Hip Hop

Immortal Technique Speaks On Haiti Situation

blame it on Shake July 1, 2010

While it’s saddening that most of the hip hop culture (and people in general) have already forgotten about the ongoing situation that is going on in Haiti (it’s almost as if world tragedies are as disposable as new song leaks these days); Immortal Technique took some time out to write an article detailing his recent trip there. And while the write up might be lengthy, it’s definitely worth the read.

I recently arrived home from Haiti.

While I was there I worked in a few aspects of the relief effort including a solidarity mission to aid the Earthquake survivors. In addition to all of this Myself, Cormega and Styles P participated in a show to support Haitian Hip Hop and rebuild the community. I would like to thank Arms Around Haiti and Hip Hop for Haiti for inviting me to be a part of this movement. While I was there I saw both devastation and rebuilding efforts. I also broke bread with people who had lost their entire family. Literally, everyone but them was deceased. Then there were those whose grief centered around losing a mother, father, brother, sister, son, or daughter as a direct result of what happened. It should make everyone reading this feel blessed to have anyone in his or her life. Think about that… Now think about it some more.

I saw so many different things as I walked through the slums and rode around Port-Au-Prince (as well as the area surrounding it.) I met mayors, townspeople, and the Arms around Haiti (Sobs staff) introduced me to several visionary Haitians with good ideas to rebuild the country that I am seriously considering investing my time into.

But one of the most powerful experiences came to me when I was holding this little baby girl who couldn’t have been more than a year old. She was crying because she was hungry, thirsty and tired. I picked her up and she hugged onto me with the newfound control her young muscles had recently provided her. She was one of the many orphans that I met while I was there, and as I held her I wondered what the future would hold for this little precious life. Her father would never hold her again and rock her back and forth to sleep while whispering stories to her. She might find good hearted and righteous people to one day adopt her, but her father, the man who created her would never tell her that he loved her or that she was special, save for the length of a dream or a subconscious memory. So I told her in French that I loved her, that she was beautiful and that she was special to me. I gave her all my water and her young face was immediately full of focus and comfort. After a few minutes of holding her, she fell into slumber. I gave her back to her to a 11-year old girl who had also lost her parents and was acting like a surrogate mother to most of the younger children.

Then I looked at my hands, they seemed like such strong hands before I went to Haiti. Strong like my will that is made of iron, and my resolve, which I consider unbreakable. But the strength of this young adolescent Matriarch and her newfound responsibility served as God’s gentle reminder and it humbled greatly as I realized what she carried on her shoulders. I am a Revolutionary but rather than just going to places around the world to bring people freedom, I seem to find it among them.

I felt great sadness leaving this place but I also felt anger at the things I saw. So I began to detail a few observations about Haiti and Revolutionary action associated with it in general. I wrote these things as I saw them or felt them but I waited until I was home for a few days so as to not elicit an emotional response but rather one of logic and understanding concerning the various things I saw.

The Spirit of Toussaint is Alive:

– Although the people have suffered here immensely, I still see their spirit still very strong, unbroken and defiant. Even though the sun floods the day with sweltering heat, the vast majority of people are working in some capacity. Many have their own small business or hustle and they take great pride in what they do. They find no shame in their work, however menial because, as it was told to me they felt blessed to have anyone to provide for. In the camps when dusk settles in, children play soccer with pieces of garbage tied up or maybe an old volleyball. They are survivalists as their history has taught them to be. The tent cities are home to usually 2 or 3 families per tent. Perhaps it is their past dealings with dictators sponsored by this nation, or by years of civil strife and a long Revolutionary history but they have become so resilient, so much so that they now serve as a personal inspiration to me of what mankind/original man can overcome.

All about the Benjamin’s, Mon Cheri:

Foreign Aid. That is a deceptive phrase. Many times the countries who, pledge money to a disaster-ridden nation are not giving that country money at all. They are really pledging the money to their corporation to rebuild the country at an inflated price set by the global conglomerate. It changes the very nature of what that means. Imagine if your house burnt down and I told the news and every local media outlet I was going to “donate” $100,000 to rebuild it. This is the catch the job really costs $20,000 to do. Yes, from the Capitalist pro business point of view I am providing a service that I deserve to be compensated for. But the characterization of what I am doing is purposefully altered so as to disguise the real motivation for “aiding” you. I’m not condemning the idea of foreign aid on a whole although there are aspects of it that create dependency and de facto vassals. But the system by which some of this “aid” is raised and distributed sometimes has little to do with anything resembling a humanitarian effort.

