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Columnist Williams omitted Haitian history

In a recent editorial, Professor Walter E. Williams states that the reason why natural disasters take fewer lives in this country is because we have greater wealth and that Haiti is suffering from self-inflicted poverty. Please allow this 55-year-old educated black American to share with your many readers some little-known history about Haiti and France that the professor somehow conveniently omitted.

Haiti is the first black republic and the second oldest republic in the western hemisphere. In 1804, Toussaint L’Ouverture led a slave revolt against the French, the only successful slave revolt in history, and won their freedom but at a price. In 1824, France demanded indemnity on a staggering scale: 150 million gold francs, five times Haiti’s annual export revenue. Weighed down by this financial burden, Haiti was born almost bankrupt. The debt was finally paid off in 1947. For 122 years, Haiti paid for its freedom. (Did America pay for hers from England?)

Too bad the professor ain’t educated enough to share this pertinent history with his fellow “right” wingers. Thanks for listening and may God bless Haiti, and America, still the greatest country in the world. Now let us together rebuild Haiti. Peace.

Pam Hairston

Washington, D.C.


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