Lula Brockington AME Church, Haiti
The recent racist white nationalistic tone of the President while repulsive, sickening, and appalling is not surprising. His comments represent his many years of tyranny by words and deeds. Someone asked why I didn’t respond earlier as the AME Bishop of Haiti and be timely in my comments. Mr. Trump’s comments never stop, so one is always timely in response to his racist, sexist, misogynistic, demonic, amoral actions. Moreover, as a Bishop, my voice was among those of the Council of Bishops of the AME Church who spoke powerfully to the issue.
While we always need to confront the assault by his mouth, his legislative, financial assaults are worse as they hold the full weight of the government and judicial power. When he speaks, he strengthens his base who blindly, believe and support him. More than outrage is required of us for he has declared war. The war is ultimately for the annihilation of people of color. The language form of his most recent statement is code language suggesting these countries are not worth life or respect. His comments continue to support his justification of hatred and bigotry as does his non-response to the Libyan slavery crisis; a wall with Mexico; sending as many Haitians back as he can; and raping these lands of natural resources and wealth. At the same time, speaking kindly about the murderers in Charlottesville and other racists only confirm his racism.
Outraged we must be. Our response must be calculating, strategic, and not social media. Calling for his impeachment in the climate he controls are empty words. I do not mean to suggest that we don’t work to that end, I am proposing rather, that we must prepare the work now for that end. In 2018, we have a significant opportunity to work for real change across the nation. Many seats will be opened. Many candidates and voting opportunities are available. Successfully taking advantage of these opportunities requires working with people who are different, have different beliefs, serve a different God, live a different lifestyle, and are of a different ethnicity. It further requires reopening the cautious possibility of dialogue with those white women who supported him in 2016. Defeating him through changing Congress is doable but difficult. It will take work, the same kind of work we used in the past when Black folks were committed to the vote. We saw this same degree of work utilized again when we elected an African American president and most recently when we turned a “red” state “blue”. Right now, we need it all, prayer, voter registration, getting the vote out, dialogue, covert plans, and targeted boycotts. We need it all and we need “us” all. We only have now.
My father often said, “arguing with a fool is foolish”. A similar conclusion has been attributed to Dale Carnegie: “A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still.” Trying to convince Trump of the human dignity of all of God’s creation is convincing him against his will. Yet, the world needs to be reminded of the endless contributions to the world made by its people of darker hue and that these very people who he so demeaned are responsible for the natural and human resources upon which his success has been built.
I serve a people who secured their own freedom by defeating their enemy. Haiti is the first real global expansion the AME Church and we continue to serve there. In the early 1820s the president of Haiti contacted Bishop Richard Allen to come help build Haiti, and organize the AME Church there. We did. Thousands of Blacks migrated to Haiti to do so. Many stayed for generations; others for a season. They formed a relationship that was mutual. Haiti helped the U.S. in the Revolutionary War and in other causes.
For the last several days, I have had to address the Haitians in my District on this issue. To say they are angry is an understatement. Many Haitians supported Donald Trump for President. They feel betrayed and demeaned at his vulgarity against them and for his plans to return Haitians to Haiti. They have serious questions about what the views and policies of the U.S. government mean. They ask “How will we fight for them?”
As we confront the racism against Haitians here, what will we do collectively about rebuilding and strengthening the Haitians there? Our present conflict over the attributed words of President Trump can serve as alesson for us all. How many times have we disparagingly spoken of and stereotyped the language, dress, and culture of others especially Black and Brown people. Let us correct ourselves while we are demanding political and cultural correctness from others. Let’s move the mandate of the AME Church to manifest and provide partnership in mission to Haiti, and other countries.
We are facing a plan of genocide both here and Haiti. If it quacks like a duck. Let’s stop the quacking.