Marie: The Haitian Woman Who Refused To Make A Pact With The Devil!
Recently the always racist and crazy Pat Robertson, the evangelical Christian pundit, has said God was punishing Haitians with the flood, because they made a "pact to the devil". This is absurd, and the truth is, the Haitian people were so strong spirited that they were the first ever slave country to defeat their overseers and win independence. Anyways, here is my rebuttal to Robinson's hate speech:
I stayed home last Halloween because I didn’t feel like going out. I cuddled up on my couch, ordered Thai food, and turned on the TV and went to the TV Guide Channel. “A Feast Of All Saints” was about to start, and I decided to watch that. Though it was not intended to be a horror film, it was by far the most horrifying movie I had ever seen.
It focused on people called “The Free People Of Color” that resided in Louisiana prior to slavery being abolished. One of the main characters was named Marie St. Marie. Her mother, Cecil, was from Haiti, and was the daughter of a white plantation owner and a Haitian black slave. During the Haitian revolution (when the slaves defeated the French, becoming the first country to have a successful slave revolt), Cecil’s father was hanged for owning slaves. A wealthy black woman kidnapped Cecil from her slave mother, telling the mother she had died, and brought her to America. Cecil was raised with freedom in Louisiana, the only state in the US that had a free black society. When she became an adult, it was decided she would become the mistress to a wealthy plantation owner. This system was called “placage” (to place with) in which many biracial, black or women color were formally placed with white men who were contracted to provide for them long term, which was basically like marriage, but with less rights. It was a common practice during the time, and many women of color saw this as the best way to be safe and provide for their families, as the brutality and inhumane system of slavery was the only other option for many. She gave birth to two children, Marie and Marcel.
Marie went to a good school, and enjoyed the comforts most free people do. But she was woman, so her external freedom was limited, and also because of her ancestry. She was a beautiful woman, and men, both black and white, adored her. However, she was not proud of her outer looks, for what she valued in life came from within.
She joined a charity group and found joy in helping those less fortunate then her. She had privileges that most black people did not, and she was saddened that her people were being dehumanized by white slave owners. She found no joy in the privileges she was lucky to have. In fact, she did not respect her mother Cecile for being with a man who oppressed her people. Though she was mix raced and very light skinned, she identified as a proud black woman.
Marie's father fell on financial hardships, as his jealous white wife became jealous of the love he had for her mother Cecile, her father's mistress. His wife arranged for the control of the estate to be transferred to her side of the family, thinking it would inspire him to leave Marie and Cecile's family. It did not work, for he wanted to be with Marie’s mother. He eventually died, leaving the family with barely any means to provide for themselves.
In a panic, Cecile suggested that Marie allow one of the many wealthy white admirers of hers to “take care” of her, and help the family during their financial crisis. Marie said she did not have the heart to be with anyone who mistreated human beings the way the slave owners did. She expressed that there was not enough money in all the world to inspire her to become property of a greedy man who had exchanged his soul for worldly riches. Marie was fine with losing the lifestyle she was accustomed to, as long as she could stay honest to her heart, and hold out for true love.
Cecile was perplexed and full of fear. She tried her hardest to brainwash Marie into giving into the same lies she had that said that women were 2nd class human beings who were meant to cater to men. She desperately tried to trick Marie into placing a higher value on money then on humanity and love. But it wasn’t working, for there were some things Marie loved doing above anything else, and that was smiling and laughing. She knew if she made a pact with the devil, that she would lose her desire to smile, and her happiness would go down the drain. She was not impressed by diamonds, all they were was clear mineral stones that some man had dug up from the earth and proclaimed as “valuable”. All the people in Mother Africa murdered by European diamond miners just so disillusioned people could go crazy over the worth they were tricked into thinking diamonds held made her ill. Marie’s heart was broken that her own mother would want to sacrifice her daughter’s happiness just so they could remain wealthy.
Marie was not going to compromise, and Louisiana society was confused. It had always been assumed that since she was a popular socialite that she would “choose the highest bidder”, never mind the fact that the highest bidder had sacrificed human decency for dollars. Her suitors pleaded that she give them a chance. She found them pathetic and repulsive. “Let me protect you” they expressed. But the only protection she wanted was from them, not by them. “Let us save you from the lifestyle we enforce on the rest of your people” they pleaded. It’s as if they thought they would find some small amount of redemption if she allowed them to have her favor, but she knew the only way they would find redemption would be to ask forgiveness for their sins against humanity and abolish slavery. But all they cared about was power and money, and sex.
Marie knew she was not a sex object. She was a spirit meant to evolve, learn, love and be loved. She was a woman who was meant to give, to be cherished and to live her own life. Though powerful men in the white high society around her held the notion that women were nothing more then sex objects, servants and child bearers, Marie was not submitting. Marie’s named comes from the name “Mary”. Marie did not buy that “Mary of Magdalene” was a “whore” as some say. The only real “whores” were all the slave owners around her who had sold not their body, but their souls, just so they could be rich. These “whores”/corporations were destroying the world around them, oppressing ethnic minorities, killing people for money, and ruining the environment, and degrading all the feminine values she had faith in. And yet they called Mary, and even Eve, “whores“, when the truth is that these women were “victims“ of falsehoods preached by false prophets. She believed that Mary was Jesus’ companion, his lover, his beloved, his vessel of light. Marie’s intuition unveiled to her that dishonest kings of the past had rewritten parts of the Bible to promote women as 2nd class citizens and people of color as inferior to white people. She felt without a doubt that no creator of life would ever condone that! She knew Jesus worshipped the divine feminine, and that Jesus preached that a woman’s greatest asset was not her body, but her spirit. When one is as enlightened to the truth as Marie, it’s hard to put a veil over her eyes.
