At a time where the people of Haiti are battling systematic oppression, American leaders have only given more struggle to the journey. The most damning has been President Donald Trump take on Haiti and the 54 countries of Africa he used expletives to describe.
Response on the opposite end of the conversation has been swift, with African immigrants rising above the slurs and Haitian-Americans coming together to show their pride. Those who’ve been afflicted by the Trump family for decades have been through with his hateful rhetoric and antics for quite some time, especially in the world of music. We reached out to several Haitian artists and revered names in America’s largest Haitian community–Miami, and asked them to reflect on Trump’s hateful comments made in the White House.
“As a Haitian-American woman, I am completely disgusted by 45’s aka Donald Trump’s comments towards Haitians and Africans. But let’s face it guys, I’m not surprised. This is a man who’s been blatantly disrespectful towards women and has made numerous racist comments towards after other race other than his own. I don’t feel like this man is worth anymore conversation. I just want to know when is he going to get impeached.”
“It’s just more of a sad situation than a mad situation to see someone that’s so insensitive towards a country and a culture that plays a major role in black history. Haitian people are one of the first people on the face of this Earth with independence. To hear him say that, you just gotta teach yourself to ignore the ignorance but also speak on it because most people are going to be afraid to say something. But Donald Trump, that ‘shithole’ you’re talking about, has a lot of strong people from there. There are a lot of great people from there and some of those people from there are actually some of the people who voted for you as well.”
“When I first saw the quote that the president (and I use that term lightly) said what he said, I was definitely pissed off. But as I kept watching CNN and watching the quote over and over again and actually hearing them say ‘shithole’ with no bleep, I felt angry but also more sad. The fact that the president of the free world is saying this ironically before the anniversary of the earthquake that killed over 200,000 people in Haiti..first of all, Haiti is the most beautiful country I’ve ever seen. Being of both Haitian and Dominican descent, Haiti’s people are so resilient. They build something out of nothing, and when it gets torn down they rebuild.
As far as the Haitians that are in the United States, Trump brought his ass to Lil Haiti during his campaign and asked for the Haitian community’s help and smiled at the Haitian Arts Cultural center where he sat there amongst the community’s leaders and shook hands and acted like he supported a community of people that work so hard to live and survive in the United States. So for him to say what he said just shows his ignorance. He’s heartless.”
“First off, he didn’t just say Haiti. He mentioned a lot of places like Africa as a whole and other places. We have a president who speaks his mind. Donald Trump is like one of them dudes who’s blatantly honest, and you gotta tell him, ‘Listen, this is not were you be honest. This is where you need to sugarcoat,’ and the way of his sugarcoating just seems so flawed. Now one thing about these ‘shithole’ countries is this: those are the most educated people and children. I come from Haiti. I’ve stayed in Haiti almost nine years of my life so can’t nobody tell me about Haiti. I remember being in Haiti and watching kids at the park from 6 am. to 7 a.m., from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. until all the way until 1 in the morning STUDYING! Haiti and these ‘shithole’ countries have kids that sit here and memorize a whole 50-page book. And they will recite it word-for-word. We have our good parts. We have our beautiful parts. I’m talking about parts that are so outstanding. Then it’s like where there’s rich, there’s poor. Everyone knows that.
To sit here and hear somebody call an entire country a ‘shithole’ for the simple fact that THEY couldn’t acquire the same mountains that the Clintons went and bought due to red sand that was need by China and Canada. In case you didn’t know this secret, the Clintons own a lot of mountains in Haiti. I also believe they found natural gas and oil was found in Haiti recently, and they’re trying to keep it a secret, but the people know. Yeah, a lot of y’all know know that Donald Trump wanted land in Haiti. He wanted a lot of the natural resources that were discovered in Haiti. He wanted that. He wanted him and his investors to be part of that and they didn’t get that chance. So of course Haiti is going to be a ‘shithole’ country to Donald Trump. Of course it’s going to be a personal vendetta towards the Haitians, and it’s bad. It’s f**kery. I’m talking from personal research, by having friends who work in the government, and knowing these things myself. I’ve witnessed it.”
“Yo man Trump is doofy. I’m not going to let him get to me, or let him bring me down. He’s just another bougie, rich motherf**ker. Can’t nobody discredit Haiti bro. Haiti as a whole has been through more sh*t than anyone, and has overcame more than anyone. Those people in Haiti are some of the strongest people you’ll meet in life. To hear him refer to it as a ‘shithole’ place, it just makes me believe that he’s got a ‘shithole’ for a mouth.”
“I grew up hearing that Haiti was a sh*thole my whole life. The narrative of Haiti didn’t change last week, it’s a narrative that has been forced upon our country for decades, by outsiders, by the media, by the world at large and by a bigoted president. Negativity reinforces negativity, and to an impressionable youth who don’t know their true worth, these words became reality. But instead of feeling pity or remorse, myself and a new generation of Haitians saw it as a call to action.
A call to reconnect with the principles in which our country was founded, principles based in unity, bravery and respect. A call to elevate our standards in education, and cultural preservation, and to create a new paradigm for our nation and our youth. A call to take the narrative of our country into our own hands.
We will determine how people perceive our country. A country that served as The Mother of the Americas, who’s people liberated themselves from colonial rule in 1804 and aided both the United States and the rest of the Caribbean in their battles for freedom. A narrative of failure is not Haiti’s national anthem, it is ‘La Dessalinienne’, an anthem retelling the Haitian Revolution and the mantra that unity and strength of mind can overcome insurmountable odds. These are the stories that must be heard by the youth of Haiti. The stories of perseverance, ambition and responsibility for one’s country. Today a new generation of artists, empowered by technology, is taking control of the languages of hip-hop, and electronic music, infusing them with Haitian culture and traditional rhythms, and speaking to millions of people in Haiti and around the globe.
We are writing our own Haitian anthems. These are the voices that will be heard by the next generation of Haitians and these sounds will define Haiti to the rest of the world in the years to come.”