Trump's disparaging remarks bring some Miami Haitians to tears

On a week during which Miami's Little Haiti neighborhood remembered thousands of Haitian earthquake victims, racially...

Posted: Jan 14, 2018 7:57 PM
Updated: Jan 14, 2018 7:57 PM

On a week during which Miami's Little Haiti neighborhood remembered thousands of Haitian earthquake victims, racially tinged remarks attributed to America's President brought some to tears.

"I felt so outraged ... I cried," Farah Larrieux said. "This is the real face of Donald Trump -- the face of hate, racism."

Trump this week voiced frustration behind closed doors about people coming to the US from what he said were "shithole countries," according to sources.

The remarks -- which Trump denied amid wide condemnation in the United States and abroad -- came during an Oval Office meeting with lawmakers. Trump asked why the US needed more people from Haiti and Africa. A person familiar with talk at the meeting told CNN that Trump also said: "Why do we need more Haitians? Take them out."

In South Florida, scores of Haitians turned out Friday to commemorate the anniversary of the 7.1 magnitude earthquake that struck their homeland on January 12, 2010, killing as many as 300,000 people.

In Little Haiti, the President's remarks became a part of what's usually a solemn event. Participants waved Haitian flags, sang the civil rights anthem "We Shall Overcome" and carried signs with messages such as "Haiti will not forget" and "Trump is a bigot."

"For the American President who said he would be Haiti's greatest champion ... to stand up and make such a comment at this time... leaves me reeling," community activist Gepsie Metellus said.

"It leaves me angry. It leaves me offended. It leaves me hurt and it leaves me wanting justice."

Metellus referred to Trump's September 2016 campaign stop in Little Haiti, where he promised "to be president of all Americans, that's everybody, and whether you vote for me or don't vote for me, I really want to be your greatest champion and I will be your champion."

"The Haitian people deserve better," the then-candidate said. "That is what I intend to give them. I will give them better."

On Thursday, though, during White House talks about an immigration plan that would include protections for people from Haiti and other countries, Trump exploded with his "shithole" remarks, according to sources..

His administration late last year announced it would end Temporary Protected Status (TPS) designation for Haiti, potentially forcing tens of thousands of Haitian immigrants to either leave the US or live in the shadows.

As an immigration status allowed by law for certain countries experiencing dire conditions, such as a natural disaster, epidemic or war, tps protects individuals from deportation and authorizes them to work in the US.

Larrieux, one of the more than 20,000 Haitian tps recipients in South Florida who now faces deportation, said she had given candidate Trump the benefit of the doubt.

No more.

"Now," she said, "this is how he treats us."

Marleine Bastien, the organizer of Friday's event, could not bring herself to repeat the President's disparaging description of her homeland.

"We are here to tell President Trump, Haiti is not what he called it," she said. "Haiti is a proud nation."

On Friday, Trump tweeted: "Never said anything derogatory about Haitians other than Haiti is, obviously, a very poor and troubled country. Never said 'take them out.' Made up by Dems. I have a wonderful relationship with Haitians. Probably should record future meetings - unfortunately, no trust!"

Santcha Etienne, 37, was incredulous.

"How is that possible?" she asked of Trump's so-called "wonderful relationship" with her community.

Adonia Simpson, a program director with the nonprofit Americans for Immigrant Justice, said Trump's remarks had filled Miami's Haitian community with "a lot of disappointment, hurt and anger."

"It's pretty clear it was a racist comment regarding people of color," she said.

Metellus, the community activist, believes that pain and anger will be felt at the ballot box.

"I'm going to make sure we work to remember what he said in the midterm election ... and clearly we will not have short memories in 2020," she said.

West Lafayette
Clear
81° wxIcon
Hi: 92° Lo: 71°
Feels Like: 85°
Kokomo
Clear
80° wxIcon
Hi: 92° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 84°
Rensselaer
Clear
77° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 79°
Fowler
Clear
77° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 79°
Williamsport
Clear
77° wxIcon
Hi: 91° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 79°
Crawfordsville
Clear
73° wxIcon
Hi: 90° Lo: 71°
Feels Like: 73°
Frankfort
Scattered Clouds
79° wxIcon
Hi: 90° Lo: 71°
Feels Like: 83°
Delphi
Clear
79° wxIcon
Hi: 91° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 81°
Monticello
Clear
79° wxIcon
Hi: 95° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 81°
Logansport
Clear
79° wxIcon
Hi: 90° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 81°
WLFI Radar
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 47432

Reported Deaths: 2687
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion11546683
Lake5104242
Elkhart321144
Allen2737129
St. Joseph190866
Cass16389
Hamilton1538100
Hendricks1390100
Johnson1256118
Porter72037
Tippecanoe6948
Madison65564
Clark64044
Bartholomew58244
Howard56557
LaPorte56326
Kosciusko5354
Vanderburgh5026
Marshall4823
Jackson4693
Noble46928
LaGrange4677
Hancock44035
Boone43743
Delaware43150
Shelby42325
Floyd37144
Morgan32731
Montgomery29320
Grant29126
Clinton2882
Monroe27628
Dubois2666
White26010
Henry25815
Decatur24932
Lawrence24225
Vigo2318
Dearborn22823
Harrison21222
Warrick21229
Greene18532
Miami1822
Jennings17411
Putnam1688
DeKalb1604
Scott1607
Daviess14216
Orange13623
Wayne1366
Steuben1282
Perry1279
Franklin1248
Ripley1157
Jasper1142
Wabash1122
Carroll1102
Fayette987
Newton9810
Starke923
Whitley905
Randolph784
Huntington742
Jefferson722
Wells711
Fulton691
Jay680
Washington681
Gibson672
Knox640
Pulaski641
Clay604
Rush563
Adams501
Benton480
Owen471
Sullivan441
Brown381
Posey380
Blackford372
Spencer371
Crawford300
Fountain302
Tipton301
Switzerland260
Martin220
Parke220
Ohio140
Vermillion140
Warren141
Union130
Pike100
Unassigned0193

COVID-19 Important links and resources

As the spread of COVID-19, or as it's more commonly known as the coronavirus continues, this page will serve as your one-stop for the resources you need to stay informed and to keep you and your family safe. CLICK HERE

Closings related to the prevention of the COVID-19 can be found on our Closings page.

Community Events