early voting flatbush 2020 elections
A line of voters outside Brooklyn College in Midwood/Flatbush drew thousands, including older voters, over the weekend of October 24 and 25. Photo by: Garry Pierre-Pierre

The Haitian diaspora vote does not matter. It will remain so until Haitian-Americans either switch their majority votes in favor of Democratic Party candidates to Republican Party candidates or declare publicly, through political participation and community engagement, no official party affiliation.

Haitian-Americans constantly give their vote and money to politicians who do not stand up for Haiti before the US Congress but instead support unfair immigration policies, immoral deportations, kidnappings, corrupt governments, and human rights violations in Haiti.

Voting is the only freedom Haitian-Americans can defend, protect, and use as leverage to influence comprehensive immigration and American foreign aid policy to Haiti. Unfortunately, the Haitian diaspora has been giving their votes away to Democrats to only get in return disparaging political treatment, indifferences, discrimination, discord, machinations, and interference. 

Although the diaspora voice does not matter to the Democratic Party, Haitian-Americans continue to raise money and organize political rallies to support Democrats who would later win battleground states like Florida, Georgia, or Pennsylvania. Once in power, they work tirelessly to increase Haiti’s abject poverty levels.

American Democrat politicians know that the Haitian vote is already in their pocket. Therefore they do not fight for it as they do for the Cuban and the South Asian vote. They reach out to the diaspora only during an election season, not only to court their voices but also to ask them for money or to raise funds for their campaigns. If not for the Haitian capital, many American elected politicians would not make it past the candidacy registration or primary process. 

In the American political spectrum, where the immigrant vote is essential, especially in several battleground states, Haitian-Americans have the political power to weaken the Democratic Party in the 2022 midterm elections and make Biden a one-term president in 2024.

Doing so requires that Haitian-American voters make it known publicly that they will switch their vote to Republican or sit out the elections if Democrats continue to support the current U.S. foreign policy to Haiti. The policy supports those that disrupt the rule of law in Haiti by arming and empowering gangs to control and hold hostage individual freedoms and personal liberties.

Using social networks as a connecting hub, the Haitian-American leadership must launch a political literacy campaign ahead of the upcoming elections to unite the diaspora vote toward building their political value and use it as leverage to make the Haitian vote matter and lead Haiti towards political self-sufficiency.

The Haitian-American community’s political presence will become noticeable when the community decides to carry the message to switch political parties or have no party affiliation occurring in large numbers. Both sides of the aisle will suddenly reach out to listen and take appropriate actions to solve the Haiti crisis they either directly create or support through abstention. 

Bobb Rousseau

Bobb Rousseau holds a Ph.D. in Administration and Public Policy with specializations in Public Law and Managing Local Government. Dr. Rousseau firmly believes that the Haitian diaspora in the United States is at a prime stage to build an attractive political force that can shift U.S. immigration, diplomacy, and humanitarian aid to Haiti and to advance the Haitian agenda around the world.

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