Fri, 19 Oct 2018

Trump lambasted after racist comments on immigrants

By Sheetal Sukhija, Boston News
13 Jan 2018, 03:40 GMT+10

WASHINGTON, U.S. - A day after report revealed U.S. President Donald Trump’s shocking outburst and foul-mouthed comments about immigrants from certain countries - the allegedly racist comments were slammed globally.

On Thursday, during a meeting with lawmakers from both sides at the White House, Trump is accused to have disparaged African nations as “shithole countries.”

Trump is even said to have questioned why the United States would admit immigrants from such countries and from other nations, like Haiti.

Trump even told lawmakers that the U.S. should instead seek out more immigrants from countries like Norway.

However, after being slammed globally following the comments, Trump has now denied the reports.

On Thursday, a White House statement notably did not deny that Trump used the vulgarity to refer to African countries.

However, following the widespread criticism, on Friday morning, Trump shifted gears and said in a tweet, "This was not the language used.”

He then denied that he said "anything derogatory" about Haitians or Haiti except that it's a "very poor and troubled country."

He wrote on Twitter, “Never said anything derogatory about Haitians other than Haiti is, obviously, a very poor and troubled country. Never said “take them out.” Made up by Dems. I have a wonderful relationship with Haitians. Probably should record future meetings - unfortunately, no trust!”

On Thursday evening, a report in the Washington Post quoted the President as telling lawmakers during the meeting, “Why are we having all these people from shithole countries come here?” after he was presented with a proposal to restore protections for immigrants from El Salvador, Haiti and certain African nations as part of a bipartisan immigration deal.

Following the reports on Thursday night, not only sources quoted in media reports, but Illinois Democrat Dick Durbin confirmed the president's remarks.

The senator told reporters, “The president erupted several times with questions, and in the course of his comments, said things which were hate-filled, vile and racist. I use those words advisably. I understand how powerful they are. But I cannot believe that in the history of the White House and in that Oval Office, any president has ever spoken the words that I personally heard our president speak yesterday.”

During the meeting, Trump reportedly criticized the tentative bipartisan agreement drafted by Durbin, Arizona Republican Jeff Flake and four other senators.

Meanwhile, Maryland Rep. Steny Hoyer, the second-ranking Democrat in the House too told the media, “President Trump's comments are racist and a disgrace. They do not reflect our nation's values."

Further, Democratic Rep. Cedric Richmond of Louisiana, who chairs the Congressional Black Caucus, said the latest statement is "yet another confirmation of [Trump's] racially insensitive and ignorant views. [The] president's slogan 'Make America Great Again' is really code for 'Make America White Again.'"

However, that was not all, even some Republicans criticized Trump’s comments - with Utah Republican Rep. Mia Love, whose family descended from Haiti, calling the president's comments "unkind, divisive [and] elitist."

Love said, they "fly in the face of our nation's values. This behavior is unacceptable from the leader of our nation."

Further, Sen. Orrin Hatch, a staunch Trump ally and a fellow Utahan said, "I look forward to getting a more detailed explanation regarding the president's comments. Part of what makes America so special is that we welcome the best and brightest in the world, regardless of their country of origin."

According to reports, Trump blasted the proposal as "a big step backwards" and said it didn't provide enough funding for a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, which was a key campaign promise Trump made in 2016.

Earlier this week, Trump assured lawmakers that he would accept any agreement crafted by Congress.

Addressing the Cabinet Room meeting on Tuesday, Trump declared, “I will be signing. I’m not going to say, 'Oh, gee, I want this or that.' I'll be signing it."

On Friday, the UN Human Rights office condemned Trump's remarks as being racist, while the residents of the nations maligned by Trump responded angrily and demanded an apology.

The United Nations human rights office said in a statement that remarks by Trump describing immigrants from Africa and Haiti as coming from “shithole countries” were racist. 

The UN human rights spokesman, Rupert Colville, told a Geneva news briefing, “There is no other word one can use but racist. You cannot dismiss entire countries and continents as ‘shitholes’, whose entire populations, who are not white, are therefore not welcome.”

Meanwhile, in an official statement, the African Union said it was “frankly alarmed” by Trump’s language. 

AU spokeswoman Ebba Kalondo said, “Given the historical reality of how many Africans arrived in the United States as slaves, this statement flies in the face of all accepted behaviour and practice. This is particularly surprising as the United States of America remains a global example of how migration gave birth to a nation built on strong values of diversity and opportunity.”

Even the former Haitian president Laurent Lamothe expressed his dismay in a statement, saying the U.S. president’s remark “shows a lack of respect and ignorance.”

Paul Altidor, the Haitian ambassador to the U.S., said Trump’s views were “based on stereotypes.”

The president of the International Rescue Committee, David Miliband said Trump’s comments were leading a “race to the bottom on refugees.”

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