Editorial

The president’s lengthy coattails

Elizabeth Warren ran an awesome, grassroots campaign — particularly in Boston, where she won more than 80 percent of the vote against a still-popular (in many quarters) incumbent, Scott Brown.

Many people can, and will, get credit locally. The Democratic establishment in Boston — elected officials and labor unions—got behind Warren in a big way. And their GOTV efforts on Tuesday were impressive. Of course, the bulk of the credit goes to Warren herself, a supremely well-qualified individual who we think will be a standout United States senator. Read more

Editorial: Elizabeth Warren for US Senate

Elizabeth Warren: She's earned our support in Tuesday's election.Elizabeth Warren: She's earned our support in Tuesday's election.The act of electing an “independent Republican” to represent Massachusetts in the United State Senate two years ago was, in some ways, a worthwhile exercise. Senator Scott Brown sometimes rejects the far-right majority that has become the brain trust and base of the Republican party. And he satisfies a certain instinct within our electorate to add variety to the range of political perspectives we have in our arsenal.

But in a Republican party that no longer boasts even the modest makings of a moderate wing, Brown has been — and, unfortunately, will remain—a follower, an afterthought, an outlier with little sway in the national debate moving forward. Moderate Republicans have been driven from the ranks by Tea Partiers and other hard-liners whose allegiances to far-right ideologues (see Grover Norquist and his no-taxes pledge) trump any reasoned attempt at compromise. Read more

Until further notice, Florida is unsafe for our families

Trayvon Martin: Murdered on Feb. 26; his killer remains at large.Trayvon Martin: Murdered on Feb. 26; his killer remains at large.Florida’s beaches and theme parks make it the top tourist destination in the United States. But based on certain recent events, it’s time for those of us making travel plans for the next couple of years to stop and re-think everything.

One thing is clear so far from the outrageous murder of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin on Feb. 26 in Sanford, Florida: Our black children and teens are not safe when walking the streets in the so-called Sunshine State.

Reasonable Americans from the rest of the country need to send a message to our countrymen in Florida: Until you undo the ridiculous law that gave an armed predator a virtual license to blow away an unarmed minor on a public sidewalk – and then allowed him to walk away from the scene free from arrest – we will find another place to vacation and do business. Read more

Duvalier ruling sends a chilling message

On Jan. 30, Investigative Magistrate Carves Jean handed down a ruling on the Jean-Claude Duvalier case, recommending that all human rights charges against Duvalier be dropped and that he be tried instead in a lesser court on charges of financial malfeasance, but not on the accusations of misappropriation of public funds. The judge did not explain his reasoning.

Human rights advocates responded with a forceful outcry against the ruling, claiming that human rights crimes during Duvalier’s regime are amply documented, and under international law, there is no statute of limitations on crimes against humanity. Read more

A closer look at the Red Cross response

Following the Jan. 12, 2010 earthquake, the American Red Cross raised more money than any other American relief organization working in Haiti – a whopping $486 million from 60 percent of American households. In its newly-released update on its response to Haiti’s earthquake, American Red Cross President and CEO Gail McGovern writes, “…while there is still much work to be done, I’m proud to say that real progress has been made.” Read more

Time for action on humanitarian parole

Immediately after the earthquake the White House granted eligible Haitians already living in the United States the chance to remain and work here legally for 18 months through Temporary Protected Status (TPS). On May 17, 2011, more than 16 months after the first designation, DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano announced the extension of TPS for roughly 48,000 Haitian nationals who currently had the designation. The extension was made effective July 23, and allowed Haitian beneficiaries to remain in the United States an additional 18 months—through January 22, 2013. Read more

Uphold our principles through the vestiges of tragedy

In almost two years we’ve covered numerous stories about the challenging path to recovery and reconstruction for Haiti – since the earthquake that split our collective memory and testimony into two – before and after January 12, 2010. Throughout these stories, Haiti’s people remain at the core, whether it’s the encouraging stories of neighbors helping each other restore a sense of normalcy or those of protests against the oppression and malfeasance of the country’s leaders along with its international benefactors. An engaged diaspora heeds the renewed call to invest their talents and energy to contribute to the next chapter of the Haitian struggle – and what some claim -- an unfinished revolution.

Here in the states, there is one such event that has divided the American consciousness of time in two: September 11, 2001. For the past 10 years Americans (and many around the world who stand in solidarity) have mourned and memorialized loved ones, and displayed gratitude to the hundreds who tried to save them. The government has waged two wars, while beefing up security measures and economic endeavors to rebuild an economy that remains fragile as a result of that treacherous attack. Read more

Diaspora groups launch national listening tour in Boston

On July 14, a group of leaders from the Haitian diaspora launched a national listening tour in Boston. The Haitian Fund for Innovation and Reconstruction (HFIR) based in New York, Konbit for Haiti out of Florida, the Lambi Fund from Haiti, and Oxfam America headquartered in Boston with offices in DC - collaborated with the Boston Haitian Reporter – to convene a working meeting. The goal was to hear the diaspora perspective on issues that can be addressed through coordinated
advocacy.

Participants engage in brainstorm about advocacy priorities on July 14.Participants engage in brainstorm about advocacy priorities on July 14.