The predators pursued her. She kept her faith. Since Marie was unwilling to sign a contract with the devil, spite broke out amongst the men she had rejected. It was shocking to these wealthy dishonest men that a woman of color knew she was better then the offers they were giving her, and it made them feel even more of horrid people since they knew she was rejecting them because she thought they were evil. And when being a “gentleman” wouldn’t work, they decided to use aggression.
“If you won’t come quietly and be a good little girl, I could use force to make you my slave”
Marie replied “I will never be a slave in my mind. Even the black people you chain in your fields are not slaves, for I hear the soul songs they sing under the hot sun as they work, and though they are physically captive, they have souls that will overcome your treachery, and their forced labor will end soon enough. You are surely the true slave. You are a slave to your greed, fear and rage. You are enslaved to all the lies you preach and believe. Money is your master, and has you chained.”
In a desperate attempt to have light shine upon him they said, “I will give you anything you want”
She said, “What I want you do not possess. I do not want your silly stones you call jewels or your big house with no love inside of it. There’s this thing I have called a soul, you should totally try getting yours back, it may be hard after all the sins against humanity you have committed, but it’s totally worth it! Please leave me be, it will never happen!”
Enraged, they became jealous of what they could not have. They had sacrificed their souls to buy land and riches, and thought because of their status they could have any woman they wanted. Jealousy is the most scariest sin of all, for it leads to violence, lies, self loathing and hate.
And then a few men conspired to attack Marie. They felt powerless that they could not possess her, and hopeless that she had called them out on their devilish practices. In their warped minds, they thought by assaulting her it would somehow make them more powerful. And poor Marie. She was one of the only women in her time to stand up against Louisiana high society and say she was not interested in being the property of a horrid king,. So she became physically assaulted by monsters who could not tolerate her authentic power and faith that women and ethnic minorities are not subhuman.
And then the woman who had just wanted to be left alone, was crushed.
She did not go home, she ran to a haunted house in the rain, locked herself up, and threw away the key. She would not talk to anyone. And the lovely creature of God who had kept her faith through so many hardships and temptations, suddenly lost hope. The darkness of her assailants invaded her safe space, and her flowers wilted. She was changed. She cursed the world that could allow such horrible actions against good people. She cursed the oppression that continued to plague her people. She blew out the candles, and sat there in the darkness, vowing never to leave the house.
Her long time friend Anna Bella, who was also a freed woman of color, came to the house determined to take Marie with her to care for her. Marie felt defeated, and ruined, and did not want to return to a society that had abused her. She told Anna that “she must have deserved to be treated like an animal”. Anna replied, “There is no truth in that! What happened was not your fault. They may have attacked you, but they will never ever have you!”. Marie had allowed the oppressors to get inside her head and convince her she was nothing but a sex slave and a prisoner to the white men’s agenda. As strong and resilient as she had been, their act of brutality had broken her, and she felt victimized. Realizing Marie would not leave her prison, Anna left.
Marie decided that maybe the world was right. Maybe she was a 2nd class human being because of her race and gender. Maybe she needed a powerful man she did not love to buy her a house. Maybe the faith she had in love and humanity was a child like romantic notion. So she made the decision to consider submitting to the status quo and all it‘s lies, and walked downstairs to compromise all she held dear. A trophy collector grabbed her hand and proceeded to kiss it, and right before he laid his lips on her hand, something inside her revolted. She pulled her hand away and ran outside into the garden.
The life she had temporarily suppressed had tried in a desperate attempt to resurrect her faith. And there in the garden was love, waiting for her. But then fear crept back inside her. She told love to leave or she would scream. Love said it would not leave. She told love that she was damaged, and love replied that though she may have been a victim of the damaged souls of others, that she herself was still a rose. And she told love that she wanted to die, but love said she did not truly believe that. Marie asked love to leave her alone, and that she would never trust again. Love told her that it would be patient, and gentle and would listen. Love vowed nothing bad would ever happen to her again with love by her side. Marie cried, and she cried, and she looked into love’s eyes, and felt it's genuine goodness. Yet, she had built these walls around her, still fearful of all the evil in the world, so she again told love to go. But love refused to abandon her!
And love picked Marie up, just like she had always believed in her heart love would, and carried her out of that haunted house, and the ghosts vanished, for the ghosts were never real, just imagined.
Light flowed back into Marie, and was available all along. Marie realized that the oppression she had endured was a test to her faith, and she committed herself to pass the test, and survive, and then thrive. Somehow, her flowers came back to life.
Marie followed her heart, and with love, boarded a ship for Paris. In Paris there was no slavery, and women were more respected. She would start anew. And as the ship drifted away, she looked back at New Orleans. She would miss her family, and her friends, and her community. But she could not change that place, and sometimes the only solution is to leave, to let go. And then her smile came back to her. She had made the right choice, and there was hope.