Us_me vs. Them_ME by Widelyne Laporte
I was born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, which is commonly known as the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. Which was wrongly stated by a powerful leader in America, as one of the “shit hole” countries. Before I was born, my father moved to America, leaving behind my mother and 5 older siblings, to build a better life for his family. He worked hard as a building super to live in a building for rent-free, in exchange for his services. My father knew little to no English, yet he somehow made it work, and I greatly acknowledge his hard work and perseverance. When I was 3 years old, my father was able to file for us to come to America. When we came, we lived in the basement of the building which my father worked at, for over 8 years. I remember this building being infested with rats, mice and flying roaches. We started off sleeping on the floor to my father saving enough to buy one bunk bed, which was shared amongst my sister and I. We made the best of our living lifestyle.
Despite of our living conditions and being an immigrant, I was not embarrassed at a young age. However, as I got into elementary and junior high school, students often made cruel statements about immigrants. About me. At that time, there was a rumor spread that Haitians were bringing HIV/AIDS to America. Often times I would be told to go back home and called names because of what I wore and what my parents could not afford. I did not ever feel like I was an estranged person, an outsider, or loner until I started school. But, my lack of embarrassment of being an immigrant had a lot to do with my parents. My parents always spoke Hope and Faith in our God. Always said, “this was TEMPORARY. Everyday is a stepping stone.”
My father is now the owner of a house, my older siblings married with kids, in their own homes with promising careers. And as for me, I am working as a nurse, giving back to my parents for their hard work and sacrifices. I am also giving back to the country that has given me the opportunity that I might not have had in my country, Haiti. I am a hard-working individual and also helping American citizens in a country which I was not born into. Being in the healthcare industry, caring for people of all ages, races, and ethnicities, I’ve learned a powerful thing; no matter what we are, we all are born into a world and will die into a world. Therefore, there shouldn’t be divisions, separation, inferiority, and human rights violations. The way immigrants are being treated with injustice is inhumane. Yet, it is the same immigrants as myself, who are able to give back and help PEOPLE as a whole.
Widelyne was born in Haiti and migrated to the United States at the age of 3 with her mother. Widelyne is now a citizen, a licensed practical nurse and an actor.
**Special thanks to Ricardo Arechiga for his graphic design of the project logo**