Fear and Loathing in Haiti: Race and Politics of Humanitarian Dispossession
Keywords:natural disaster, racism, humanitarian crisis, debt, financial colonialism, neoliberalism, humanitarianism, capitalism
AbstractThe response by Western governments to the earthquake that devastated Haiti on January 12, 2010 throws into sharp relief the connections between racism and dispossession in times of humanitarian crisis. In this article, we take the 2010 earthquake as a point of departure in order to examine the purpose that circulating discourses of black criminality serve in narratives of humanitarianism and development in Haiti. Through an examination of debt, financial colonialism and neoliberal adjustment we explore the deep associations between racism, humanitarianism and ongoing capitalist processes. We conclude by outlining what it would take to dismantle the dispossessions that racialized discourses of blackness, criminality and failed development facilitate in Haiti.
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