The content of Paul Farmer’s AIDS & ACCUSATION: Haiti and the Geography of Blame, was very boring to begin with. Quite literally, I was sleeping while reading the beginning of it. However, it did pick up towards the middle as it caught my interest; I found that the book was particularly funny. Before reading this book, I had no clue what I was in for other than the title and who would’ve guessed; the title says it all. It was actually about what the title said. The United States blames Haiti for the AIDS and vice versa. Although, Haiti didn’t start with that; the Haitians believed in sorcery and voodoo. The idea of anyone that has someone with ill intent or maliciousness towards them can cause them to become sick with diarrhea, was a chortle. Farmer goes deep into the book as he gives descriptions of three people who came across AIDS. However, these Haitians all believed that it was sorcery or some malign magic of someone who had despised them. The curiousness of one the cases was Manno, one of the Haitians that Farmer had interviewed, who was said to be kind, “Manno never hurt anyone; on the contrary, one thing he was known for was his ready smile. So why would someone wish to harm him?”(Farmer, 76)
Another case that I found interesting, or funny, however one may describe it, is Haiti’s view on America. Farmer quotes a young student.
“… so you decide you’re going to get rid of them. You can’t do it with guns, though, because that would be inhumane. So you give them AIDS. It’s part of the American Plan, people are saying. It makes sense,so I sort of believe it. People sat that the CIRA developed AIDS, and you know that the Americans are always saying there are too many Haitians.” (Farmer, 232)
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...not a question in anyone’s mind.” (Farmer 201)
Lastly, I would like to mention something that should be mentioned for the sake of mentioning. As said in the book as well in class, there have been multiple cases of sexual deviance between two males. This cause of AIDS, I found, was not mentioned enough in the book. Although there may be contributing factors as to why it wasn’t, I personally feel that this would be a major factor to the cause of the infection. “Scientists proposed that Haitians may have contracted the virus from monkeys as part of sexual practices in Haitian brothels . . . AIDS might be transmitted between Haitians by voodoo rites, the ingestion of sacrificial animal blood, the eating of cats, ritualized homosexuality.” (Farmer 224) All in all, AIDS & ACCUSATION, however criticized the book may be, inevitably captures the essence of anthropology.
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