Haiti is NOT a shithole, Mr. Trump.
I should know about that.
I lived in Haiti for nearly three years.
And you, you’ve never even been there. And yet, here you are again, saying something insulting and derogatory, knowing nothing about what you’re talking about.
Yes, I’m talking about your woefully ignorant comments about “shithole countries.” January 11, 2018.
Did you even realize that 8 years ago today, on January 12, 2010, an earthquake of 7 magnitude struck Haiti, ultimately killing as many as 230,000 people?
No, of course not.
Well, even though I know you won’t read this, I want to tell you a little about the Haiti I know and love. And I’ll try not to use too many big words.
First of all, the people. Always the people, the ones you hate so much, the ones you consider subpar.
Haitians carry deep joy in their hearts. Life for most revolves around other people, friends, family, even strangers. I know about that, too, for I was a stranger and they welcomed me. Haiti may be poor, except for a few wealthy families like yours, Mr. Trump, but I tell you, you won’t find nicer people even if you hold the largest rally ever to prop up your ego.
Haitians know a lot about oppression. They threw out the French in 1804 in a bloody and successful slave uprising, becoming the first independent black nation. That should tell you something about Haitians, Mr. Trump. They’re strong people, despite all the roadblocks thrown their way.
Haitians enrich the world’s culture with their incredible art. A veritable rainbow of colors covers the canvas and creatures of dreams parade in front of your eyes, that is, if you would look. Such wonder expressed there, in paint. And their iron working, fabulous! But, oh yes, you prefer gilt gold stuff.
Haitians write some of the most moving literature I’ve ever read. Take the work of Edwidge Danticat. You probably wouldn’t read her books anyway, not just because you don’t seem to read much, but she’s a woman. And I know what you think of women. I particularly like Ms. Danticat’s The Farming of Bones, another story grounded in how strong Haitians can be in the face of adversity.
I need to add something about the land, so precious to the people of Haiti, because their blood watered it during slavery, the cruel Duvalier years, and the aftermath of that devastating earthquake. The land may be deforested, making agriculture a tough occupation. Farmers carve out creative terracing, on mountains slopes so steep you’d need a rope tethering you when you hoed your bean field. But still the farmers persist.
And the sea that surrounds the land! Blessed with white sand beaches and an abundance of sea creatures, Haiti inspires cooks to conjure up magic in the kitchen.
I rest my case, Mr. Trump.
Haiti is NOT a shithole.