so there’s this thing? in haiti? where tons of people died and it’s all pretty insanely awful and people all over the world are rushing to give physical and financial aid? well, not pat robertson:
“Something happened a long time ago in Haiti, and people might not want to talk about it. They were under the heel of the French. You know, Napoleon the third, or whatever. And they got together and swore a pact to the devil. They said, we will serve you if you will get us free from the French. True story. And so, the devil said, okay it’s a deal.”
my reaction to this is threefold:
- as a human, i am disgusted and horrified.
- as a cynic, i am unsurprised.
- as a historian and copyeditor, i am torn between laughing and crying over that “Napoleon the third, or whatever.”*
side note: it’s too early to say for certain, but it does appear that Obama’s response to a massive natural disaster in another freaking country is going to be better and faster than Bush’s to Katrina. just sayin’.
*just in case: Haiti gained independence in 1804, while France was under the leadership of Napoleon Bonaparte. Napoleon III (aka Louis-Napoleon), NB’s nephew, ruled France in some form or another from 1852-1870. what i find really interesting is that most people–jingoistic americans foremost among them–have never even heard of Napoleon III, but everyone has heard of Napoleon, which makes the error even more bizarre and incomprehensible.