My good friend and WBLS radio personality, Imotep Gary Byrd, once rhymed: “Every brother ain’t a brother.”
The words smacked me in the face Friday morning as I looked on Twitter to see how in heavens name the group, Haitians For Trump, could possibly defend the reported comment from the president that their nation is a “shithole.”
There was no way they could stand for that I mused—no way in hell! But to my surprise, I was dead wrong.
Like the 8 percent of Blacks who gave their vote to Trump like a Kool-Aid-infected band of house slaves, there they were, defending the man we all knew was racist long before he made this comment Thursday, Jan. 11, 2018.
We knew he was racist when he spent $85,000 placing full-page ads in the four daily papers in New York City, calling for the return of the death penalty after concluding without proof that five Black and Latino teens were guilty of raping a white woman. We knew he was racist when he started the birther movement against America’s first Black president.
We knew he was racist when he launched his campaign by calling Mexicans rapists; when he went to war with the parents of a Muslim soldier killed in battle; when he encouraged violence against minority protesters at his rally; when he promised to build a wall and make Mexico pay for it; when his campaign stoked white entitlement and outrage at every turn, sending out dog whistles and sometimes glaring billboards that this campaign was the campaign for angry white people.
Yet Haitians For Trump, a clear victim of mental slavery, had the audacity to try to defend the comment with this tweet: “To the worldwide reporting ‘shithole’ and to all the concerned Haitians, The language used by @realDonaldTrump at the DACA meeting was tough and harsh, but this was not the language used.”
The latter part of the tweet was a direct quote from Trump’s barefaced lie that he had tweeted earlier after the outrage on Thursday.
I nearly fell off my seat after reading that. Haitians across the world, including the government of Haiti and the Republican Haitian-American congressional representative, denounced Trump’s comment as not only racist but an “assault” on Haiti and Haitians.
And even Republican Congressman Jeff Flake pointed out that the words were not “tough,” but “they were abhorrent and repulsive.”
Worse, it comes just less than a month after Trump was quoted by The New York Times as saying at another meeting that “all Haitians have AIDS” and just over a year after he ended Temporary Protected Status for approximately 80,000 Haitians in the U.S., essentially telling them to legalize before July 2019 or get out.
I understand that Haitians For Trump, including a former Haitian finance minister, welcomed Trump with open arms in Little Haiti, Miami, Sept. 16, 2016, felt the need to criticize Hillary Clinton and President Clinton and fell for the con that Trump would be their “greatest champion.”
I get that many in our immigrant community, including 29 percent Asians and Latinos, were fooled, hoodwinked and missed the signs. But it’s 2018—no shame in admitting you were wrong, that you were taken and, as ashamed as you are, you cannot continue to support this racist, this xenophobe, this narcissist, this unlearned, uncultured lump of clay who is occupying the White House, mainly because his melanin matches closely the building that represents America’s power in the world.
So here is my message to you, Haitians For Trump—it’s time to emancipate yourselves from mental slavery, get out of the massa’s house, quit drinking the Kool-Aid and stand up for yourselves and your Black brothers and sisters who are all under threat as the real meaning of the Make America Great Again campaign slogan becomes evident.
The writer is CMO at Hard Beat Communications, Inc., which owns the brands NewsAmericasNow, CaribPRWire and InvestCaribbeanNow.