I did not know anything about this controversial statement by Sonson, the drummer of the Kompa band T-Vice, until a friend of mine suggested that I watch the video interview and address the controversy. I did promise to her that I will, so here I am placing it under my microscopic lens.
Patrick Desvarieux of Kompamagazine.com, during a three-question video interview published on Sunday, December 12, 2010, had this exchange with the drummer.
P D: Are we better off being occupied by the United States, or let Haiti do what they gotta do?
Sonson: Hey, you really don’t want me to answer that question. No disrespect to the people over there, but I’m a United States citizen. Whatever happens over there happens over there; it happens for a reason. I always say everything happens for a reason. I think this is God doing his job or he’s doing his work because Haiti needs some real help… I live in the United States… I’m handling my business. Whatever they do there, they do there. I’m doing me. That’s it.
P D: So you don’t care about Haiti right now?
Sonson: No… no! I take care of my peoples in Haiti which are Lagonave –which is far away from all that trouble and all that BS. I take care of them; that’s it. Whatever happens to Haiti… if/whenever I go to Haiti, I go to Haiti to make my money and I leave. That’s it.
You can watch the complete video clip by clicking on this link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ElOJXZ4Nmi8
Well, well, well… this is really sad for him to feel this way about Haiti. Though he makes himself a convenient target or a perfect prey for media assassination or crucifixion, I am not going to be too harsh on him. Being harsh on him, what for? Like most of us, I don’t think he was born and raised in Haiti to know much about the country, enough to develop a certain level of affinity for it.
I cannot blame him for feeling the way he does about the land of his mother and father. Listening to him, anyone with a great acumen can depict this degree of disconnect between him and Haiti. It is that obvious. For that, I don’t think he should be blamed. It is like asking him to care about Sudan -a country totally foreign to him, which he may not know anything about. Rather, I would definitely hold his parents accountable. For him to express such sentiment of insensitiveness towards Haiti, the country that gave birth to his father and mother, it could be that his parents have never wanted to see him associated with it.
Apparently, he does not feel related to Haiti in any shape or form, other than traveling over there to milk the cow. It is sad, but what can we do if the man was not raised to know about and appreciate his roots? For many Haitian parents, it is a step-up to raise their foreign born kids in complete ignorance of anything having to do with Haiti –the Creole language, the music, the lifestyle, etc… so that they can be proud -whenever they are talking to their friends and relatives -saying to them that their kids don’t speak Creole; “se blan yo ye wi. Yo pat fet Ayiti non. Yo pa konn yon mo Kreyol la kote w we yo ye la.”
Yes, he could have displayed more of a sense of maturity and been more politically correct like the rest of his bandmates in the way he formulated his answers, but then again you cannot ask the man to give something he does not have. Not everyone masters the skills of political correctness and media relations. Not everybody knows how to handle the media. Some people talk to the press like they are talking to their pals in the ghetto or in the streets. No, you cannot do that. There is a certain protocol to maintain. Konpa is not Hip Hop. We hold our artists to a higher standard. Some missteps will never be tolerated. So he needs to see this experience as a major PR setback so that he could allow himself to be schooled and grow. He is not alone in the category he finds himself. Many in this Kompa landscape would have done even worse. I hope they learn a thing or two from Sonson’s PR gaffe.
After damage control, on Monday, December 13, 2010, the artist issued this apology statement on Kompamagazine.com to “clarify” his slip of the tongue. Read below his complete apology statement:
I want to clarify some things that I said in my interview. I know my comments may have raised some concerns. First and foremost I want to apologize if I came off as being harsh and insensitive. I also want to apologize if my comments may have offended anyone, that was never my intentions. But I must admit that I’m not very good at expressing myself in front of a camera which is why I normally opt out to do interviews
I do care about the country in which my ancestors came from and my family who are still living there. When I made the comment about ” not caring”, it wasn’t in reference to Haiti; I just don’t care to comment on the political aspect of Haiti. In all honesty it really saddens and irritates me at the same time to see how our country can’t become one and we’re always ready to tear each other down. We’re always ready to destroy any possibility of good that we may have coming our way just because we have strong difference of opinions and so forth….
I really think that it would be a great idea if the US did step in to help create some type of order and put Haiti on the right path to becoming the old Haiti that our parents use to talk to us about. But its up to the old and young generation to get together instead of being against each other to fix our country. I’ve seen how rich this country (Haiti) really is in terms of resources but its a shame to watch how poor we’ve become!
Retrieved on December 14, 2010 at 04:13 AM EST from Kompamagazine.com: http://kompamagazine.com/kmboard/viewtopic.php?t=33010
This is ignorance t its best. 1st of all, until he joined T-Vice Sonson lived in Haiti and was a musician in a Haitian church band which explains a lot about his “this is God’s work” mentality. Funny thing is he’s saying all this not realizing that if anything goes wrong in the U.S. and they decide they no longer want him here they’ll ship him and all other Haitians right back to Haiti so he damn well better care about what’s going on over there and not just Leogane. I didn’t hear people talking about it’s God’s work when bombersa aTTACK THE u.s., KIDS SHOOT THEIR SCHOOLMATES AND CHILD MOLESTERS RAPE AND KILL LITTLE GIRLS AND LET’S FACE IT, IN THE U.S. THAT HAPPENS A LOT MORE THEN IT DOES IN MANY OTHER PLACES.
Sorry for typos
This is a very good piece Emann. I do understand why the media would blow this out of proportion but then again KM did ask him for his honest opinion. He just said what many Haitian Americans would say. My only problem with his interview is that he retracted and apologizes for his feelings. A man should never regret how he feels about a certain situation. Had he lived in Haiti and endured the same plight as our brothers and sisters back there he could have relate to them…but he was raised here, why fool ourselves thinking that just because he’s a celebrity he’s supposed to care or act like he cares. Too often, we ask questions we may not be necessarily ready to hear the answers to and that’s exactly what happened in this situation.
This isn’t about being a celebrity, but showing ignorance. While I agree everyone is entitled to their opinion, there are statements that show that he is commenting on something he didn’t even bother to look into and that’s why I point out that his “God’s will” crap is the same as many fake pastors in Haiti. Haiti’s been occupied by the U.S. before and that never helped, furthermore Haiti has lost many of the resources because of the U.S.
It’s sad that people who have influence can easily spread ignorance for others to repeat. smh. let me leave this thread —–>
I don’t have a problem with him stating that the US should intervene and take over the country; in truth, I think Haitians would benefit from that. Just like Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands etc…It would help with the country’s economy, deplorable healthcare system, backward government and education system etc. To say his comment echoes ignorance is a bit much.
Also, I think we’re forgetting the fact that people are entitled to have their own opinion. Had he done the opposite and said nothing we would have bashed him for not having an opinion, for not being articulate or blame him for being uninteresting…
SMH! A la koze!
One thing he said that I agreed with, I do think that the US should take the lead in Haiti. We prove time and time again that we are not competent enough to lead one another, let someone else do the job and benefit like jamaica, PR Hawaii has been benefited from.
Truth be told, they would truly invest in infrustruction, railroads, new housing developments and we all know that haiti needs them big time.
As far as his ignorant comment on he is a US citizen and he cares not of what’s going on around there, tout se bri sapat.
His apoogy was probably forced fearing that TVice might be losing fan over it.
Keep us inform!
i understand his frustration toward Haiti.
People are dying in a country like Haiti.
no one seem to take they responsibility among the Haitian leaders.
Some of us felt betray and anguish toward this country.
I think the dude have a point.
It may take out of context, but he is telling the truth