On January 11, 2018, President Donald Trump, who was at a meeting on immigration with lawmakers in the Oval Office, offended the people of Haiti and African nations with his racist and hateful remarks. Damn! Is the president sick or a racist maniac? As a freelance writer and a Haitian national, I am responding with an analytical overview of Trump's frenzy sensation of racism.
Prejudice has always been a part of the American fabric. In the late 19th century, an influx of immigrants flooded the United States mostly from Europe, which includes Italy, Greece, Poland, Russia and Hungary, etc. While the United States welcomed people from those European countries, the Chinese were excluded because China back then was classified as a shithole country. The U.S. Congress, then, passed in 1882 the Chinese Exclusion law. Also, the Irish, Jews, Catholics, Hispanics and Indians were victims of xenophobic exclusion and other forms of prejudice. Recently, President Trump signed an executive order in which he banned people of some Muslim countries from entering the United States.
Unable to submit Haiti and the African countries to the same exclusion fate, Trump has the audacity to vilify them as shithole countries. The president's goal is to have immigrants from countries like Norway with people looking like him, but not with people of color like Salvadorans, Haitians and Africans.
Well, Trump has shown a fatal fascination with Haiti. About two weeks ago, he stated that all Haitian immigrants are infected with the Aids virus. I responded to his disturbing statements with this article: https://www.theodysseyonline.com/president-donald-trumps-derogatory-statement-about-haitianshaving-hiv-aids-immigration-2017-america. Now Trump is at it again, and he fiercely erupts out of control: “why are we having all these people from shithole countries come here? We should bring more people from countries like Norway." “Why do we need more Haitians?" he reportedly added. “Take them out." These hateful remarks left me both bewildered and speechless.
But Durbin said: “I cannot believe that in the history of the White House and the Oval Office, any president has ever spoken the words that I personally heard our president speak yesterday. I've seen the comments in the press and I've not read one of them that's inaccurate."
The blatant defamatory reference to Haiti and African nations as shithole countries is uncalled for. Such a vile behavior is un-American and very unpresidential. Unlike previous U.S. leaders, Trump has been exhibiting a pattern of racism, divisiveness and vulgarity. He sensationalizes the U.S. presidency to the point of bringing down its prestige around the world. He is nothing but a powerless tyrant in a major world democracy. Hadn't it been for the U.S. Constitution that guarantees individual rights, lawlessness and chaos would arise and he would have imposed an Apartheid system of government in America. Trump's racist attitude toward minorities is a clear reminder of Adolf Hitler's hostility toward the Jews.
Trump and Hitler share the same philosophy of white supremacy, hatred and racism: the former to the people of color and the latter to the Jews. Whether Trump would go as far as committing a black holocaust, no one knows. But what is certain is that Hitler's hostility led to the extermination of 6 million Jews. God forbid America was Germany, Hispanics, Haitians and Africans could have suffered the same fate as the Jews. The analogy between Trump and Hitler is not an exaggeration. Only God knows the heart of a sick and an evil man.
Look! The president has been exhibiting the behavior of a psychologically insane person. No U.S. president has ever acted so bold and so unpredictable in displaying his racist sentiments and actions the way Trump has. In this case, isn't it fair to insinuate that Trump is either sick or truly a racist? By giving him the benefit of the doubt, let's say he is neither. But how can he be so ungrateful to ignore the prowess of the Haitian fighters in the battle of Savannah? Isn't it time for the United States to show respect and repay the historic debt owed to Haiti, which contributed so much to its freedom and its growth?
Despite everything, Trump has something good to reflect on. As the adage goes: “there is honor among thieves." He will be remembered for his firm stand against World War III, New World Order, the Deep State and the infamous world bankers. I could have also added the immigration to the list of his attempted accomplishments if his approach to resolve this thorny issue wasn't so brute and so racist. It's too bad that he has no longer earned my political support because of his repeated racist remarks about Haiti. Trump is cruel and heartless. I wish Bernie Sanders were president today.
