Mayor Marty Walsh has declared Jan. 12 a day of solidarity with Haiti on the anniversary of the 2010 earthquake that devastated the Caribbean nation and one day after President Donald Trump reportedly called the country a “shithole.”
In a White House meeting on Thursday concerning immigration, Trump reportedly criticized those coming into the United States from Haiti, El Salvador and African nations when he asked, “Why are we having all these people from shithole countries come here?” the Washington Post reported.
He specifically singled out Haiti, according to the Post, by saying to legislators, “Why do we need more Haitians?... Take them out.”
Trump has since taken to Twitter to counteract those reports, tweeting Friday morning that he “Never said anything derogatory about Haitians other than Haiti is, obviously, a very poor and troubled country.”
Never said anything derogatory about Haitians other than Haiti is, obviously, a very poor and troubled country. Never said “take them out.” Made up by Dems. I have a wonderful relationship with Haitians. Probably should record future meetings - unfortunately, no trust!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 12, 2018
Friday marks the eighth anniversary of the 2010 earthquake that killed 230,000 people, a detail included in Walsh’s proclamation.
“What makes our city, state and country strong is diversity. We need to respect and welcome all — no exceptions,” Walsh said in the tweet in which he shared the proclamation for the day of solidarity. “8 years after a devastating earthquake struck Haiti, we stand in solidarity with Haiti, and celebrate its enormous contributions to Boston.”
Those contributions have touched the social, economic, professional, historical and “cultural fabric” of Boston, Walsh writes.
Haitian art has been prominent in New England, according to Walsh, with the Haitian Artists Assembly of Massachusetts (HAAM) having held its first exhibition here in 1995. HAAM will soon release a book titled “Migrating Color: Haitian Art in New England,” the proclamation highlights, which Walsh says is the “first art book of its kind in Boston.”
Walsh’s proclamation also notes that “New England abolitionists Charles Sumner, Frederick Douglass. W.E. Dubois and John Quincy Adams all established a tradition of solidarity with Haiti.”
What makes our city, state and country strong is diversity. We need to respect and welcome all -- no exceptions. 8 years after a devastating earthquake struck Haiti, we stand in solidarity with Haiti, and celebrate its enormous contributions to Boston. pic.twitter.com/VA5f3wPdfG— Mayor Marty Walsh (@marty_walsh) January 12, 2018