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haiti the beautiful

12.1.18



I'm going to start by saying I'm definitely changing the mood here for a minute in this post. I originally wanted to talk about the lack of  colour and body diversity in the fashion industry, but after the shit I heard last night, I just need to address this now. I'm not American, but I can't ignore what the President has said. I was born in Canada. Both of my parents immigrated here from Haiti. Yeah, that country he referred to as a 'shithole'. My parents actually moved back to Haiti after raising my sister and I and making sure we had this adult thing down.

So when you tell people you're Haitian, it always comes with that sympathetic look of 'oh no, how is it over there'. And that's fair. Haiti has endured so much struggle and so much devastation over years due to natural disasters and government corruption. Even though I know that, it still makes you cringe a little because you want to tell them to wipe that pity off their face and maybe talk about the great things that come from Haiti. For instance, maybe let's talk about how they were the first Caribbean country to gain their independence and then helped other countries achieve the same. There are also all the business owners, politicians and entertainers that have Haitian roots who are doing great things in this world. Perhaps we can talk about the wildly talented artists in Haiti. Maybe we can talk about the beautiful beaches and the amazing food. Or even still, maybe we can talk about how despite facing such adversity, these people still have so much dignity, resilience and pride to offer. 

I think you get my drift here. With every statement about Haiti starting with 'the poorest country in the western hemisphere,' we certainly don't need the Leader of the Free World calling it a shithole. We don't need the President of the United States to further poison people's mind with negativity about the place my ancestors, my parents, call home. My family lived in the US for quite a few years. My dad was a priest and worked as a Grant Officer for the Trinity Wall Street in New York. He traveled around the world, to less fortunate countries, and helped fund programs to build churches, schools and homes for the amazing people who lived there. He probably spent more time away from home to do this job. Because he knew what it was like to live in certain conditions. That's the kind of heart that a man from a shithole country has. Today, he now has a PhD, he's a Bishop and the Executive Director of an NGO in Haiti. They build 150 homes a month, feed the impoverished, have clinics to help the sick and the list goes on. He's helping build a better future for tomorrow so that maybe one day, Haitians can thrive in Haiti. 

Most importantly, to all the children of all black and brown countries, I hope you know that you're roots are beautiful. Your parents, grandparents and all the rest of your ancestors were strong, beautiful people who endured a lot of hardships to get you where you are today. No one decides to immigrate to a new country where they don't know the language or the culture for shits and giggles. I know my parents worked damn hard and I'll bet yours did too. My son is a Canadian born half British and half Haitian. I'll be damned if I let the hatred that Trump spews seep its way into his head. He will not grow up thinking that one side of him is less than because of the colour of my skin, my parents' skin, or the colour of his skin. He will not grow up to thinking that this side of him came from a shithole. Instead, I'll raise him to know that this part of him comes from people to persevered through the harshest adversity. He will know that all parts of him are equally as beautiful. My ancestors may be from a  third world country, but they are Kings and Queens in my eyes. We are Kings and Queens raising little Princes and Princesses no greater and certainly no inferior than anybody else. 

I've already said this in my Instagram story, but here it is again. There are no shithole countries, only shitty people. Shitty people can be found anywhere, but I can truly say that the shittiest one of them is sitting in the White House. Our heritage is an essential part of us, of what makes us who we are. All of us, no matter the colour. It can't be washed away or forgotten, and it sure as hell can't be demeaned. Rock the hell out if you invisible crown on a daily. 

PS: I picked this picture from our vacation in Haiti because Julien's face here just makes my heart so happy. I'll be sharing pics on the blog next week!

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Well said. As an American I am embarrassed by the current President and his outrageous statements and tweets. Years ago I vacationed in Haiti. I had a wonderful time enjoying the beautiful beaches and experienced the warmth of the Haitian people. I’m sure you are raising a young man who will be proud of his heritage.

Lily james said...

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