Others have said this in one way or another, but it was irresponsible to give this space to an uninformed and foolish guest on such an important issue. His ignorant, false, wild assertions about Aristide and Papa Doc went unchecked. Disgraceful! and completely consistent with too much of our complicity with the brutalization of Haiti.
Comments re the Haitian "diaspora," the evidently shallow knowledge of history by Pras Michel and the unquestioning stance by Brian Lehrer - all I can say is thank you and Amen! Pras is sincere in his concern but devastatingly uninformed. A more probing interview would have served the public better but perhaps Mr. Lehrer put on kid gloves because he realized that Michel's knowledge base was flawed and incomplete and he didn't want to embarrass his guest?
As is often the case, whether Brian Lehrer is interviewing some bureaucrat who actually knows something about his subject or in this case some entertainer who knows little about his subject, he is so respectful and avoiding making any waves that a self serving or in this case absurdly uninformed interviewee gets away with stating all kinds of stuff that remains unchallenged. If interviewing on NPR is about getting to the truth Brian Lehrer often does not come close to achieving this goal. Please stop wasting the time of your listeners and insulting their intelligence. We're not kindergarteners and neither are your guests.
De`pi nan Guinin neg pa vle` oue` neg.
Pras is a great example of this Haiti proverb. Pras is "djaspora." He has very little understanding of the indigenous Haitian experience.
Brian would do better having Ramsey Clark as a guest within the next week while Haiti will be most vulnerable to the caustic help of the international community.
Yes, entertainers are thoughtful people and political activists, but how could Pras critique David Brooks' argument if he hadn't read it? Brian didn't ask if Pras read the article only to comment on it. Did Pras acknowledge even reading the article? Or was he responding emotionally? I think another expert or historian might have articulated a more critical response which Brooks' argument about Haiti and Haitian history deserved.
this segment was so disappointing. Pras is a talented hip hop entertainer who loves his people and is actively involved in causes. all commendable. His presence on the show did not add to an understanding of the "haiti problem". he was just blowing off his emotional, biased response to haiti's history. his allegations ("facts")are not referenced and, sadly, not challenged by you.
Why didn't Brian pose his poignant sociological questions about Haiti to a scholar rather than a musician? After the earthquake, the Haitian situation is much too serious to relegate the political dialogue to Pras' opinions & beliefs about Haiti and Haitians. I fear his ad hominem attacks against Aristide and the dismantling of the Haitian Army suffered from the lack of a more long-range historical perspective.
John, I agree.
All these large international countries are giving aid to Haiti. What about the regional countries? What about Caricom? The caribbean countries may not be able to give money on a large scale but they should still be part of the process. It is all well and good for the stronger countries to give aid and control the process but at the end of the day the Caribbean has to learn to unify and act quickly to help their fellow neighbors. Haiti's immediate family is its Caribbean neigbors, not the US, not Britain..lets hear about what the Caribbean is doing. Let's hear about what they should be doing to help Haiti. Haiti is not alone.
interesting. nothing wrong with an entertainer being interviewed. a variety of interviews with a variety of haitians informs us all - it does not have to be all one thing or the other.in this instance he certainl sounds sincere and sounds like watchdog idea is worthwhile
and thanks for a grat panel on sunday. traveled from central jersey to attend and i am glad i did.
My blood curdled when I heard Pras Michel state that under Papa Doc there was some progress as contrasted to the current economic/agricultural status. I know nothing about the current state of crops in Haiti but I was I Haiti and Port-au-Prince and some outlying areas in 1969, during the reign of Papa Doc and his Tonton Macoute. I saw mounds of dead bodies daily on the roads leading out of Port-au-Prince. While I was surrounded by masses of humanity either in the capital or countryside there was the most eerie silence, no one spoke for fear of the secret police. Not one smile, not one guffaw, not one word while in the midst of hundreds. The terror and torture of the innocent during his reign should not be overlooked, I don't care how much sugar cane or coffee was grown. Pras, talk to the elders who lived through that horrendous time in Haitian history and think twice before you laud anything about Papa Doc and/or Baby Doc.
"the truth" it is because it is a black issue, so you can produce a rapper to speak on a serious subject. If it involved Israel, a senator would be on.
OH how could I have forgotten JOHN LENNON
I received an email suggesting places to donate from the rabbi of Ansche Chesed synagogue in Manhattan that included this:
"Of particular note is Partners in Health [pih.org/home.html], whose founder Dr. Paul Farmer is the subject of Tracy Kidder’s book "Mountains Beyond Mountains." Kidder’s op-ed column in yesterday’s NY Times is a must read. With the devastation in infrastructure, the 10-clinic Partners in Health is suddenly one of the largest health care providers in the country and deserves support. That’s where I sent a contribution."
So did I, & I see it's now on WNYC's "how to Help" page, but maybe this will raise its profile.
Like it or not John from the office, more and more entertainers are becoming socially and politically involved. I ask why not have them on if they know more and care more about the matter than your local politician. Do you think Chuck Schumer or any of these guys in Albany would get on the Brian Lehrer program to discuss this? Are you kidding!?!? Moreover, because of their involvement youth are now more socially and politically aware since the 1960's. Versus My generation: the Reagan Years & the Age of Apathy. Go Bono, Pras et. Al. and we have Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger & George Harrison to thank for this.
David Brooks clearly needs a history lesson on Haiti and Western colonialsim. His analysis is simplistic and flawed. I am embarrassed for him!
Brian, was Pras the only Black person available to speak about this? What about Roland Martin? He is not Haitian but certainly more well versed on the subject! Pras you are NOT Wyclef!
Clinton gave billions, in the 80's and it is gone.
Pras, either stand firm on what you say or shut up!
Can we mention the fact that one of the main crops "rice" and "sugar" was imported in the country which caused mass destabilization. Add to that Haiti had paid FRANCE over a a billion dollars worth of francs for their independence? DId we pay Great Britain for our independence?
Instead of giving millions in U.S. aid to Haiti, why not spend these millions paying American workers to go to Haiti and build roads, hospitals, and schools?
The U.S. needs jobs. Haiti needs infrastructure.
Offer Haiti this type of aid. It is Haiti's choice whether or not to accept it.
Brian, Brooks wrote that on Friday not sunday.
The problem is that there is no work ethic, it is called El Mango Bajito, the low hanging fruit.
Why don't you ask how much money being donated is going to be lining the pockets of his colleague wyclef and others instead of going to the relief effort:http://www.thesmokinggun.com/archive/years/2010/0114102wyclef1.html
You will not be able to do anything without the elimination of Corruption.
Brian, why do you have an entertainer on to talk about this subject. Everytime there is a black incident, you bring on an entertainer. You would not do that for anyother group. You would have an analyst, an expert.
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