If you’ve ever been to Haiti, Africa and El Salvador..there is one thing they all have in common. Pride. I’ve been fortunate enough to have been in and worked in all three. The sheer ignorance and hate behind Trump’s remarks has impacted me in two ways. 1. We all know conditions could be improved in countries in Africa and the nations of El Salvador and Haiti. But what he fails to understand is that by making disparaging and ugly remarks as he did when he called these places “shitholes,” is that it becomes a personal attack. Things might not be up to par in these places, but the people have dignity, resilience and pride when it comes to their countries. They are just as much patriots in their nations as we are in ours. 2. Every day I watch this man attack every group of people you can think of. I watch and hear the awful things he says on a daily basis. A true leader is above board, speaks with compassion and empathy, and should be inspiring people, not belittling them.
I was called Isis, Nazi, Mudshark, traitor, racist, and every other ignorant remark from his base, when I showed my support for these places and the wonderful people who live there. Unlike Trump and his supporters, I do something. I’m proactive in trying to help out the people in need here and abroad. There is no power in hateful rhetoric or hiding behind a keyboard to put people down. The more this man and his base says and does, only lights my fire more. It gives those opposing their vile racism, more of a voice.
I’ve been doing relief work for 14 years. I was a trip coordinator for Airline Ambassadors for many years and founded a non profit in 2013 called The Pillowcase Project that works in rural villages in Western Kenya, empowering women and girls through the means necessary to start their own businesses. I was fortunate enough to work with the people in Haiti for two years after the devastating earthquake and have been going to Africa since 2006.
Michelle Campbell is from Los Angeles, CA