Trump's "Sh*thole"
- 01/13/2018 by Linda Perry (WBAI NEWS)

Donald Trump’s Immigration agenda pivoted into blatant racist territory this week. In a meeting at the Oval Office on Thursday, the Washington Post reported that Trump called Haiti, El Salvador, and some African nations "shithole countries." This was after he was presented with a bipartisan deal to restore protections to immigrants from those nations. 

Sen. Dick Durbin, Democrat from Illinois, who was at the meeting said when he told Trump the greatest number of people under TPS, Temporary Protected Status, are from El Salvador, followed by Honduras and then Haiti, Trump said, “Haitians? Do we need more Haitians?'” He told lawmakers to “take them out” of any bipartisan immigration deal. On TPS immigration from certain African nations, Trump said, “Why do we want all these people from Africa here? They’re shithole countries.” He continued, “We should have more people from countries like Norway.”

On Friday, Trump back-pedaled and denied the comments, but Sen. Lindsey Graham, who was at the meeting, confirmed the account. Outrage and anger were almost universal. The African Union demanded a retraction and apology. It released a statement saying, "The African Union Mission wishes to express its infuriation, disappointment, and outrage over the unfortunate comment made by Mr. Donald Trump, President of the United States of America, which remarks dishonor the celebrated American creed and respect for diversity and human dignity.” 

Nana Akufo-Addo, the President of the Republic of Ghana on Saturday tweeted, "The language of @realDonaldTrump that the African continent, Haiti and El Salvador are “shithole countries” is extremely unfortunate. We are certainly not a “shithole country”. We will not accept such insults, even from a leader of a friendly country, no matter how powerful." 

President Jovenel Moise of Haiti said, "The Haitian government condemns in the strongest terms these abhorrent and obnoxious remarks which, if proven, reflect a totally erroneous and racist view of the Haitian community and its contribution to the United States.” 

The xenophobic racism demonstrated by Trump came on the eve of Haiti’s 8th anniversary of an earthquake which killed more than 300,000 and displaced more than 1.5 million people. After the disaster, Haitians were granted Temporary Protected Status which allows victims of disasters and disruptions to work in the U.S. legally, but that status is soon expiring. It’s also expiring for Nicaraguans and this past week Trump ended TPS for 200,000 people from El Salvador who have made the U.S. their home. Georgia Representative John Lewis said he
strongly opposes Trump's decision to end Temporary Protected Status for Salvadorans living in the United States. "This action, along with the recent announcements ending TPS for Haitians and Nicaraguans living in the United States, does not befit a great and generous nation."  After Trump's "shithole" comments, Lewis said he won't attend Trump's State of the Union address.

Other members of Congress also distanced themselves from Trump and expressed embarrassment over someone occupying the highest office in the U.S. behaving in such a bigoted fashion. "President Trump's comments are yet another confirmation of his racially insensitive and ignorant views,” said Louisiana Representative Cedrick Richmond, chair of the Congressional Black Caucus. “It also reinforces concerns that we hear every day, that the President's slogan Make America Great Again is really code for Make America White Again," Along with New York Congressmember Jerry Nadler, Richmond plans to introduce a censure resolution against Trump over his "bigoted fear-mongering" about Haiti and Africa this coming week. Nadler tweeted, “The fact of the matter here is, American immigration policy must not be based on @realDonaldTrump’s personal racism. End of discussion.”

Former Labor Secretary, Professor Robert Reich said, “We must not normalize Donald Trump.” In a message to the people of the world, he wrote, “Please know his bigotry does not represent the vast majority of Americans. We will not let his dark cloud shadow our beacon of liberty, and we are doing all we can to remove him from office as soon as possible.”