AIDS & ACCUSATION: Reflection
The content of Paul Farmer’s AIDS & ACCUSATION: Haiti and the Geography of Blame, was very boring to begin with. Quite literally, I was sleeping while reading the beginning of it. However, it did pick up towards the middle as it caught my interest; I found that the book was particularly funny. Before reading this book, I had no clue what I was in for other than the title and who would’ve guessed; the title says it all. It was actually about what the title said. The United States blames Haiti for the AIDS and vice versa. Although, Haiti didn’t start with that; the Haitians believed in sorcery and voodoo. The idea of anyone that has someone with ill intent or maliciousness towards them can cause them to become sick with diarrhea, was a chortle. Farmer goes deep into the book as he gives descriptions of three people who came across AIDS. However, these Haitians all believed that it was sorcery or some malign magic of someone who had despised them. The curiousness of one the cases was Manno, one of the Haitians that Farmer had interviewed, who was said to be kind, “Manno never hurt anyone; on the contrary, one thing he was known for was his ready smile. So why would someone wish to harm him?”(Farmer, 76)
Another case that I found interesting, or funny, however one may describe it, is Haiti’s view on America. Farmer quotes a young student.
“… so you decide you’re going to get rid of them. You can’t do it with guns, though, because that would be inhumane. So you give them AIDS. It’s part of the American Plan, people are saying. It makes sense,so I sort of believe it. People sat that the CIRA developed AIDS, and you know that the Americans are always saying there are too many Haitians.” (Farmer, 232)
Maybe it was the slightly sadistic nature of mine found in everyone that made this quote appeal to me. However, I sort of feel bad that they have to think this way. The thing is, this person has plenty of reasons to feel the way he does. Haitians were given a stereotype as some sort of diseased infector that can cause you to be sick with mere interaction. Hate mail was sent to all those that interacted with a Haitian, such as, “Hire a Haitian—Help Spread AIDS.” (Farmer 214)
Oddly enough, I find myself sympathizing with them. The beating, metaphorically and quite literally (Farmer 214), that they had to endure wasn’t something to joke about. However contradicting that may have just sounded, the strength that the Haitians mustered to continue with their daily lives was quite admirable. One cab driver from Boston describes the situation of being discriminated against: “WE are slow to anger, even when they are insulting us. But these are rumors that are keeping us from living.” (Farmer 215) Going back to another thing I noticed that put me in awe, was the strong relationship the family had towards a kin with sickness. I found that even against all odds and to no avail, the family never...