Let’s recap. I give you money, which you’re essentially giving back to me plus interest for doing something at twice the cost. I don’t give you fish anymore. That was Imperialism. This is Neo Liberalism, we teach you to fish, and collect 75% of the profit…forever. This system is actually the one that seems rational to first world powers now and is still implemented today all over the planet. Corporate Non Government Organizations (NGO’s) raise billions of dollars just to spend a fraction of that on the people who are actually affected and suffering. Then as if overpaying themselves wasn’t enough they act like they really did something. This system gives a bad name to real non-profit NGO’s and people that are selflessly doing something out of the kindness of their hearts. The Foreign Aid field is infested with corporate socialites and poverty pimps who troll around the mud with us dark people so you have something to talk about at your bourgeois industry parties. And where is the money going?

Waiting in Vain:

There is about 12 Billion dollars of Aid, waiting to be distributed, (conveniently earning interest for someone by the way) and since world agencies (take your pick) do not trust the shell of government left in Haiti, the situation has spiraled into a game of tit for tat in some instances. Corruption is not relegated to the surviving members of a fractured government. The customs area has thousands of pieces of clothing and non-perishable food that is simply sitting in store-rooms because customs is sometimes demanding $8,000 (US) to allow it into the country. You read it right, $8,000 American dollars to let a few boxes of supplies collected by people like you into the country. There are organizations such as the one I was there with, and Wyclef’s ‘Yele’ that use their longstanding connections with local power players and government officials to navigate around these bureaucracies, but it made me wonder how many good hearted people’s donations were just sitting there in some hangar collecting mold and dust. The supplies I handed out, the stuff I brought myself to give to people, the houses we put people in seemed like a good first step but now I wish more than anything to return and really make an impact having studied the situation. (* I remember after the Earthquake happened the mainstream media did a few stories criticizing smaller Aid Organizations on the ground and encourage people to direct their donation to the Major ones. Now I wonder if it was to promote efficiency or was it to safeguard their corporate partners monopoly?)

Children’s Story:

In Haiti, child trafficking is still going on, because it’s a lucrative business. It hasn’t stopped just because the news has stopped covering it, this right here is still happening. (http://www.cnn.com/2010/WORLD/americas/01/27/haiti.earthquake.orphans/index.html http://gvnet.com/humantrafficking/Haiti.htm ) I have even heard rumors about aid workers trading food for sex with little girls and boys. I’m not repeating these charges to try and substantiate them in any way. Because I hope they’re a lie, or at worst an exaggeration of an isolated incident. Far be it for me to try and pass innuendo off as fact but when you hear something like that from dozens of people from different walks of life, it makes you think. The reality after the Earthquake was that many of these children were (and still are) stolen and shipped out immediately or taken over to the Dominican Republic whose government is also very corrupt and sold to every corner of the world. Sad to think that the nation that showed the world that a successful slave revolution was possible has it’s sons and daughters sold into slavery in 2010.

The Almighty UN:

When I was young I thought the UN was a powerful entity, like the Super friends from Saturday morning cartoons. I was fed the idea that they provided a solution to arguing nations and would be helpful in taking the side of the underdog, the oppressed and colonized. But as I grew I realized it was just a way of making it look like America and Britain were not acting alone and it rewarded participants who conscripted their troops there. They are a Right Wing punching bag but really that’s duplicitous because they have been used to justify our actions in Afghanistan and Iraq. As if it is full of equal partners who are committed to the mission. Truth is the UN peacekeepers are full of many soldiers who would otherwise be getting paid $100 a week to be a soldier in their own country. The UN security-council resolutions have no teeth without the US’s approval, and sometimes they go to a country (like Haiti) and get a paycheck for doing very little. As I keep having interactions with them, my opinion just keeps on worsening. I by no means had any of those young teenage illusions about them going into this trip, but this is my observation. There is no salvation for the 3rd world in this entity. Truthfully, the UN are a war (with a real country) away from being as much of a part of history as the Hanseatic League. As we speak. They act as the de-facto military rulers of Haiti, with the US leaning over them looking at possible candidates. I think in all honesty they want a Haitian Karzai of their very own so perhaps their weakness is deceptive on purpose and they are just the arm of a face that has not revealed itself yet. “Le temps est un grand maître, dit-on, le malheur est qu’il tue ses élèves.”

