JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- At Jacksonville's Haitian radio station, the music is not loud enough to silence the outrage over reports of President Trump's derogatory remarks regarding African countries and Haiti made on Thursday.
"I can see a lack of knowledge of the president of history," said Dr. Ernst Michel. "He doesn't know Haiti."
Michel is a member of Jacksonville's Haitian community, which is about 40,000 strong.
"When someone talks about a country like that - the first black republic, the very first people who stood up and said no to slavery - they have no knowledge," he said.
Michel said emotionally, Trump's remark comes during the eighth anniversary of an earthquake that took 200,000 lives in Haiti.
"It really saddens me to receive that kind of comment," he said. "That hit us hard. We still remember. The effect is still there."
The French called Haiti the Pearl of the Antilles, but the island nation has been ravaged by natural disasters, ineffective government and a struggling economy.
"What he said is not good at all in any way," Michel said. "It is good that he says it for us to understand what is their view about us."
Michel, a practicing physician, hopes this incident will become a wake up call to Haitians.
"To value who they are, their culture and to value Haiti as a country," he said.
Since public reports of the president describing Haiti as a "sh**hole," the President took to Twitter to say he never said anything derogatory about Haiti.
He said tough language was used during his meeting over immigration, but he did not use a trashy word to describe the island nation.
He said he respects President Trump, thinks he's honest, but what was said is unacceptable.
"One comment cannot change all that love that we have for America," he said.
Source : http://www.firstcoastnews.com/article/news/local/upset-jacksonville-haitian-community-presidents-remark-is-a-wake-up-call/77-507584166