A Letter to 45

Johnny A. Cedor

A Letter to 45

Dear Donald,

Millions of Haitians have traveled to the United States for a better life for their kids and families back home. Millions of Haitians also choose to stay overseas because of people like you. There’re Haitians who are achieving in every field of human endeavor such as doctors, lawyers, entertainers, politicians, professors, sports agents, music executives, models, chefs, radio personalities, entrepreneurs, business owners, caregivers, nurses, students, athletes, etc. I can go on, but you get the idea. We never ask for praise. We never ask for handouts. We just ask for the opportunity. Here are some quick numbers for you from the 2015 census: 78% of Haitians aged 25+ in this country, had a high school diploma or higher.  While only 71% of the foreign-born population have high school diplomas or higher. Let me cut to the chase. 71% of Haitian immigrants are a part of the civilian labor force while only 66% of foreign-born people and only 62% of native-born citizens are accounted for. 66% of Haitian women are in the labor force in America, compared to only 55% of the foreign-born population in the United States. The Census also shows that Haitians are more likely to be in service occupations than all immigrants and native-born citizens. You see Donald, we work hard, and we educated our children. We pull our weight in society and still take care of our families back home. I can go on about how much we’re disappointed in you, but you’re irrelevant to us, and you’re not our president.

The day after you won the presidency, I watched the country weep. Everyone can feel the unequivocal melancholic vibe on social media and all over the world. I wrote a passionate article telling people to hold their heads up unite. I found myself looking in the mirror repeating the same thing this morning. I had to pick myself up. Being of Haitian descent, I have experienced many trials and struggles in America. Being who you are, You have no idea what we’ve been through which is why it was so easy to call my country, my Haiti, a shithole. It also helped me understand how uninformed you have to be to say something so asinine. Images shown on TV of poor areas can shape public opinion to give your idiotic narrative some validity. My ancestors fought 12 long years for independence from the French. Bloodshed led to change. Our bloodshed also led to the indirect shaping of the United States as well. Spain covertly ceded the Louisiana Territory to the French in 1802. The sitting president of the United States, Thomas Jefferson, was not pleased. This is because the port in New Orleans allowed access to the Mississippi River which in fact was a vital route for troops, civilians, and for shipping crops to generate revenue. Haiti gave French a run for their money. The fight forced the French to sell the territory to the U.S. to fund the war. We defeated the French and gained our independence in 1804, making us the 1st black republic in the world.

On the eve of the eighth year of the catastrophic earthquake that rocked us to the core, you make these comments and kick us while we’re down. My mother lost a brother. I lost an uncle. My cousin lost a father. A week later, that brother of my mother who died was joined by his wife. I lost an aunt. My cousin lost his mother. It hit home.However, I pity you because you know not what you do and you sure as hell don’t know whom you harm, Donald. We become angry at your comments and then laugh because our spirits are bright and the highest can do far worse than any of us can do. We’re rich in minerals such as sugar and coffee, culture, and architecture. Tourism is our primary source of revenue and rightfully so. With the second longest coastline of beaches in the Caribbean, Haiti is home to some beautiful waterfalls and some of the largest mountains in the Caribbean. We supply the world with, essential oils, cocoa, fruit, and apparel. Oddly enough, our main export partner happens to be the United States. In fact, 70% of our total exports are to the United States of America.

In Haiti, we have proverbs that we use to teach lessons and remind one another of those lessons generation after generation. Two proverbs I’ll leave you with are this: 1.  You can beat the dog but wait for its owner. 2. The cat with the long tail can’t cross the fire.

Haitians know what this means. For those first and second generation ayisiens who haven’t heard this yet, feel free to contact your mom, dad, aunt, grandma, etc. They will be happy to explain it to you.

Donald, you owe us nothing. Our people don’t respect you and probably never will. Your legacy is tarnished, and you’re infamous in American history. Your last name will make others cringe for generations to come. Donald, we don’t want an apology from you. Well, at least I know I don’t. I’d rather you show me who you really are instead of deceiving us further to give you the benefit of the doubt. I know there are plenty of people out there who are just like you, and I look forward to the day I run into those individuals.


Johnny A. Cedor – Blood of a Nation


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A Letter to 45