President Donald Trump’s complaints about immigrants coming to the United States from “shithole countries” have prompted condemnation from around the world.
The president made the remarks during a White House meeting with lawmakers and suggested that immigrants from Norway would be preferable. Trump has since apparently denied making the off-color remark, describing the language he used only as “tough.”
The past week we’ve watched as the Haitian community respond in anger, disappointment and protested Trump’s racist remarks in various cities throughout the country. We reached out to several Haitian artists, actor, entrepreneurs and revered names in the Haitian community and here’s how they are responding to Trump’s “sh*thole” remarks.
DJ Michael Brun:
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 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 on which our country was founded, principles based on 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.
Media Maven Karen Civil
I stopped going to the circus when I was a child because I stop entertaining clowns. Trump’s disparaging words does not affect me, as I will never lose sleep over the words of sheep. We know he has a small vocabulary and he doesn’t know how to properly engage in intellectual conversations about frankly anything…We knew his stance on immigration very early on, so nothing he says is surprising.
Rapper Wyclef Jean
We all are descended of immigrants I myself came to this great nation a Haitian man in search of the American Dream The true power of the Eagle is because we have embrace immigrants and allow them to be part of this great Nation and our contributions have been enormous and will continue to be … thank u to my Haitian parents for always reminding how great we are as Haitian people.
Actor Catfish Jean
My name is Catfish Jean and I am a Haitian American Actor. My parents came to the US from Haiti. I’ve seen them work hard my whole life as they started their own separate businesses coming from nothing. My mom (Jeannine Fan Fan Jean) came to the US with her siblings on a raft and my dad (Alfred Jean) came to the US working on ships. To hear 45 talk about a country that he knows nothing about infuriated me. From a person of his stature coming from immigrant parents, it befuddled me when he spoke on immigrants like his parents and wife didn’t immigrate to this great ole US of A.,
In my opinion, he put a stain on this country. If it wasn’t for Haiti defeating the French, France would probably still own the lower half of these United States. If it wasn’t for Haiti’s help during the independence of the United States, he probably wouldn’t be president. There are many great things that come out of that little island and I need 45 to check the record and history books before he tries to put a stain on my culture and people.
Singer Phyllisia Ross
Intolerance should NEVER BE NORMALIZED- especially by a community who led history in the revolution and (still never-ending) plight of black being viewed as equal in the world. We are not meant to conform to (absurd) ideas that we should feel inferior just because someone else doesn’t appreciate where we come from and all our ancestors did for our freedom! I know it may be tempting to ignore reality and fall back into the “virtual world” and cocoons of our lives but we must know where we stand, look around us and recognize where others are showing they stand too.
We DO have a racist, intolerant man running the country try we live in. How do we make a change on a micro and macro scale in the fight to protect ourselves? I would be lying if I said I knew the answers to really end it all. But I do know it begins with the empowerment of the individual to be the best version of themselves as possible, starting with you! Revive the proper beliefs in your mind- we are all equal, we all deserve health, wealth, prosperity, love, safety, protection and all that is good.
Believe you deserve it! His insults are the first step into our hearts, trying to have us accept his words and actions as the new “reality” – do not allow it! You are strong. You come from a rich and proud culture. You have a future ahead of you. You have a community behind you. You are capable. You have the ability to do and be all that is good. Protect your light in this darkness. Those who will lead the way during these times are those who understand their capabilities, no matter why any man has to say about it!
I strongly condemn his comments and it’s clear that the guy is borderline racist. I do love my people however my biggest issue with us as a nation (Haitians) is that we get mad easily and sometimes we forget so quickly. We can’t keep governing the same way for decades and expect changes, its time that our elected officials step up to the plate and do what’s right for the country (Haiti) and not their own pockets.
I would suggest Haitians living abroad or at home to get involved in terms of votings or run for office because if you want to see changes you can’t keep complaining and not do anything. To get back to Trump comments I think he’s saying what most white elected officials are saying behind closed doors which is sad. Haiti stand up!
Seattle Seahawk Cliff Avril
As a proud descendant of Haiti, I’m disappointed by the divisive words from the President. Haitians contributed to this country in more ways than one. It’s truly sad and frustrating that that’s how he can describe us!
VJ Supa Cindy,
Initially, trumps statement pissed me off. Then my feelings turned from anger to disappointment and sadness. The fact that the leader of the free world would say such a statement towards a nation and a group of people that have been through and survived so much.
