The electoral campaign has been in full swing for several weeks now and we are living the boomerang effect. Forrest Gump said it best : "Stupid is was Stupid does". In our case, "Half-baked is what Half-baked does".
One candidate in particular has been the focus of a lot of opposition from the electoral council itself. To the point you would have to be in a coma not to notice this special treatment.
You see, his nationality was contested because the 1987 Constitution and the electoral laws state that you can compete for state office if you renounced your Haitian nationality. After a lot of haggling, debate, vociferous public discussions, he seems to be back in the race.
I am not a fan of this man, I don't belong to his party, I don't even think I'll vote for him. In fact, I'm rather set against him because he's the US White House favorite, apparently. Still, I wasn't against him running.
Why? Why if he's been living in the US for decades? Why if he's made millions, it's said, in the Texan food industry, (which does not do much to impress me anyway)?
Because it's almost unspeakably hypocritical and biased, that's why! I spent 9 mos working in a small institution with 52 employees. From the Director to the gardener, all of them either had 2 passports, were in the process of getting another, had close relatives ie parents, siblings, cousins who either were foreign nationals or citizens.
Worse still, of the 20 some candidates for President, no one is very offended by their allegiances, except for that one guy. I don't know if it was a preemptive strike but another candidate took out 4 pages of a local newspaper to publish his credentials: both his parents birth certificates, his own and his US green card!!!! Do I really care?
The Constitution and the laws are wrong because they weren't made for the long term. It was convenient in 86-87 because a lot of Duvalier's people fled the country. But when you ban them from the elections for only 10 years, what happens next? It's been almost 20 years since Jean-Claude et Cie left the island. Are we even surprised there are three openly pro-Duvalier candidates for presidency?
All this led me to question what makes one a "true" Haitian. I examined myself. I'm not particularly patriotic because I find patriotism to be a posture. One of my ancestors fought in the War of Independance but so what? Look what happened to that ideal. Some days, I curse my parents for birthing me into this chaotic mess. Most days, I wish I could drop everything, empty my bank account, grab my passport and run for the airport.
Speaking of elections, I'm not sure I'll even vote. Will it be a truly free and democratic vote or is the President already picked out, like the rumors say? I don't trust any of the candidates but so are shameless whores. As friend said, there are some unnatural alliances being made for this campaign. And besides, what have those overnight political parties done for the community, anyway? The older ones bring nothing new. The newer ones sprouted out of the blue.
I do have my voter's card. I registered at the voting office closest to my house. My entire family did, by the way. But I was shocked to realize that, of the thirty people there, office staff included, nobody physically looked like me. I'm light-skinned, everyone else wasn't. They were staring at me and talking about me rather openly. Was I a naturalized Dominican? Was I a bourgeois?
I'm getting used to this more and more. When I get on a bus, people seem surprised that "someone like me" even takes public transportation! Beggars on the streets call me blan as if I were a foreigner. Worse still, people who identify with me are all sure I'm living abroad and that I'm just here for a short visit!?!
So where do I belong in this society? Why am I voting for, if I'm such an oddity? And who's my candidate, anyway?