My Country Is Not A Shithole

Jacmel Beach, Haiti, courtesy TRL/Flickr
Jacmel Beach, Haiti, courtesy TRL/Flickr

You know what comes out of a shithole? Shit.

Haiti is: Poor? Check. Politically unstable? Check. Literacy rate? 65%.

If you are poor, does that mean you’re shit?

If you live in a politically unstable environment, does that put you in the “excrement” category?

If your country does not provide you with an affordable education, does that equate you with fecal waste?

Since the election of Donald Trump, Americans have been living in a politically unstable environment—fears of civil unrest, nuclear war with North Korea, the total and utter disregard for truth and facts by 99% of Trump supporters and Republicans in power (a Fox news contributor characterized Trump’s language as “colorful remarks”).

According to the U.S. Department of Education, as of 2015, 32 million Americans could not read (including Trump—my best guess is he reads at the 4th-grade level).

Does that make America a shithole?

I am a Haitian native who immigrated to this country in 1964. For the last 20 years I have run a small business that employed three to eight full-time people. My employees are provided with health insurance, paid vacations and bonuses, whenever possible. I pay Workers Compensation taxes, payroll taxes, sales taxes and income taxes. My business also provides income to a company, which assembles the products I manufacture, as well as a fulfillment house which packs and ships our products to corporate giants like American Eagle Outfitters, Whole Foods, and Urban Outfitters (whose corporate revenues are supposed to trickle down to middle class and poor Americans). I also pay an accountant, bookkeeper, and cleaning service for our company. I pay rent on my two office units, as well as a storage unit. My company puts money in the coffers of the United States Postal Service, Federal Express, UPS and DHL. On the personal front, I own a house, for which I pay property taxes. I also employ a housekeeper, gardener, and a whole coterie of small business owners, like electricians, appliance repair people and house painters. Why would you want people like me in your country? Because we contribute to this country’s success, you vulgar, ignorant piece of s**t.

Color of Haitian people? Black.

Donald Trump has an issue with people from Haiti, African Nations and Salvador coming to this country because he is a racist who despises people of color. Let us not forget that it took a lawsuit from the Justice Department to make the Trump family rent apartments to African-Americans.

Donald Trump thinks people who come from Haiti all have AIDS. Actually, 2.1% of Haitians have AIDS. A terrible number, but we don’t all have AIDS. Another statistic worth noting about Haiti? It is one of the biggest sources for black art in the world. Haiti has been called a nation where art is life (Los Angeles Times). We may be poor, but we are also a nation of artists, Mr. Trump. I guess your parents forgot to teach you about what determines a person’s true worth. Hint: it’s not the color of their skin or the amount of money in their bank accounts. Newsflash: The only thing that counts when evaluating human beings is whether they’ve had the good fortune of realizing that we are all the same. That we are each other.

I have to say that I have trouble recognizing myself in Trump, other than to observe that we breathe the same air, that we need air and water to survive, and that blood runs through my veins, just like his. Which says to me that, as a human being, Trump exists to remind us of our worst selves; the part of us that wants to lie when the truth is inconvenient (he’s lied 2000 times since becoming president), lash out rather than communicate, and blame others for our mistakes. Trump lives so that we may have a constant reminder of the shadow we can become when we turn a blind eye to our own humanity.

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