[Blackstudies-l] Edwidge Danticat: “Today We Mourn, Tomorrow We Fight”

Maria Lima lima at geneseo.edu
Tue Jan 16 07:03:57 EST 2018

ivetteromero posted: " Here is a commentary that writer Edwidge Danticat
posted recently on Facebook, following the POTUS’s sickening remarks
referring to Haiti, El Salvador, African countries, and others: Today, like
many of my fellow Haitians and Haitian-Americans, I plann"
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New post on *Repeating Islands*
<http://repeatingislands.com/author/ivetteromero/> Edwidge Danticat: “Today
We Mourn, Tomorrow We Fight”
ivetteromero <http://repeatingislands.com/author/ivetteromero/>

*[image: Untitled]*

*Here is a commentary that writer Edwidge Danticat posted recently on
following the POTUS’s sickening remarks referring to Haiti, El Salvador,
African countries, and others:*

Today, like many of my fellow Haitians and Haitian-Americans, I planned to
mourn the dead. I planned to do my mourning quietly and in small doses. I
planned to stay busy so I wouldn’t spend the whole day in pain. I planned
to check on the children in my family who lost their father and baby
brother in the catastrophic earthquake eight years ago. I planned to write
notes to friends and family members who were rescued from the rubble by
their neighbors. I planned to get through a panel at a literary festival
without breaking down in tears. I planned to hold my two daughters a little
bit tighter tonight, especially my youngest who was the baby I kept in my
arms to keep myself from curling up in a fetal position each time I saw a
child being pulled from under a school or house on my television screen.
Instead, because the President of the United States, who seems determined
to insult Haitians every chance he gets, has said that Haiti--along with
“Africa”--is a shithole, I must also lament yet another insult to our

A few weeks ago, it was “All Haitians have AIDS.” This week we are from a
shithole country. Haiti is not unacquainted with racists or white
supremacists. We defeated our share of them in 1804 when we became the
world’s first black republic. Haiti is not a shithole country. It is a
country that, for example, if France hadn’t grown tired of fighting, it
would have never sold 828,000 square miles of land to the US, from the
western banks of the Mississippi River to the Rocky Mountains, nearly
doubling the size of this country. Alexander Hamilton said that the
Louisiana Purchase would have never happened were it not for the “courage
and obstinate resistance of the black inhabitants” of Haiti. We are also
the country that the United States has invaded several times, preventing us
from consistently ruling ourselves. If we are a poor country, then our
poverty comes in part from pillage and plunder. In the 1980s, the US
government--claiming that Haitian pigs had swine fever--participated in the
extermination of nearly every native black pig, which represented some
families’ entire life savings. These same farmers were then “encouraged” to
buy the pampered pink pigs of US farmers. This is only one of many examples
I could list.

We are also a country where great art, music, and literature have risen
from these and a slew of other woes. We are entrepreneurs, big and small,
dreamers, workers. We are a country that created people like my father, who
drove a taxicab in Brooklyn, sometimes sixteen hours a day, so that my
three brothers (two teachers and an IT specialist) and I could have a
better life. We are the country that eight years ago lost over 300,000
people whose lives and memory we should be commemorating today, rather than
trying to hold our heads up wherever in the world we happen to be.
Apparently, the President’s remarks came out of a discussion about
Temporary Protected Status, during which he is reported to have said “Why
do we need more Haitians? Take them out.” Mr. President, so many have tried
to take us out before. Eight years ago, the earth itself tried to take
Haiti out. Yet the courage and obstinate resistance of Haitians remain. We
survive, and when given the opportunity, we THRIVE. To borrow a slogan that
many Americans of different backgrounds have been using since the beginning
of this presidency, today we mourn, tomorrow we fight.

Source: https://www.facebook.com/edwidgedanticat/posts/10155406158328165

[Photo (cropped detail) from http://lithub.com/a-phone-
*ivetteromero <http://repeatingislands.com/author/ivetteromero/>* | January
15, 2018 at 12:28 pm | Tags: commentary
<http://repeatingislands.com/tag/commentary/>, Donald Trump
<http://repeatingislands.com/tag/donald-trump/>, Edwidge Danticat
<http://repeatingislands.com/tag/edwidge-danticat/>, Haitian-American
literature <http://repeatingislands.com/tag/haitian-american-literature/>,
Haitians <http://repeatingislands.com/tag/haitians/> | Categories: History
<http://repeatingislands.com/category/history/>, Literature
<http://repeatingislands.com/category/literature/>, News
<http://repeatingislands.com/category/news/> | URL: https://wp.me/psnTa-zit

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