As the international and American media engaged with Trump’s comment’s over the weekend, MIREMS was paying attention to what Haitian and Hispanic media were saying – in Creole, French and Spanish.
When the Washington Post reported Donald Trump asked why the U.S. would accept more immigrants from “shithole countries” on January 13, Americans and the international community reacted strongly. Trump’s comments were reported being said during a conversation between senators about revamping the rules for immigrants from Africa and Haiti.
While the international community reacted to the comments, MIREMS consultants tapped into national and diasporic Haitian and Hispanic media over the weekend. Headlines like “The Unacceptable Insult,” “Donald Trump Attacks Haitians,” and “Abhorrent and Repulsive” flashed on newspapers and website home pages. In three days, over 40 stories criticizing the comment were reported.
An editorial in Le Nouvelliste in Port-au-Prince accused Trump of xenophobia. Lemoine Borneau says Trump is “capable of the worst.” The South Florida Caribbean News quoted Superintendent of Schools Alberto M Carvalho saying Trumps remarks were “heartbreaking and insensitive.”
An open letter in Anmwe, a Haitian source in Miami, Florida, the writer remarks on the “shame” they felt following Trump’s remarks. “I am indignant, shocked.” Calling on readers to be clear: “Trump’s comments are racist, ingrate, inhuman, indelicate, and prove him unworthy of the position he occupies.”
Le National, out of Pembroke Pines, Florida, reported that citizens, vexed by Trumps comments, are taking their anger out on officials “who have done nothing to spare the nation from such unworthy treatment.” Internet users have not been lenient with the Haitian authorities who, the article reports they say “have actually proved that they are shit leaders.”
Vaina Andre writing for The Haitian Times in New York described “the hypocrisy of it all,” saying that on the eve of the eighth anniversary of one of the worst natural disasters to hit Haiti, President Trump “reaffirmed his stance against black and brown immigrants.” Andre mentioned Trump’s efforts to win Haitian voters during the election over “crooked Hillary.”
“With a great error of judgment, a considerable number of people in the Haitian community threw their support behind a man who is a proven pathological liar, narcissist, and a manipulator of emotions,” says Andre. “And what did the Haitian community receive for their allegiance to him? An all-out assault on their very existence by the man they helped elect as leader of the US.”
Multilingual media cited local and international activists and leaders speaking up against Trump’s comments. They reported on American ambassadors working hard to clean up the mess Trump had made. Editors and columnists did not shy away from calling out this behaviour. These multilingual media have been weighing in on the Presidency since Trump’s inauguration. But moments like these remind us that this media is present, powerful and worth paying attention to.
Written by Caora McKenna