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#3316: Haitian-Americans need a political presence: Magloire comments


In reference to Coradin comments.

This is one of the best commentaries I have heard on the Elian Gonzales saga in
the light of the South Florida Haitian community.
Too many Haitians living in the US refuse to consider themselves as
Haitian-American or act upon it.
Even those who actually became American citizens do not understand that we as a
community need to establish a strong political
presence in the US.
I hope we start to think as community, since our home being in the US, as well
as  our livelihood, why shouldn't we
be like the Cuban community which is organized and politically active.
Too often I hear  many Haitians say that their objective is to go back home
someday, that would justify the reason
why they don't think they should display more of their presence to the US
I must admit that I used to think the same way when I first arrived in the US
thirteen  years ago. My rational was based on the fact that
I would go back home after I complete my education, so I can help out the
country. Eventhough the desire is still there,
I realize that it's very unlikely going to happen considering the  deterioration
 of the situation in Haiti.
I wish more Haitians would realize that having a political presence in the US,
does not preclude the fact that they want
to go back to Haiti some day.

Phil Magloire

From: Ahpaly Coradin <ahpaly@hotmail.com>

The Boston Globe story is on point in terms of describing the disparate
treatment that Haitians and Cubans get, but one of the underlying reasons
for this disparity is the relative weakness of the Haitian community in
South Florida compared to the formidable political clout and social cohesion
exhibited by the Cuban exiles.  Refugee policy in practice is first and
foremost about the politics of desirability:  groups who are given asylum or
refugee status are those who give the US government a political reason to
desire them in this country.  Haitians have made individual strides in the
US but as a community remain dissipated and therefore politically weak.
Without sufficient economic power and political presence, the US government
is neutral at best to our presence.  As upsetting as the Elian fiasco is on
many fronts, it should serve as a lesson, wake-up call and notice to
Haitians that until we start treating ourselves with more worth as
Haitian-Americans, no one else will and, very arguably, no one else should.

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