Trump came to Haiti Haiti during his presidential campaign asking the community for their help and support. He also promised to support them by supporting the Temporary Protected Status (TPS). Well, that was “fake news” because he ended the humanitarian program that has allowed about 59,000 Haitians to live and work in the US after the devastating earthquake that killed more than 220,000 Haitians. Haitians in the U.S. now have until July 2019 to leave and go back to Haiti.
Trump said his “sh*t hole” statement a few days before the anniversary of the earthquake. That says so much about his character. An amazing thing that has come out of this mess, is that it brought awareness to the beauty of the island and the people. I loved watching tv host Conan O’Brien enjoying the people and the island proving trump wrong and showing the world that the last thing Haiti is, is a “shit hole”
Actor Jean Elie
Haiti is a beautiful country rich with natural resources, culture and amazing people that fought for freedom and liberties for themselves and others. Now, for the President of the United States to say such disgusting things about my family’s country or any other country is just plain irresponsible and ignorant, to say the least. However, I could easily fire back and call him a walking sh*t hole, who has the IQ of a goldfish with the moral compass of a 1st-grade bully but what would I gain with words without making actions towards a change.
In my opinion, Trump should call it quits along with his whole cabinet if he truly wants to make America great again. A country where people can strive, flourish and live peacefully among one another.
Rapper Bruno Mali
Donald Trump remarks about Haiti is bigotry at its finest and a reminder to the citizens of the world that the highest office in the land is being run by a human-hating, insensitive, fascist and racist that the people of America put into office. His presidency is evidence that racism in America is well and alive and the black men cry for justice and equality is far-fetched.
Producer Shama Joseph
I’m not shocked that the president of the United States said what he said. You mean the country that occupied Haiti for 20 years went in took their gold, worked in collusion to undermine any Haitian-government who put Haitian interests above American interests. The country who’s 42nd president (Clinton) and family are securing long-term leases to mine the resources away from the people of Haiti. Oh yeah. “That” country. The country that supported an embargo because of its refusal to accept the 1804 revolution. Yeah. That one.
I just wish we would stop asking for an apology. Because like my mother always said. “PEYI SA PA POU NOU”. Yes some of us are raised here, born here. Some of us have seen opportunities that Haiti would not be able to provide. But never be confused. That this country. The US. was founded on some of the most criminal heinous acts against humanity. So when the president says what’s in his heart. His truths. Don’t ask him to apologize. We never apologized for the revolt. Don’t ask for an apology because this country would have to apologize to its own people for what they continue to do. When did Haitians want or need an apology that is not sincere? I don’t want anyone to feel sorry for Haiti.
I want for Haitians to GET MONEY. Make as much as you can in this land of opportunity, buy land in Haiti so that the children of Haiti will own the land. While we are sitting there asking for apologies. Politicians (including the Clinton’s) are buying and occupying Haiti.
Comedian Success Junior
“Haiti is this, Haiti is that” is what THEY love to say. What Mr. Trump said about Haiti was not only insulting but it was disgusting for someone in his position to say. I must admit that we as Haitians have work to do for our country but so does “The Great” America. My biggest concern is not with ‘45’ and his foolish comments, it’s really with us discouraging ourselves to visit our home country Haiti.
There are millions of ways to improve our beautiful country but I am strongly sticking with tourism. My goal is to show the youth that are taking vacations to Jamaica, Cancun, Bahamas and etc, that Haiti is JUST as beautiful if not even more beautiful than those places. Once people start to visit Haiti and see for themselves the beauty, it’ll be impossible for foreigners of Haiti to believe mindless comments as such. Let’s enrich our country through tourism. Let’s become the Dubai of the west and have it become a Luxury and bragging rights to go to Haiti.
DJ Sam Sneak
To be honest I’m not a person who’s easily offended. I know who I am and where my people come from so I don’t feel the need to get defensive about comments that hold no weight. I feel like being Haitian has become a trend which is cool, but it’s deeper than being cool. You have to know your history, know your lineage, know your power and know your strength.
Haiti was the 1st freed black nation and helped to free a lot of other countries including some in South America like Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador and more. One of the greatest tricks that the white man has ever played was to convince the world that Haitians prayed to the devil to defeat the white devil. Those of us who know the truth, know our culture and know that we’re much bigger than any one man’s opinion are 100% unbothered.
Model Ralph Souffrant:
Haiti is not a sh*thole country, Haiti is a country that has gone thru a lot of sh*t.