Sanders was honest and the Democratic Presidential candidate who could have defeated Trump. Hillary Clinton was not. She was too controversial and too unworthy to stand up to her unorthodox Republican rival. The Democratic Party is responsible for the mess we're in today with Trump. The Democrats boycotted the presidential campaign of Sanders in favor of Clinton. So I was left with two difficult choices in the November 2016 presidential election. Two presidential candidates: Trump and Clinton = two evils. Neither one was any lesser evil than the other. I had the ballot; I wanted to vote, but no deserving presidential candidate to vote for. Ultimately, I had made up my mind. Not willing to waste my vote on crooked Clinton, I cast my vote with a heavy heart for this president. It is a bitter regret I have to live with for the rest of my life.
While the United States is a land of opportunities, people of Norway and other Western European countries may find it a shithole country for its lack of incentives and social services. For example, the Europeans are accustomed to free college education, a 30-hour work week, six weeks of yearly paid vacation, free child care and 16 dollars per hour minimum wage. Wow! The United States is the leading world economy, but it does not offer any of those benefits. From the Europeans' perspective, if the United States is a shithole country, it's up to Trump, not the American people, to refute this assumption.
Calling Haiti a shithole country offends and shocks Haitians everywhere. Dessalines and Toussaint Louverture are about to rise from their graves to slap Trump into apologizing for his hateful remarks about Haiti? The successive leaders of Haiti since 1804 have been so corrupt that they allow vagabonds to call our great nation all kinds of names. I personally blame the Haitian leaders for letting the prestige of Haiti to go so low as to be called a shithole country. Same goes for Africa.
For the most part, Haitian and African leaders have no one to blame for their political failure but themselves. The greed for power and money is on the top their agenda. Their personal political ambitions always lead to poverty, clanship strife, dilapidated and underdeveloped societies that are subdued by force. Trump, after seeing the economic stagnation and the vicissitudes of things that plagued Haiti and Africa for so long, capitalizes and calls them shithole countries.
Africa has been exploited from inside out by Africans and by foreign powers alike. Its rich natural resources have been the causes of internal political warfare and external meddling by powerful countries in the African affairs for their own gains. They infiltrate those countries where they help elect friendly presidents. By all means, those foreign powers covertly kill or topple leaders they consider unfriendly to them; but in reality, those African leaders are charismatic and good to the people of the countries they govern.
Some examples include Patrice Lumumba of the Republic of Congo who was tortured and killed by the Americans and the Belgians; Machel Samora of Mozambique whose airplane was sabotaged and crashed moments after leaving the Apartheid country of South Africa had died ; and Thomas Sankara of the Republic of Upper Volta who was assassinated with the alleged complicity of the French.
Haiti and Africa can no longer be treated as shithole countries under the following terms: first, they need to rebuild their respective countries with a new political frame of mind where prosperity and justice prevail and down with corruption and violence. Second, the United States and the Europeans need to give back every penny they had robbed or exploited from Haiti and Africa. Once they could do the math and figure out the vast sums of money to repay to Haiti and the African countries they had exploited, then, these so-called shithole countries of today would become major world economies of tomorrow.
The psychological damage Trump's hurtful statements caused to Haitians and Africans is colossal. Those very statements spark a personal plea to the entire government of Haiti: Haitian Congress, Senate, the presidency and everyone in charge, this is the time to do the right thing for Haiti. We got to take up the challenge Trump has set before us. To fulfill this historic goal, Haitian leaders at every level need to equip themselves with the same electrified patriotism and love that our forefathers had for Haiti as a means of bringing the country back to its glorious 1804 standard.
After all, Haiti is not a shithole country. It is rather a model of freedom and bravery, a thriving nation that is experiencing hard times. One must wonder: when will we remove the stigma of shithole nation being put on us? Also, how can we overcome and begin the healing process?