Jesus’s Power Broker:

– Haiti is flooded with Christian missionaries. There were 40 of them on the plane with me headed to Port-Au-Prince. In case you don’t know what a missionary is kids, it’s not just a sexual position. (Although plenty of people have been fucked over the years.) It means someone who goes to other countries and tells people that their religion or native custom is savage and full of useless ceremonies to God’s & spirits that don’t exist. And while I know some of these people mean well, their very existence and purpose is in complete contradiction to what their religion actually teaches. Some are working to build schools and help out with social programs, but always with the agenda to prosthletize and solidify their religious control over the area. So no matter what their intentions are, they look like their peddling Jesus on a fishing pole with foreign aid wrapped in Bible paper on a hook. In the past they were dispatched to countries to make them as Christian as possible in a direct effort to bring them into the colonial power’s sphere of influence. You see Imperial powers could not win by military force, and so conversion directly aided in our subjugation and apparently still aids in our placation. As long as we let other people define God for us we will not only be the physical but also the spiritual prisoner of our oppressors vision.

Mission Impossible:

– Spain, Portugal, England, France and Italy, etc… did this “missionary work” all over Africa, Asia and Latin America. Many of you people reading this who are of the aforementioned faith have them to thank, not divine intervention for what you believe. I am not in any way shape or form trying to detract from the individuals who really have the message of Jesus Christ in their hearts. I honestly believe if we lived our lives by the teachings of Christ this world would be a better place. But there are too many frauds making money off of Yeshua these days. The crazy thing is, that as many Muslim and Jewish charities that are working in Haiti, I haven’t witnessed any effort by them to convert people to Judaism or Islam. What is it about this faith that we hold so dear in America that makes us so insecure about what other people believe in? You’re going to have to stop using the excuse you want to “save people” and just admit that you don’t feel comfortable around someone until they believe in what you believe, spiritually. What gives us the moral authority to go around the world and tell the indigenous people of every continent that their religion is a farce and the only real truth was compiled in Constantinople in 325 AD? Isn’t the most “Christian” thing in the world to give charity to the poor and suffering without asking for anything in return? (Least of all, the culmination of all their beliefs.)

Blood Roots:

As I walked through the tent cities full of families waiting for water and cooking whatever they could find for their collective I happened upon a long road. It led me through the scorching slums of the outer area of Port-Au-Prince. While I was walking these two young brothers who ere dressed in red asked me if I was a Blood. I looked at them both and I responded that I wasn’t and one of them then raised his eyebrow, “you Crip then?” He asked with a heavy Creole accent. I said that I was neither and I was more like a Black Panther. After all OG Black Panthers and people from the Indigenous movements have taught me a libraries worth of knowledge. The younger one asked me what a Black panther was. I searched my surrounding for an analogy and there just happened to be a small tree near by. So I walked them over to it. The tree had two branches littered with a few leaves. Holding one branch I said, “this one is the blood” and pointing to the other one I said, “this one is the Crip” and then putting his hand on the trunk close to the roots, I said “this one is the Black Panther”. “Ne de la Revolution” which means Born out of Revolution in my humble French. The young kid smiled at me and asked me more about the Black Panthers. I stood there speaking to him for a little while and then we saluted one another and went our separate ways. Although Haiti is twice as hood as any place in the US, they are such a young country full of children who must become adults before their time. If they are to succeed, someone must educate them to the fact that what people call Black history is in fact world history. I would be honored to be a part of that someday. Don’t worry I won’t NGO them for hundreds of G’s either. I’d settle for a room and some coffee in the morning.

