Haitian-American artist on his image of Martin Luther King and Donald Trump

First Published 2 years ago. Painting went viral recently

My Brother’s Keeper

Following Donald Trump’s recent alleged comments asking, “Why do we want people from Haiti here?” Haitian-American artist Watson Mere explains: “First of all, Haiti is an extremely beautiful country with some of the most beautiful, most creative, most vibrant people in the world that you’ll ever meet. Haiti has contributed so much to America, U.S. history. Because of the Haitian Revolution, America was able to purchase the Louisiana Territory from the French. Cities like Chicago were actually founded by Haitians, so Haitian contribution to this country is plenty, and so I just couldn’t imagine that someone could say something about a country that has just contributed so much to the world.”

“I released it [drawing] last year, mainly because I just wanted to do something in honor of Dr. King. And it just so happened that Martin Luther King Jr. Day was a week before the inauguration, and the atmosphere of the entire country — my spirit just gave me a vision of the image that I ultimately created.”

“Because of what I know of the history and the legacy of Dr. King … his message of equality, peaceful equality. So I didn’t want to do anything that was too aggressive. I didn’t want to do anything that was a caricature of either one of them. I wanted to just do something that would be completely honest and real. And that’s why — the piece is called ‘My Brother’s Keeper.’ I just wanted to take on his spirit of just saying — giving out that message of equality that Dr. King, that he embedded in all of us. … The message is that I don’t find that he’s been in line with Dr. King’s message of equality.”