About 25 local community leaders, entrepreneurs,human rights advocates and young professionals gathered to discuss priorities in setting an advocacy agenda. The group eagerly provided their input on the major sectors that need to be bolstered and prioritized, from education and governance to the justice system and infrastructure. Read more

Important to coordinate advocacy

In the 18 months since the earthquake, the Haitian community has remained fervently involved in Haiti’s recovery and reconstruction. Diaspora leaders, Haiti scholars and human rights advocates have held numerous conferences, community meetings and forums. Throughout these efforts, the need for deeper diaspora involvement in long-term policy advocacy continues to permeate the conversation. It has become apparent that the voice of the estimated 1.5 million Haitians need to be heard where policies are developed in key U.S. power centers such as Washington DC. Read more

Trailblazing Women

This month we celebrate the legacy of International Women's day and Women's History Month by featuring remarkable women in the Haitian community. From Rep. Linda Dorcena Forrry and Carline Desire, a domestic violence advocate to Natasha Archer, a young doctor, Karen Keating Ansara philanthropist and Carla Prophete, an emerging high school star, these women embody the indomitable spirit of their fore-mothers in their own unique way. Read more

Editorial: US diplomacy not ‘good enough’

LSecretary Clinton with Mirlande ManigatSecretary Clinton with Mirlande Manigatast year, the United States spent an estimated $14 million to stage national elections in Haiti – even though over 45 members of Congress, led by the Congressional Black Caucus, strongly advised against it. They argued forcefully that the devastated country was not adequately prepared to run a free and fair election. They were right. The Nov. 28 elections were an embarrassment and the efforts to “clean-up” the mess that followed has been exacerbated by poor leadership across the board — both from Haitians and international actors.

The Organization of American States (OAS) - which officially observed the elections - submitted a report that contradicted the initial findings of Haiti’s Provisional Electoral Council (CEP). They recommended that the March 20 election runoff should be between Mirlande Manigat and Michel “Sweet Micky”Martelly – and that the government-backed candidate Jude Celestin should be eliminated from contention. Read more

Editorial: CEP must open books, revisit election results

BHR 12-10 front pageBHR 12-10 front pageOn Tuesday night, the Provisional Electoral Council (CEP) announced the preliminary results from the November 28 elections in Haiti. President Rene Preval’s party Inite (Unity) won the majority of seats in parliament. Of the presidential candidates, former first lady Mirlande Manigat placed first – with 31.37% of the vote while Jude Celestin, the Inite party candidate came in second with 22.48%.

So, we are set for a runoff between Manigat and Celestin scheduled for January 16th. But wait, not so fast. Famed musician Michel Martelly received 21.84% of the vote – a very close third, roughly 6000 votes behind. Martelly is appealing the results and many of his supporters have taken to the streets to protest what they’ve dubbed “The Selection”.

Reports of massive demonstrations, fraught by opportunistic violence, are pouring in. Some people are passionately protesting for their right to fair elections – while others are reportedly burning the headquarters of the Inite party and even the homes of rural politicians. The chaos many predicted and feared would come of an ill-run and possible fraudulent election seems to be coming to pass in the hours after the CEP announcement. Read more

Strong voice in Mass, struggles persist in Haiti

The fall brings many things to the Haitian community. A local election in which Mattapan residents, a huge contingent of whom are of Haitian descent, proved themselves to be a force at the polls. Governor Deval Patrick won a second term. He’ll have a chance to fulfill a campaign pledge to develop a comprehensive housing strategy for thousands of displaced Haitians in the commonwealth. Carlos Henriquez, a dedicated community advocate, succeeds the first Haitian-American elected official in the state Marie St. Fleur, to represent the 5th Suffolk district. Read more

Deval Patrick for Governor

BHR October 2010BHR October 2010The Boston Haitian Reporter, the region's leading source for news and information in the Haitian-American community, endorsed the re-election of Gov. Deval Patrick in its October edition, in circulation on Oct. 8. The full text of the endorsement follows:

Four years ago, this newspaper endorsed the candidacy of Deval Patrick because of what we saw in him: the promise of a transformational leader who would bring change to state government.
This month, we endorse his candidacy for a more concrete reason: because he has earned it.
Gov. Patrick has guided the Commonwealth through the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. He has done it with poise, professionalism and with a sense of purpose that has paid off: Massachusetts’ economy is now growing at twice the rate of the rest of the nation. While unemployment remains high following the global financial meltdown of 2008, the Commonwealth has added jobs in the last six consecutive months and there are many other encouraging signs that the state is positioned to leap past most other states in job creation. None of that is accidental. Patrick has shepherded Massachusetts through the most severe crisis of the last half-century and he has distinguished himself and his administration in the process.
Even while managing a fiscal crisis of historic proportions, Gov. Patrick was able to assemble an impressive list of accomplishments: Read more

Editorial: It's up to us

“For me right now, I feel like God sent me here for a purpose. Nothing’s happened to me, not a scrape. I’m doing all these things. I thought when I’d see blood I’d pass out. I’m not. I’m carrying dead bodies. I’m pulling people out with my own hands. I feel like I’m in a war basically.”
— Richardson Innocent, Delmas 33, Jan. 15

These powerful words from our friend and colleague Richardson Innocent — relayed directly to our ears and onto our pages this week via cell-phone— tell the story. Haiti is under siege. It is battered, bloodied and bent.
It is not defeated.
Haiti will survive because of people like Richardson. It will rise again because of the neighbors in Delmas and Petionville and Carrefour and Leogane and Jacmel who refuse to let their nation descend into the night. Not without a fight. Read more