La Revolucion de Latino America:

For those of us who are studying Latin American Revolution, Haiti is the prequel, the seemingly invincible power of France being challenged and overcome. The Napoleonic wars gave America a chance to breathe away from the eyes of Europe long enough to affirm itself. France’s assault on Spain weakened the European states enough for us to take the moment that we cherish as our time for ‘Revolucion’. The story of our Revolution doesn’t begin in the 1950’s but in the Indigenous revolts of the conquest era and the early 1800’s when a small island of enslaved Africans showed the world that it was possible. Estudiantes Latinos, estudia esta Revolucion, sus lecciones son unas de las mas importantes para apprender. Tienen te todo, de raza, de classe, de corrupcion, y por supuesto del sacrificio necessario para obtener la libertad.

In parting:

I learned something very reassuring about myself in Haiti, something I am proud to acknowledge and leave my people on a good note with. When I meet someone who is a better activist, or Revolutionary, (I’ll be happy to make that distinction later) when I see someone whose actions achieve more than mine, or who has a more complete perspective I become inspired. I don’t get bitter or jealous and think about trying to “out-revolutionary” them. That’s so pointless and yet it is something that I see sometimes in the movement, people who think that because another doesn’t adhere to the same ideology or the same faith that we must bring them down. I am a Revolutionary and I need no one’s permission to be. We were successful at breaking ground in Haiti, but my mission there is by no means complete, I wish to plan further actions with my friends at Arms Around Haiti and the staff at SOBS. I would like to thank Jube, Mario, Cormega, StylesP, Herbie, Clef, Yele, Arms Around Haiti, Parrish, BC, and my Haitian Soldiers there for making this trip possible I look forward to returning soon.

“Le travail éloigne de nous trois grands maux: l’ennui, le vice et le besoin.”

Peace & Respect,

Immortal Technique

DOWNLOAD: Pictures From Tech’s Trip

  • gunslinger

    this dude! you can’t help but have respect for Tech.

  • sterling

    immortal technique.. one of the realest in the game. good lookin out.. real recognize real..

  • STINKMEANER

    glad to see tech on 2dbz, with all the drake and rick ross bullshit that gets posted, its nice to know people still have brains in their heads and occasionally choose to use them.

    seriously though, tech and his messages are too important to sleep on. wake up

  • Dan

    It’s funny how some ppl go through certain things and complain allll the time, but they’re regular everyday routine is probably worse than anything we complain about.

  • Chuck T

    It’s pretty sad that the majority of the people that visit this site will either skip over this completely, or ignore it when they see they have to actually read something

  • ^^I agree

  • jadaafa

    realy good read amd was very respectful

  • DallasTx_Groveside

    Yea people Forgot all about hati cuz it’s not in the US
    but After that HUGE methane gas bubble Blows up in the gulf ( theres a gag order on mainstream media not to speak on it of course just google it there’s 1000’s of scientist saying this to ) and Kills Millions of people here
    They will come out the blue and be insant red cross members smh

    How the BP Gulf disaster could kill millions What we are not being told http://is.gd/d7rAG

  • JamaicaQ

    Damn, this made the problems I have today feel like nothing. i feel like I’m blessed just to have food and a roof over my head, i think his music is cool, he’s much better live, but his articles are dope. dammit man i gotta get out the hood and see the world

  • stevep

    really humbling.

  • tech is a hero , fuck obomber fuck corporate america fuck 9/11 military officials

  • Man, this article struck a nerve some where, I wish there was something I could do, and if there is let me know. Its crazy how everyone cared right up until the news stopped broadcasting it. It’s sad, if I had the money to help I’d be there now. And to imagine people are profiting off of this tragedy, this shit disgusts me.

  • Ryan Antsair

    Why is this so long could have been like 4 paragraphs shorter. I appreciate but he always comes off condescending and annoying even in his music. Ambulance chasers just like every other “revolutionary” get a real job, and staff off the conspiracy theory shit. Always trying to provoke white guilt who’s fault is it their government and infrastructure is trash. Blame themselves for not being progressive. The same level earthquake hit Mexico but they were better prepared because they didn’t ignore the scientist who told them it could happen YEARS ago. Maybe they should have stopped practicing voodoo and invest in infrastructure but they rather complain how the west has raped them fuck outta here. When I mess up my house I don’t expect my neighbors to come clean it same with them.

  • Adi Pre

    Amazing read, Tech’s always been one of the realest dudes, and glad he’s shedding some light on the situation out there.

  • eddie

    wow tech, you are a real revolutionary. keep this going! good article.

