Let me start off with this. If president Obama, the first black president of the United States of America. The first black president of the free world, finished his two consecutive terms and did not visit the First Black independent nation in the western half of the world, the birth place of the first and only successful slave revolt, it would be a shame, a real shame.
Though I am not sure who the shame would be on, Obama or us, the one thing I know for sure is that, it would be very disappointing for History to be written that way. It would be a real blow to know that from 1804 to 1862,The United States refused to recognize Haiti’s independence, for no reason other than that it was a group of black people who wanted freedom, a group of black people who believed in equality; and now, fast forward to 2008 to 2016…. for the first BLACK president of these same United States of America not to even acknowledge or recognize Haiti’s contribution to the fight for freedom in the world, would be another slap in the face for black people everywhere. And it always stings a little more when it’s your own people hurting you. I know that history repeats itself but that repetition is one I can’t stomach and I hope we can avoid it.
Ok. now that I have gotten this off my chest. Let me, talk a little bit to some of you who may not be sure about the idea or perhaps not see the importance of a SITTING President Obama’s visit to Haiti. You may say; visiting Haiti… right now is not the time. Look we don’t even have a legit government. We couldn’t organize elections. Who will Mr. Obama meet with anyway?
Those are all fair questions. But, there are a couple of things I would like for you to think about… you know, as President Obama is nearing the end of his final term, he’s in what people call, legacy building stage, to not consider a visit to the first black republic as something of historical significance has to make us wonder. It should push us to at least look in the mirror and ask the question, have we (and by we I don’t mean just Haitian politicians) have we rendered our powerful and amazing history and legacy worthless?
Or perhaps should the shame be on Mr. Obama for failing to realize the importance of Haiti’s history and to understand that not only would his legacy be missing something of value, but he would also be judged by history for ignoring that.
Listen, Haiti has always been in the national media mainly for unflattering or depressing reasons, like a disaster or a coup. These things have kept many Americans from learning about the people of Haiti, including our own black brothers and sisters. Our dysfunctional relationship with the Black American community stems from that.
They have very little opportunity to learn simple facts about who we are. Things like how in the 1820s Haiti facilitated the migration of thousands of Black Americans seeking refuge from racial oppression. So many black Americans, young and old, are simply unaware of our history together as a people. A visit from the president could help introduce them to Haiti’s history instead of its misery and that could be the start of much better relationships with our black brothers and sisters in America.
And for those who may be prideful and say; we don’t need Obama to tell the world of our history or Obama has not done anything for Haiti, well, that…, can be said of many of us. and I am not sure if he owes us anything but he should at the very least acknowledge this important milestone in black history. And another thing, while some of us Haitians here in the US have enough pride to fill a bucket, don’t you think the people of Haiti can use a little pick me up?
A small reminder that they matter, matter enough for a visit from the president of the United States not because there’s been a coup and he is bringing back the ousted president, or because there has been a disaster of epic proportion and people have pity on them but because America’s leader respects their history.
I see the presence of the First Black President of the United States in Haiti as a MUST. Just imagine what this could do for the youth. It would bring 1804 to the present, and inspire true hope to our youth ..both at home and abroad.
Mr. President,…After the 2010 earthquake, you promised the Haitian people that they would not be forgotten or forsaken. One critical way to fulfill this promise is by traveling to Haiti this year. Haiti, at one point in History was a beacon of Hope, the people of Haiti provided Hope to all blacks and helped to liberate many. Your presence in the country, in my opinion will provide to our young people, something that no measure of foreign aid can accomplish. It would start restoring dignity, confidence and hope. This is an opportunity to acknowledge the people who have fought so hard for the very same causes you champion; liberty, equality, and hope.
Going to Haiti may not be the political thing to do, but it’s certainly the right thing to do. I know Haiti is like a diamond in the rough,I have to admit, it even looks senseless at times. But I believe President Obama should go and pay his respects to the people of Haiti who are still paying the price for Having had the AUDACITY to want to be free.