Dear world: We apologize for this shithole of a president
Just when you think Donald Trump can’t go any lower, he always finds a way.
There has been swift and worldwide condemnation of Trump’s remarks questioning why the U.S. should accept immigrants from Haiti and other “shithole” countries — you know, where black people come from — and why America doesn’t take more from countries like Norway — one of the whitest of the white. Trump was meeting with congressional leaders on immigration issues, once more see-sawing between “signing whatever you put in front of me” (his words earlier in the week) and his descent into the shithole in the latest meeting.
Condemnation of Trump’s racist remarks came from all corners — except from congressional Republicans. Only four members of the GOP criticized him, while the others kept silent, blamed his incendiary words on political naivete, or dragged out the old chestnut of being “not politically correct.” (House Speaker Paul Ryan finally was forced to weigh in, saying only that the Trump remarks were “unfortunate and unhelpful.” That’s not nearly good enough, you wuss.)
Trump tried to tweet back his racism, claiming that the shithole remark “wasn’t the language that was used,” but acknowledged that the language was “tough.”
(Not that we should ever believe anything the shithole-in-chief says — we’re not quite a year into his presidency, and he’s already told more than 2,000 lies, according to the running count of falsehoods and misleading statements from Trump by The Washington Post. It’s also worth noting that the White House has not denied the remarks, even suggesting that they might help with Trump’s base.)
“(Trump) said things which were hate filled, vile, and racist,” Durbin told reporters.
“The most disheartening thing to me is my belief that that was the first time words that hateful had been spoken in the Oval Office of the White House,” Durbin added. “I think back at presidents throughout history and I cannot imagine a moment where a president sunk to that depth, that’s what breaks my heart.” …
“He said, ‘Haitians? Do we need more Haitians?’ And then he went on when we started to describe the immigration from Africa that was being protected in this bipartisan measure. That’s when he used these vile and vulgar comments, calling the nations they come from ‘shitholes,’ Durbin said. “The exact word used by the president, not just once, but repeatedly.”
You know who has been silent about Trump’s language? The Republicans in the room.
That’s actually six, but the point is the same. Durbin added that South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham did call out Trump during the meeting for use of the vile words. But Graham has been silent since.
Nothing about Trump’s racist language is new:
- Trump’s history as a real estate developer includes settling with the federal government over his racist and discriminatory housing practices.
- He continued to favor convictions for the Central Park Five, the black and Latino young men accused and later exonerated for a brutal rape in New York City after DNA evidence showed that they were not guilty. Trump continued his hate campaign even after another man confessed to the crime.
- When Trump descended his Trump Tower escalator in June 2015 to announce his candidacy, his remarks were filled with hate speech about Mexicans and other non-white immigrants, claiming that Mexico was sending rapists, drug dealers, etc.
- Trump’s entire 2016 presidential campaign was based on appealing to the racism of angry whites, especially men, with his constant calls for a border wall between the U.S. and Mexico. Despite his campaign promise that Mexico would pay for the wall, he’s requesting $18 billion from Congress (and thus U.S. taxpayers) for its construction.
- After the white supremacists’ march in August 2017 in Charlottesville, Virginia, at which one of the alt-right participants killed a protestor with his car, Trump refused to condemn the alt-right marchers, saying there were good and bad people on “both sides.” Remember, these were NAZI supporters we’re talking about.
We could go on and on, but it’s just too disheartening. The candidate who received 26 percent of the vote from all eligible voters, lost the popular vote by nearly 3 million, and yet somehow eked out a win in the Electoral College, with the help of Russian influence on social media, is proving to be the most hate-filled president ever to sit in the Oval Office. As the poet Maya Angelou said, which Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton repeatedly reminded us during the campaign, “When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.” Trump’s “Make America Great Again” slogan truly is a wish to “Make America White Again.”
So to the rest of the world: We’re sorry. Most of us didn’t want him, and we wish the rest of you didn’t have to face the hate that we hear daily.
We’re stuck with him, but the rest of the world has had enough. Multiple countries issued letters of condemnation. The U.S. ambassador to Panama resigned, saying he could no longer work for this administration. The UN human rights office condemned the remarks. According to a story from The Guardian:
“There is no other word one can use but racist,” the UN human rights spokesman, Rupert Colville, told a Geneva news briefing. “You cannot dismiss entire countries and continents as ‘shitholes’, whose entire populations, who are not white, are therefore not welcome.”
The African Union said it was “frankly alarmed” by Trump’s language. “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,” AU spokeswoman Ebba Kalondo told the Associated Press. “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.”
Tweeted former Mexican President Vincente Fox, who has never been shy about criticizing Trump’s racism:
More and more, we’re stuck with a hateful, foul-mouthed racist who not only is lowering the level of public discourse but also is lowering America’s status in the world. Trump was forced to cancel an upcoming trip to the United Kingdom to dedicate a new U.S. embassy. His nonsensical reason was to blame President Barack Obama, but the real reason was the fear of widespread protests. Tweeted London Mayor Sadiq Khan:
In a way, it’s too bad the visit is cancelled, because some British comedians had a somewhat (ahem) cheeky reception planned: