The months of June and July were horrific for Americans. On June 12, 2016 Omar Mateen gunned down 49 people at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, FL. Omar, who allegedly pledged allegiance to the terrorist group—ISIS, was interviewed by the FBI in 2013. Despite Omar having been interviewed by the FBI in 2013, he managed to legally gain possession of a firearm. As a result of the devastating attack, Representative John Lewis along with Representative John Larson led a staged sit-in on the House floor. Joined by dozens of House Democrats, they protested against the GOP leadership’s lack of cooperation on allowing a vote on a gun control measure. The Orlando massacre was just one of many terrible incidents over the course of a few months. It is clearly evident that gun violence is a major issue in our country, so what’s keeping our government officials from cracking down on it? Moreover, why is it so easy for mentally-ill and/or terrorist-affiliated individuals to obtain firearms? President Obama addressed his thoughts on America’s gun issue post an interview and town hall meeting in Elkhart, Indiana. The President was asked a question by a proud gun-owner who, among many other things, said “Why do you and Hillary want to control and restrict and limit gun manufacturers, gun owners and responsible use of guns and ammunition to the rest of us, the good guys, instead of holding the bad guys accountable for their actions?” President Obama responded by stating that the notion that he or Hillary are hell-bent on taking away folks’ guns is just not true. The President suggested that we (America) establish commonsense gun laws so that it isn’t so easy for the “bad guys” to obtain firearms. I have to say that I agree with our President 100%. I believe that we (Democrats and Republicans) can intelligently reach a medium towards addressing gun violence in America without comprising the 2nd Amendment. How many more innocent people have to die before we seriously address this issue? We must also not be ignorant to the fact that obtaining a gun legally in America is just as easy to obtain illegally. We not only need to crack down on the flawed processes by which troubled individuals can obtain firearms legally, but we must also crack down on the millions of firearms that are illegally being sold on the Black Market each and every day. Here are some practical things that you can do as a concerned citizen to help combat gun violence in America: 1. Vote! You have the power to elect officials who are just as concerned about gun violence as you are. Exercise that power. 2. Support federal policy changes, and stay informed. 3. Write letters to your officials. Contrary to popular belief, letters are still significant. Make your voice heard! 4. Finally, spread love. With all the hate in the world, what we need more than ever is love.
Jennifer M. Joseph
Many Haitians are negatively criticizing the Clintons for their decades of involvement in Haiti’s economy and politics. The critics claim that the Clintons are thieves and that they are not to be trusted. Two, among many others, of the critiques have to do with Haiti’s rice farms, and a Haitian gold mining permit.
The Rice Farms Rumor:
When in office, former U.S President Bill Clinton established a policy that wiped out Haitian rice farms and destroyed Haiti’s ability to be self-sufficient. Years after the fact, the former President made a public statement apologizing for forcing Haiti to drop tariffs on imported, subsidized U.S rice during his time in office. In an interview led by journalist Kim Ives of Haiti Liberté, former U.S President Bill Clinton stated the following: “Since 1981, the United States has followed a policy, until the last year or so when we started rethinking it, that we rich countries that produce a lot of food should sell it to poor countries and relieve them of the burden of producing their own food, so, thank goodness, they can leap directly into the industrial era. It has not worked. It may have been good for some of my farmers in Arkansas, but it has not worked. It was a mistake. It was a mistake that I was a party to. I am not pointing the finger at anybody. I did that. I have to live every day with the consequences of the lost capacity to produce a rice crop in Haiti to feed those people, because of what I did. Nobody else.”
The Gold Mining Rumor:
Hillary Clinton’s brother, Tony Rodham, has been accused of owning one of Haiti’s gold mining permits. That rumor is only partially factual. The truth is that Tony Rodham does not exactly own the gold mining permit in Haiti, but rather is a member on the advisory board of the company (VCS) that does actually own the mine. Tony’s involvement with the mine has heightened a multitude of Haitian’s distrust of the Clintons. While many believe that Tony’s connection to Haiti’s gold mine is all a part of the Clinton’s agenda to capitalize off of Haiti’s resources, Tony Rodham says differently. Here is what he had to say on the topic during an interview which was conducted by the Washington Post: He said that he has never spoken to Hillary or Bill Clinton about the Haiti project and that he does not think the VCS chief executive and President Angelo Viard, a Democratic donor, approached him to join the advisory board because of his family ties. “I’m a very accomplished person in my own right,” Rodham said. He said his work with the company is to try to find investors, which he said has been challenging because of a lack of interest in Haiti. “I raise money for a lot of people,” he said. “That’s what I basically do.”
Having divulged those facts, where do I stand on the topic? Well, my stance is quite simple: Hillary Clinton is running to be the next President of the United Sates, not of Haiti. As a Haitian, I realize that we as a Haitian people have a lot of work to do and that we must fight against those who capitalize off of our resources. The Haitian diaspora need to hold American politicians accountable for their unwarranted involvements in smaller countries like Haiti. As an American, however, my focus is to see to it that the candidate most fit to become the next President of the U.S makes it to office in November 2016. In my opinion, Donald Trump is not fit to be the next President of the United States of America. So while the Clintons may not be good for Haiti, they are certainly better for America.