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Rhode Island speaks out against President Donald Trump’s ignorant racism



New Bridges for Haitian Success, other Haitian leaders and elected officials take this initiative to condemn the President of the United State’s remarks about Haiti and African countries,” said New Bridges founder Bernard Georges at a press conference in a packed room at the Dorcas International Institute of Rhode Island. “I believe there should be more outrage and a dialog to understand the importance of immigrants.”

President Donald Trump reportedly referred to several nations including Haiti, and all of Africa, as “shitholes.”

“All Haitians do not have AIDS,” said Georges, responding to Trump’s bigoted claim. “Haiti is not a [shithole]. Haiti is a beautiful country with a lot of good history. Even though opportunity is very rare, my people are creative, strong and hardworking. There is no room for bigotry, divisive and racist talk. I truly believe in the philosophy of my ancestors: Unity makes strength.”

The event was organized by Nirva LaFortune, the Providence City Councilor for Ward 3, Bernard Georges, Dr Norly Germaine of the University of Rhode Island and Kappy Bois. United States Senator Jack Reed, Representative David Cicilline, Lieutenant Governor Daniel McKee, Rhode Island State Representatives Marcia Ranglin-Vassell and Aaron Regunberg, Providence City Council President David Salvatore and City Councilors Sabina Matos and Mary Kay Harris all spoke at the event, as did NAACP Providence Branch President James Vincent.

“Right now about 59 thousand Haitians are facing deportation because why? Their skin color? Their language?” asked Georges. “They need your support. … Sometimes I ask myself, where are they going? We know the situation in Haiti. We know last week was the eighth anniversary of the devastating earthquake. … We have a lot of problems. We need you guys to take action by sending a positive message to Donald Trump, the Trump administration in Washington. … Please, continue to fight for us.”

Video of all the speakers can be seen below.

United States Senator Jack Reed (D-RI)

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Lieutenant Governor Daniel McKee

Rhode Island State Representative Marcia Ranglin-Vassell (Democrat, District 5, Providence) (See here for full coverage)

Providence City Council President David Salvatore (Ward 14)

Providence City Councilor Sabina Matos (Ward 15)

Providence City Councilor Mary Kay Harris (Ward 11)

Rhode Island State Representative Aaron Regunberg (Democrat, District 4, Providence)

Dr. Norly Germaine

NAACP Providence Branch President James Vincent (See here for full coverage)

United States Representative David Cicilline (D-RI)

Providence City Councilor Nirva LaFortune (Ward 3) (See here for full coverage)

Kevin Olasanoye

Jo-Ann Ryan

Marcia Ranglin-Vassell

See also:

Representative Marcia Ranglin-Vassell: Faith, love and strong progressive legislation for a better world

Providence City Councilor Nirva LaFortune: We must counter darkness and hate with love and light

NAACP President Jim Vincent: We got to get conscious right now!

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About the Author

Steve Ahlquist is Uprise RI's co-founder and lead reporter. He has covered human rights, social justice, progressive politics and environmental news for nearly a decade.