July 24, 2021
Haiti was the first Black independent nation in the new world. Therefore, you might have expected a who’s who of Blacks worldwide to be among those attending the funeral of its assassinated president, Jovenel Moïse, in Cap-Haïtien yesterday. This, just as a who’s who of whites were among those who attended the funeral of America’s assassinated president, John F. Kennedy, in Washington, DC, in 1963.
Yet it’s a reflection of how marginalized and disrespected Haiti has become that you’d have been hard-pressed to recognize a single face among any of the foreign delegations. Indeed, it speaks volumes that America thought the occasion only warranted its relatively unknown US ambassador to the United Nations, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, leading a delegation of even lesser knowns to show its respects.
Even so, nothing justified this universal snub quite like the attendees having to flee for their lives less than an hour into the funeral service when gunfire erupted outside the church. The US delegation made a beeline for the airport, leaving Haitians to the funereal devices that now govern their way of life.
Length: 25 min 05 sec
July 17, 2021
Augusta National shrewdly trademarked Jim Nantz’s famous phrase “a tradition unlike any other” to hail the annual Masters golf tournament. But there’s no denying that the quadrennial Olympics is far more worthy of that praise.
The problem is that so much civil unrest and public debt have occasioned the modern Olympics that host cities invariably end up feeling like the giddy teenager who partied too much, and woke up with an olympian hangover.
No doubt we all remember the protests that scarred the 2016 Rio Olympics. But Brazilians could point to the poisoned chalice the 2004 Athens Olympics turned out to be for the Greeks. After all, the debt hangover from those Games not only triggered the EU financial crisis of 2010, but austerity measures to service that debt have many once-proud, middle-class Greeks now living like favela-dwelling Brazilians.
Alas, measure for measure, Covid-19 seems bound to make the 2020 Tokyo Olympics … unlike any other in this respect.
Length: 25 min
July 10, 2021
We are independent. But it seems we just don’t know how to quit the British. And I find that very vexing … indeed.
Length: 8 min 29 sec
July 3, 2021
President Bill Clinton first declared June “Gay & Lesbian Pride Month” in 1999. Since then, despite the official interregnum of the Bush and Trump years, the LGBTQ community have used that declaration to celebrate their increasing liberation. And most notable are gay pride parades and cruise trips that make Mardi Gras and “The Love Boat” look tame, respectively.
Unsurprisingly, their liberation has not been welcomed universally. Alas, nowhere less so than where I hail from down in the Caribbean, where locals gained infamy for greeting gay cruise ships as if there were carrying a mix of latter-day conquistadors and lepers.
Length: 19 min 27 sec