A New York city council recently voted to re-name a street in Brooklyn to honor a Haitian revolutionary leader, but not everyone is too thrilled about it.
The street in East Flatbush now bears the name of Jean-Jacques Dessalines Boulevard, which runs about 30 blocks from Farragut Road to Eastern Parkway, News 12 reported.
“This moment means so much to the Haitian community,” said Stephania Casimir, 26, a first generation Haitian-American and local social worker. “It shows we’re strong and powerful.”
Local Haitians like Casimir said they look up to Dessalines as a hero for leading their people to freedom after decades of suffering and enslavement under French colonizers. Folks who oppose the renaming couldn’t disagree more, however, describing Dessalines as a bloodthirsty dictator who ordered the killings of thousands of French civilians.
“[New York] is now honoring a genocidal dictator,” Fox News host Tucker Carlson said in disbelief after griping over the widespread removal of Confederate monuments. “The city council led Jumaane Williams just voted to rename a street after Jean-Jacques Dessalines. In the 1800’s, Dessalines ordered the genocide of all white people on the island … which included men women and children. And he did it.”
“New York City apparently finds that impressive — so impressive they’re gonna name a street after him,” Carlson added.
According to the New York Times, local leaders were well aware that the Dessalines co-naming might be met with controversy and proceeded on the project with caution. Brooklyn Councilwoman Inez Barron called the renaming “a fight and a struggle,” saying a hearing and extensive research went into the council’s decision.
“Everything is political,” Barron told the newspaper. “This was not something that was done in the usual manner and passed with ease.”
Many were quick to call out critics’ disapproval of the re-naming, calling it hypocritical.
“Notice that whenever European history is written, they’ll speak of their armies conquering indigenous or brown people and describe them as ‘victories,'” one Twitter user commented. “When they lose like the Europeans did in Haiti, they call it as a ‘massacre.'”
“So what do they think ALL of their colonizing kin, who they view as the salt of the earth were when they stole, enslaved and raped around the world,” another person wrote. “Oh such ironic False News hypocrisy.”
Others scoffed at critics’ “white tears” and called out Carlson’s false narrative of Dessalines.
“Tucker got on tv and told a blatant lie … Jean-Jacques Dessalines didn’t kill all the whites.” one man said. “The Polish and other white groups were spared. The French who continually conspired against the new nation with France however were killed for that reason …For him to get up there and spit that garbage without context isn’t surprising seeing as he conveniently ignores his own country’s homicidal maniacs named in history.”
“The bs this ws is spreading is outrageous,” another chimed in. “There was no genocide and the white people that sided with the Haitians were reclassified as Black. Tucker the sucker Carlson is 100%.”
Watch more in the clip below.