Haitian Studies Association Responds to Donald Trump
January 13, 2018
On the 8th anniversary of the Earthquake of 2010 which caused the death of more than two hundred thousand people in Haiti, Haitians, people of Haitian origin, and friends of Haiti discussed the offensive remarks of the President of the United States Donald J. Trump with sadness and anger. The American press reported that while engaged in negotiations over reforming American immigration laws with a bipartisan group of senators, the President of the United States Donald J. Trump called Haiti a “shithole.” In addition, the President allegedly rejected the Senators’ proposal to grant residency to Haitian beneficiaries of the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) by asking “Why do we need more Haitians?” and he concluded, “Take them out.”
A few weeks earlier, the New York Times reported that Mr. Trump claimed that all Haitians have AIDS and should not be allowed to stay in the United States. The president of the United States has offended the Haitian people and the world by abhorrent comments that debase a head of state and misrepresent the citizens of his nation. His comments reflect the behavior of an unfeeling and disrespectful person who believes that belittling, offending, and excluding the poor and the sick affirms his superiority or, as he said recently, his “genius.” Haitian people and most of the world’s people who have heard this news have reacted to it by saying that the President is either sick or despicable, as well as ignorant of nations and cultures that happen to be different from his own idealized vision of an America that must be made “great again.”
The board and members of the Haitian Studies Association unanimously express our outrage toward the racist attitude of the president and his supporters. We thank those who have openly expressed their sympathy and respect on this occasion. The Haitian people are strong and courageous. We understand that the offense does not come from the great majority of the American people, but from a government of questionable legitimacy elected by misguided Trump supporters as a result of a loophole in the United States electoral system and probable intervention by a foreign nation, a situation with which Haitians are familiar. As we celebrate Martin Luther King’s birthday this weekend, we thank the African- American community for opening the path for black immigrants to become accepted in the United States of America. We would like to express our support for Americans of all races and ethnicities in their search for truth and justice.