Pat Robertson really should change his name to Predictable Racist. Whenever something bad happens to black people somewhere in the world, PR is always there to make sure everyone knows how cursed the race of Ham really is. Yeah, read up on that — the whole ridiculous notion of the Curse of Ham (it was really Canaan who was cursed but the truth never stopped crazy right-wing fundamentalist preachers before, why should it now?) because it feeds into why Pat Robertson could even hold this idea in his head. Hint: Hamite = black and the so-called curse of Ham has been used in the past to defend slavery.

Remember that PR linked Hurricane Katrina to the sin of legalized abortion and there’s this:

In discussing other religions, Robertson said that Hinduism, Islam, Buddhism and other religions “are mostly demonic powers. Sure, they’re demons.”

Here’s what he said today to Kristi Watts who is the paid black stooge on his program. Note how her eyes look away at one point when Predictable Racist starts talking about the devil and Haiti but then she snaps that smile back on and nods blankly straight into the camera. He always hides behind her when he decides to drop a big ol’ racist turd on America. Lord, that must be one big ol’ paycheck he’s giving her and I sure hope it’s worth her very soul and the shutdown of her brain…and the up-close smell of that turd (Kristi – I got my eye on you, girl).

Here’s the transcript courtesy of TPM:

“Something happened a long time ago in Haiti, and people might not want to talk about it. They were under the heel of the French … and they got together and swore a pact to the devil. They said, ‘We will serve you if you will get us free from the French.’ True story. So the devil said, ‘OK, it’s a deal.’”

“Ever since, they have been cursed by one thing after another,” Robertson said, referring to the country’s poverty.

The Christian Broadcasting Network — surprisingly alert to the controversy here — already has this statement posted to their homepage in self-defense:

CBN.comVIRGINIA BEACH, Va., January 13, 2010 –On today’s The 700 Club, during a segment about the devastation, suffering and humanitarian effort that is needed in Haiti, Dr. Robertson also spoke about Haiti’s history. His comments were based on the widely-discussed 1791 slave rebellion led by Boukman Dutty at Bois Caiman, where the slaves allegedly made a famous pact with the devil in exchange for victory over the French. This history, combined with the horrible state of the country, has led countless scholars and religious figures over the centuries to believe the country is cursed. Dr. Robertson never stated that the earthquake was God’s wrath. If you watch the entire video segment, Dr. Robertson’s compassion for the people of Haiti is clear. He called for prayer for them. His humanitarian arm has been working to help thousands of people in Haiti over the last year, and they are currently launching a major relief and recovery effort to help the victims of this disaster. They have sent a shipment of millions of dollars worth of medications that is now in Haiti, and their disaster team leaders are expected to arrive tomorrow and begin operations to ease the suffering.

Chris Roslan
Spokesman for CBN

Yes, Pat Robertson loves all the poor black people and wants to help them. Charming clarification: except most of it is a damn lie based in ignorance and intolerance of other religions. Boukman Dutty was one of the leaders of the Haitian independence movement which led to the first slaves – the majority population in this case – successfully overthrew a country in pursuit of their freedom & self-determination in what historians would call the modern era (late 18th century). Toussaunt L’Ouverture remains the most famous of Haiti’s liberators. Still Dutty’s prayer at Bois Caiman is a seminal moment for Haitian history. No one made a pact with the devil. Here’s how Dutty’s prayer is usually translated:

This prayer, from the ceremony at Bwa Kayiman, has been traditionally been ascribed to Boukman: “The God who created the earth; who created the sun that gives us light. The God who holds up the ocean; who makes the thunder roar. Our God who has ears to hear. You who are hidden in the clouds; who watch us from where you are. You see all that the white has made us suffer. The white man’s God asks him to commit crimes. But the God within us wants to do good. Our God, who is so good, so just, He orders us to revenge our wrongs. It’s He who will direct our arms and bring us the victory. It’s He who will assist us. We all should throw away the image of the white men’s God who is so pitiless. Listen to the voice for liberty that sings in all our hearts.”

Boukman’s prayer in Kréyol

Bon Dje ki fè la tè. Ki fè soley ki klere nou enro. Bon Dje ki soulve lanmè. Ki fè gronde loray. Bon Dje nou ki gen zorey pou tande. Ou ki kache nan niaj. Kap gade nou kote ou ye la. Ou we tout sa blan fè nou sibi. Dje blan yo mande krim. Bon Dje ki nan nou an vle byen fè. Bon Dje nou an ki si bon, ki si jis, li ordone vanjans. Se li kap kondui branou pou nou ranpote la viktwa. Se li kap ba nou asistans. Nou tout fet pou nou jete potre dje Blan yo ki swaf dlo lan zye. Koute vwa la libète kap chante lan kè nou.

Bon Dje = Good God or Good Lord in our parlance.

Ok, and for context, please understand that Haiti at this time was ruthlessly run for maximum profit and one-third of slaves who arrived in Haiti died within a year due to the harsh labor and conditions. Most of the Native American population was dead at this point from slavery, massacre and disease. It is no wonder at the time that black Haitians had some questions about the nature of a people who found justification in their crimes in their God — and wondered why it didn’t resemble their notion of how a Good God operates. Remember also that many criminals such as the Spanish Inquisition & Hitler used God to find cover for their crimes against humanity. It is not difficult to understand then the nature of this prayer, which doesn’t say anything about the devil. Not at all.

No.

Pat Robertson is all about painting the traditions of Haiti as Satanic. 70-80% of Haitians are Catholics yet the religion of Vodou has influenced the beliefs of many in that country. Vodou is rooted in the spiritual traditions of Africa, where the slaves were from, along with a dash of local Indian spirituality as many of the indigenous population intermarried with those of African descent. Animal sacrifices are sometimes made — but the Bible is also full of animal sacrifices, btw. Most Christians in the U.S. no longer engage in this practice, but it remains common in some Muslim countries, for instance. To claim that people whose religion looks a little different from yours due to cultural differences is Satanic at their very hour of acutest need is just wrong. Using a tragedy to further your own proselytizing and fundraising goals is also just wrong, wrong, wrong.

What gets me is the dehumanization of Haitians. I mean, how dare they not love and appreciate their white French masters and resort to praying for freedom — and being willing to do whatever it took to be free? The proper place for the people of Ham is slavery, is it not, and any other arrangement defies God’s Curse of Ham.

That’s utter garbage. I hate it when people like Robertson cloak their hatred in pseudo-half-facts. But perhaps even more infuriating is the misinformation and poor history-telling: no pact was made by the devil at all and for your information, Pat “Predictable Racist” Robertson, it was Napoleon Bonaparte (well, his government in Haiti) who was defeated by Haitian freedom fighters, not Napoleon III. Jackass.

He who oppresses the poor shows contempt for their Maker, but whoever is kind to the needy honors God.

– Proverbs 14:31

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