REFLECTING ON THE LATE 20TH CENTURY, 1996
"Did you hear about Jean Esnel? Heard that he murdered his wife, her daugher, and her son.
Why would you practice a religion that makes things like that okay to do?
Those dolls that you play with aren't a joke.
Perhaps you hex the wrong person or yourself and you end up like Jean?"
Instead of hearing the Spice Girl's new hit, I hear different variances to what I've written above almost everyday at school. In my high school, I'm known as that "religious freak" who "curses the other girls in PE class" and one time "put a spell on AJ so he could fall in love with me". Okay, I miiiiight have tried that last one, and I sometimes do wish that Michelle broke a toe or something so that I could stop coming in second during our laps, but I would never intentionally harm anyone with my religion. That isn't why I practice it at all. My home country, Haiti, presecuted many Voodoo believers a decade ago. One hundred of my people were killed, and many more were symbolically torn into fragments after losing their friends, families, careers, and feelings of safety in a country that was supposed to protect us. I'm so sorry. I truly am. You were murdered for no reason ten years ago - all because a sick boy was used as an excuse to murder you. They said that you poisoned him. You made him sick, you and the other four people within your circle. Sick, ironically as they burned down your house. As they burned down your house, they had the nerve to call YOU sick! As if you could have done anything since Voodoo was banned in Haiti in 1934 (unless it had heavy Christian practices). Why? No one knows. Heck, the man who put the ban in place doesn't even know. It does not matter where and why and how - one hundred of my people were murdered as an act of ignorance. I'm so scared of the gangs that come in and hurt my people, our people. Why doesn't the world care? Wasn't our brutality as meaningful as Chernobyl? Is it not now, the jabs that I get from my Protestant leaning classmates not enough to show that something needs to be done to clear Voodoo's name?
Voodoo has been nothing but a positive, loving experience for me. I know I'm only one person, but I know that I'm not the only one who's Vodun religion means so much to. I don't have dolls that I use to curse people. Yes, I believe in more than one spirit. Each spirit is a different component of life, similiar to the oneness of God when put together. When I want my makeup to stay put all day, I pray to Freda to be beautiful. I channel Agwe by going to the beach and sending my offerings to him, similar to how a Christian goes to church to pray. No, I am not from New Orleans, but I doooo love Popeyes! It is technically 'Vodou', but I'll let it slide. I believe in visibility and invisibility - both guide my spirit to watch over me as I live. Think of it as a guardian angel, both finite and inifinite. My community means so, so much to me. I'm not out to get anyone. I simply worship spirits who guide my life through multiple Loas. I'm not a freak. I've never dabbled in the occult. I am a Vodou follower who simply wants to be understood. That's truly it. What will it take? Someone who's not a minority to make that happen? Who knows. Even myself, the Voodoo Queen, has no clue.