By Berwick “Underscore” Augustin
Happy Independence Day Haiti! Isn't it ironic that we're celebrating our monumental independence, but yet hopelessly dependent on another country for freedom? Haitians are devastated because the Trump administration is forcing us to go back to our homeland! Why are we begging other people not to send us back to our homes? The biggest atrocity in this situation is the families that will be divided. My heart goes out to those who will endure such a debilitating experience. As a community, we can't afford to have anymore broken families. I believe those are the kind of issues that should fuel our nation to turn the TPS situation into blazing opportunities for the deportees.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m fully aware of the country’s current instabilities, nevertheless I’m also privy to the vast financial opportunities that are being exploited in Haiti. It' sickening that most Haitians abroad won't go back home to combine resources to rebuild the island because of fearful uncertainties that include but are not limited to, corruption and security. However, since the 2010 earthquake, a myriad of Americans and foreigners like the Clintons are investing their monies in Hispaniola by building hotels and other job producing ventures. Unfortunately, those funds are not being funneled into the country's economy. I'm hoping that 2018 will drop freedom rain to help wash away the colonized mindset of self-hate and respecting the white race more than ourselves. It can start by the Haitian government creating a robust plan to mobilize the talent and knowledge of the 60,000 plus who will be deported to Haiti. Among them are college graduates and established professionals who can assist in trailblazing a system of self-sufficiency.
We’re talking about the brave-hearted island of Hispaniola that sent shock waves to the world because an army of slaves united to defeat the French, then the most powerful nation in the world in 1803. As we commemorate that colossal independence over some ‘soup joumou’ this January, let’s regain our strength to fight the good fight that our ancestors started in 1791. Let's not get hung up on our past successes that included peaceful asylum in Haiti for thousands of Americans in the mid-1820s. It's time to debunk the misleading notion that Haiti is the poorest nation in the western hemisphere. Contrary to popular opinions, it is still a highly resourceful island with billions of dollars flowing through it. Let's forge forward by supporting and getting involved with grassroots organizations like Color of Hope who are on the ground floor in Kiskeya empowering people for the betterment of the country.
Furthermore, we’ve lost our spiritual connection to God. Many will argue that the spiritual ceremony of Bois Cayiman that preceded Haiti’s monumental victory over France was voodoo influenced. The fact remains that it took faith in a higher power for the people to do the impossible. It's no secret that WE are a spiritual people. We have to remind ourselves that we cannot use physical weapons to fight a spiritual battle! It's a guarantee that some of the people facing TPS deportation will have victorious stories of how God carried them through the storm. I'm hoping they share their faith with others who are currently in the trenches with them so that they too can have a testimony. Although, we may differ in our religious convictions, I personally believe that a Christ centered approach will have a more potent impact on Haiti's current situation than we’ve ever experienced in our history.
It’s sickening to watch my people protest in the US knowing much will not change. Freedom of speech and protest in America has been taken for ransom by tyranny. If anything, we should use the momentum of January's independence celebration to jump start progressive ways to rebuild our homeland as a safe haven since America is on a brakeless bullet train traveling south towards disaster valley. Let’s trump this TPS crisis with another revolutionary insurrection. This time, let's aim to remove the shackles from our minds to win the war and sustain our freedom for generations to come.