Because we have to do it again and again.I've already linked to the question of how we've responded to our Haitian immigrants. Our governments are bankrupt of ideas, and, predictably, they resort to what every person can understand: violence and persecution.Here's what the Miami Herald has to say:
NASSAU, Bahamas - Nearly six decades ago, Valentino O'Bainyear's father moved to these sun-bleached shores to start his new life as a Bahamian. He became William Bain, a new name for a new beginning. He passed that new life to his son, who grew up thinking most of his identity was rooted in the Bahamas. Then he realized it wasn't. ''I didn't know anyone who was a Bain,'' said O'Bainyear, 48, a telecommunications expert who in 1984 reached into his father's past and changed his name back to its Haitian roots. ``I consider myself 75-percent Bahamian, 25-percent Haitian.'' Therein lies the struggle of the Haitian-Bahamian community: Many feel unable to celebrate fully who they are in a country where Haitians remain marginalized.
There's a reason I referred to Rwanda, below. Here on this side of the world, where hate so often wears a face that's different from ours, we need reminding that it's not the sole provenance of paleskin people.We need reminding that civil war isn't just the provenance of people on the other side of oceans.We need reminding that to turn against "immigrants" is to turn against outselves. The O'Bainyard in the Herald article isn't the only Bahamian whose roots are planted in Haiti. Until we remember we are all immigrants, we are all vulnerable.