Raj. Noun. Language: Kreyòl. Meaning: Rage. Rage. Noun. Uncontrollable, violent anger. R.A.J. Rhetoric. Analysis. Judgment. Raj → Kreyòl word for Rage. Anraje, mande anraje, or fin anraje v. (also debòde or dechennen) → to become furious, to lose control.
“Ou pa fou, Ou pa anraje!”
That’s what Haitians say when they dare you to do something. Whether they doubt your abilities or simply disapprove of your plan, you’d have to be “crazy and out of control” to follow through with it. Matter of fact, don’t even think about it.
But I am, though, out of control. Furious. Enraged. I’m enraged that we seem to be stuck in a binary world; always two sides, two arguments, two solutions, two camps. We ignore or try to fit all points of view under two.
I’m enraged that we fall prey to false dichotomies and partisan manipulations. So much so, that we don’t realize what we are doing to ourselves, to our children, to our future. I’m enraged that, in this country, black women birth targets. I’m tired of them having to teach their children not to die, like mothers of deer before hunting season.
I’m enraged that women still have to constantly profess that they are people too. I’m enraged at my Haitian culture, not learning from History, still pursuing the acceptance of the West. I’m enraged that we still define Haitian women in reference to the men in their lives.
I’m enraged that my Caribbean region and community are still fragmented. I’m enraged at my past religious teachings that I feel I sometimes must transcend in order to truly allow me to become myself. It has been said before, to be a negro in this country, nay, this world, and to be relatively conscious, is to be in a near constant state of rage.
Rhetoric.- Noun,the art of effective or persuasive speaking or writing Analysis.- Noun, detailed examination of the elements or structure of something, typically as a basis for discussion or interpretation Judgment.- Noun, the process of forming an opinion or evaluation by discerning and comparing
The title of this blog is R.A.J., an acronym for Rhetoric, Analysis, Judgment. This is a collection of my thoughts and my suggestions about my countries of birth and of heritage. This is my blog, where I will examine and challenge aspects of politics, culture, and society as a twenty-something Haitian-American note-taker. I have a background in Political Science and Writing & Rhetoric.
The word Rhetoric gets a bad rep. But not only is it a rich and fascinating field of study, it is, now more than ever, a necessary one, because to reverse-engineer, one must be an engineer. To deconstruct, you must know how to build. And in these times when we are being spoken to in whistles and half-truths, being able to understand the devices being used to deceive us is crucial.
Rhetoric is also about connecting dots. I use it to connect the crumbs of history which led us here. I use it to engage with my roots, my society, my planet, my world, and my fellow enraged people. So here I’ll dare. I’ll dare to write. I won’t pretend to speak for, but I want to speak to. I write to find, not to tell. Connect with me.
Click on An Kreyòl to access the Kreyòl version of this blog.