  • 780 & Heartbreak

    Bad rapper, he is an idiot ; not gonna read

  • Derick

    This was truly inspiring and educational. I will take in all this advice and point of view experience and I will become that much more of a true human being and revolutionary.

  • http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=7903623001730810789#

    here is an entire documentary on the United Nations rape of Haiti.

  • YEAH!!!

    Real dude, if you are scared and so skeptical about immortal technique you need to learn some history and recognize the struggle. Long live the struggle.

  • Jean

    God Bless the rightous in all thing,always and forever

  • Z

    First off, Ryan Antsair above me is a short sighted child. Acting like a huge earthquake was the fault of the people. With that being said this article gave great insight into the situation and it is inspiring to see that people still care. I would love to be able to speak to immortal technique sometime.

  • you look through the comments and theres always some dicks who ignore it, go ahead i hope you all feel better and bask in a sea of your ignorance and piss all over yourselves with your false sense of security. This article was eye-opening and deep, at least some guy is trying to do something, unlike some dicks on here ignoring this shit behind their computers, but then you have the nerve to comment?

    Remember those were humans just like you, and your mother and your father that died in that earthquake.

  • YEAH!!!

    ^ word I guess the truth and reality for some bougie cynical/careless people is really hard to swallow. Educate yourself ignorant people.

  • They need real help, not that fake hope a lot of corporations are shelling out.

  • NorthwestClassic

    Respect to Tech on this one (and Shake for posting), but sometimes I just feel like these problems are totally beyond my means. Like the UN and foreign aid’s exploitation of countries in need, how is anyone supposed to combat that sort of money and power? People like Tech give me hope there’s still a way to change this.

  • Lhc

    @ Ryan Anstair

    If you have a problem reading this or think it’s too long, that tells me you probably don’t read much in general. Which tell’s me you probably have no real basis for your knee jerk reaction opion of someone that is actually out there trying to do a good thing. How many orphanages in Afghanistan have you built?

  • Great post. A great example of what Hip Hop can/should be focusing on. If we make up our minds and follow the lead of people like Immortal Technique, Hip Hop can generate serious change in the world…

  • He has more pics on his facebook. It was pretty dope seeing Cormega and Styles show their support, I already know Tech is beyond real.

  • A.B.Youngblood

    “it humbled greatly as I realized what she carried on her shoulders. I am a Revolutionary but rather than just going to places around the world to bring people freedom, I seem to find it among them.”
    There is no condescention in his words. This is experience, a view into the present in Haiti, woven into a TRUE version of a PAST that humanity always fails to see PROLOGUE to the PRESENT. There are few people in this world who use their voice with as much passion, truth and bravery, a man who stand behind those words with the actions and works of his life. It is because of people who choose to remain blind, people who would use ‘be progressive and don’t practice voodoo’ as an argument… In a world that darkens every day on those who choose to keep up the fight, the struggle, to see… This man is a light.

  • think

    tech should write books his work is appreciated

  • Whizzpup

    Damn. Gained a hell of a lot of respect for Tech from reading this.

    http://clintbeefman.wordpress.com/

  • Larry LeJend

    That was from my man HEART. Great logical observation and it had to be tough my Nigga without letting your emotions get the best of you with such personal experiences. You touched on the “Sphere’s of Influence” with the European nations as they walked God’s green Earth like “D-Bo” in Friday. Real shit, makes a mothafucca think twice about we he did with his day. Smh

  • Ryan Antsair

    NAH I haven’t built an orphan thing in Afghanistan because frankly I don’t give a fuck about a country that holds it self back with religion and sexism. Get with the times fucking liberal douchebags. That country was shit 100 years ago and it will be 100 years from now. Build them an orphanage why? So they could mold their terriost ways in doors out of the afghan heat fuck outta here with that bs.

  • Malik

    Some of the most substantial writing thats been put in my face in a while. We can all learn from this.

  • DJ NITTI

    Immortal is a true hero. I’m so glad 2DBZ posted this, please continue posting gems like this, some might skip it but those who don’t will be enlightened.

    And to anyone like Mr. Antsair that can possibly find negativity in this, you’re a poor excuse of a human.

