with incessant regime change to disenfranchise the local Haiti population, with resource and strategic geopolitical wars on tiny Haiti through UN military proxy occupation and to keep the myths and illusions of US bringing stability, democracy and charity to Haiti going strong. Paul Farmer's other white "human right" cohorts in Haiti, are, for instance, continuing the useless appeal to the UN for justice for the Haiti UN-cholera victims as if there is doubt the UN is an arm of the global transnational corporatocracy!

Another way to help besides first helping to animate another America, is to concretely support Haiti-led, Haiti-capacity-building (Not NGO capacity building) organizations directly. For instance, become a financial subscriber to Ezili Dantò's writings, make a donation; consider supporting our projects, including Zili Dlo, free clean water for everyone in Haiti. Or, simply lift up our voice with you network. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook. ask your friends to favor us here, tell them about Ezili Dantò's work. Share whatever you learn or wish to share. Simple steps, small steps, larger steps- whatever fits within your comfortability.

Men anpil chay pa lou - Many hands make light a heavy load.

Be well
Ezili Dantò
At least I pretend to be your friend and give you lip service before screwing you. That's got to count for something! Obama 2012 or the world collapses!
Lol, Tx for posting.

To give you another laugh. At the Ohio kick-off for his reelection campaign on May 5, 2012 the day after this essay was written, Obama plead and urged at the rally: "If people ask you what this campaign is about, you tell them 'it's still about hope.' You tell them 'it's still about change...I still believe in you. And I'm asking you to keep believing in me."