I am a Haitian Woman and will NOT accept Cipha Sounds Apology
On December 17th, 2010, DJ Cipha Sounds of HOT 97, went on the air and shared this joke. ”A stupid, tasteless joke …that was taken the wrong way!” A stupid joke that reflects my childhood, in one of the most diverse “places” in the world. A stupid, tasteless joke that made my mom make sure that I never walked with my head down. A stupid tasteless joke that the United States government and health organizations were responsible for perpetuating. As a Haitian American woman, I am grateful for the wise words that my mother shared with me, when I was growing up and had to hear these ignorant words.
I am certain that I do not want to have an hour long discussion with Cipha Sounds about the impact of what he said or the ignorant stereotypes that he shared. The problem with saying that all Haitian have HIV is that it is NOT true. But, this post is not about statistics that are made public via google. I heard the comment and I thought about the little girl that was in the public library reading at her own table and having some one say “hey everyone smell that …what? It is H.B.O…Haitian Body Odor.” Or, the fact that the church I grew up that was predominately immigrant based, asked for blood donations, but specifcally said you can not donate if you are Haitian! I have so many other stories, that go on and on. I have stories about people that were “forced” out of their jobs during the 80s and early 90s because they were Haitian and people thought they were HIV positive.
I do not remember, the times that my mother spoke to me as she would comb my hair. She would tell me to never LIE about who I as. I was Haitian. She told to me conduct myself with respect even when others would not do that. She never really wanted me to get in fights, but she did understand that life happened. She told me to never just blend in! I am Haitian, a shining star and just show the world who I am.
When kids were getting picked on at the library or we were walking home they would stop talking in Kreyol or laughing about Languichatte or Jesifra. They lied and told those bullies, I am Black American like you…I am Jamaican, Dominican, anything else but Haitian. So, Cipha Sounds I do not accept your disingenuous apology. I do not care that when you have a party you say “SAK PASSE”. You meant EXACTLY what you said. You now belong to the group one of the worst cowards that exist. The cowards that thinks an apology makes everything okay. Cipha, let me guess, you are going to make a large donation to the Haitian Earthquake relief fund and have a large Haitian party!
Cipha, you know those girls that are getting beat up in New Jersey because they are Haitian, well you just added more wood to the fire, because of your tasteless joke. You think of those girls that are struggling with life and just being teenagers, and then, think of your tasteless joke. Cipha, think a little bit harder since you did not do that when you shared your joke, then tell me….should any HAITIAN women accept that apology? I was right, no they should not.
For all the Haitian girls out there, pass this post one. Tout famn Ayisten, sonje nou dwe fye de sa nou ye. Sonje tout sa manman nou ak gran manman nou te fe pou nou, epi sa nap fe pou ti fi kap grandi yo. Kembe fem! Pa lage!