  • BayArea707

    this guy is a fucking joke..word up to ryan..fuck all you fucking illuminati nwo conspiracy fucks..live your fucking life .yeah waste our fucking money on a 3rd world country…you guys dont even know what goes on in haiti..ther hella ungratefull and rude cuz i heard stories about them from people in the millitary on how THE US tried to aid them..they were ungratefull for the food they were given.and dont you know most HATIANS fuckn hate america.but yeah were suppose to jumo off our ass n help them.n to the dipshit who was complainig about the oil spill HELL YEAH were gunna be more concerened..how the fuck you gunna drive to work w/o that oil you dumb fuck that was a big fuckn supply that spilled…if you love haiti so much or any other country GET THE FUCK OUT OF AMERICA AND STOP COMPLAINING ABOUT HOW WE RUN SHIT NIGGGGA!!!

  • masta_g_

    BayArea707
    i heard stories about them from people in the millitary on how THE US tried to aid them… cool story bro …kill yourself

  • AnT

    much respect

  • This was a humbling read. I remember I was trying to go to Haiti when i heard about the earthquake. I think I might try an make a trip before I leave for college.

  • jdmaritnez08

    Great read, I wish there was more rappers with his mentality.

  • d-bo

    This is a post about what’s going on in Haiti, not Afghanistan. Don’t get it twisted. For all the dumb shit that America does, there is just as much good shit that is done. To say that any aid should not be sent at all is fucking ignorant. To Ryan Antsair… You are guaranteed a whiteboy that lives in the suburbs. What the fuck do you know about anything? At least this guy went to Haiti to see what’s going on and tried to help and share stories of experiences there. You really have to respect Tech for this, and I think most non-ignorant people will agree.

  • Z

    if he isn’t the realest in the game right now. who is?

  • Amber

    You word things very well.. This article kinda made me wanna cry… Keep being consious and selfless… maybe ur positive energy will spread..

  • dan

    READ

    shit was Revolutionary

  • Great read. Immortal Technique is a very knowledgeable guy, but everyone mustn’t assume his words are absolute truth. They are merely his perspective, which you may or may not share. With that being said, his perspective is probably broader than most of our’s will ever be. But what I’m saying is: He’s just putting the information out there. It would be irresponsible for anyone to take everything he says as fact. As long as the information is out there and people are talking about it, then I believe his mission is accomplished. Don’t read too much into the conspiracy theory stuff, unless of course, you are actually researching (reading) the information for yourself. I truly believe that he doesn’t present all of his knowledge and perspective as truth or fact, but just as knowledge, and you can do what you will with it.

    (More) On topic: I agree with everyone that’s said this type of material needs to be more prominent on blogs like this. This isn’t just about music. This is about what music, the culture, and the responsible artists that represent it can do to make the world a better place. And if there’s any artist that’s going to be that representative, it should be Immortal Technique. Bravo!

    Don’t just listen. Don’t just read. Analyze. Research. Study. Learn. That’s why this guy makes music.

  • dj

    its really nice to know real men do have hearts 120% respect 4 u tech if we all pay it forward there will be equality

  • Riski

    Bravo.

  • Idamae

    There will always be hatred towards the truth [reality],
    some people will never find it or their “self”.
    You can’t get mad at them, it is their choice which path they choose.

    Thank you Technique for spreading your word and enlightening many souls. Your voice is heard.

    KNOWLEDGE IS POWER.
    KEEP YOUR POSITIVE AND KINETIC ENERGY FLOWING.

    ¡VIVA LA REVOLUCION!

  • yeah!! that’s what up tech! keep it up bro!

  • Andrew

    A lot of idiots on here, tech speaks the truth.

    If you think that BP’s spill was big you should research africa, theyve had continual disasters like this over the past 50 years. Besides the oil we have in our entire country would last us less than 16 years at current consumption levels, we need everyone else’s oil to get by.

    On another note you must be really ignorant to think Haiti got that way by its own accord. It is one of the most exploited countries in the whole world. And yes it is largely the rest of the worlds fault since we stole their precious resources from them 100’s of years ago and left them with nothing to build on.

  • Much ignorance here. “Bad rapper” “idiot” “conspiracy theorists” Dumb ass people. Wake up.

    I’m really glad for Tech. Can’t say I didn’t expect such thing from him. I want 2dbz to post more of Tech and less of these other lame artists.

  • Your articles is very educational, keep up the good writing!!!!

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