Donald Trump is a man who never shies away from controversy. He has a way of setting tongues wagging. He will speak his mind without care. Sometimes it appears like he talks and thinks later, quite atypical for a man of his stature and president of a superpower. The most recent upset was Trump’s racist remarks, describing several nations as a shithole. But like him or hate him, he may be a great revolutionary after all.
Recently, he was in a meeting at the Oval Office with lawmakers. The meeting was about protecting immigrants from El Salvador, Haiti, and African countries. While in the meeting, he became visibly agitated and allegedly said:
“Why are we having all these people from shithole countries come here?”
He further suggested that the United Nations should instead bring in Norwegians. Asian immigrants were also welcome to stay in the US. To him, they would be of more economic importance.
Who are you Calling a Shithole?
Following Trump’s racist remarks, the world went up in a rage. Many have voiced their anger and demanded an apology from him for describing nations as a shithole. This is both in the US and around the world.
The United Nations Human Rights spokesman, Rupert Colville, said the comments are shocking and shameful. His statement reads:
“There is no other word one can use but racist.”
Rupert’s statement was made in light of Trump’s positive comment on Norwegians and his derogatory one’s for Africans and Haitians. He further added:
“You cannot dismiss entire countries and continents as shitholes, whose entire populations, who are not white, are therefore not welcome.”
Republican Rep. Mia Love (Utah), the first Haitian-American woman to be elected into Congress, said the remarks were, “unkind, divisive, elitist and unacceptable from a leader.”
Donald Trump: The Master of Lacking Tactfulness
The day Trump’s racist remarks were made coincided with the eighth anniversary of the massive earthquake that hit Haiti. The earthquake left more than 200,000 people dead. It was therefore largely seen as senseless and reckless that the president of the US would make such comments on Haiti and on such a day. Haiti’s ambassador to the US, Paul Altidor, said he was surprised and disappointed.
African diplomats, on the other hand, labeled Trump as a racist. On Twitter, the hashtag #shithole trended as many voiced their displeasure. Notably, Trump has never been excited about Africa. Since he took office, the only action towards Africa has been to reduce foreign aid.
The African Union, which comprises of 54 nations, through its spokeswoman, Ebba Kalondo, said it was alarmed by the ‘very racist’ remarks. It expressed its ‘disappointment, infuriation and outrage’ at the remarks. In her statement, Kalondo said:
“Given the historical reality of how African Americans arrived in the US as slaves, and the US being the biggest example of how a nation has been built by migration, for a statement like that to come is very upsetting.”
The government of Botswana, on the other hand, summoned the United States ambassador and demanded an apology from the US for the use of shithole.
Norway isn’t a Shithole, But They Won’t Come Anyway
Before Trump’s racist remarks, the Prime Minister of Norway, Erna Solberg had visited the White House. Trump had praised her for buying military equipment from America and for running a trade deficit with the US. It is for this that he may have had positive things to say about Norway during his talks.
Norwegians, however, were quick to condemn Trump’s racist remarks. On Twitter, many expressed their dissatisfaction. Torbjoern Saetre a Twitter user tweeted:
“On behalf of Norway: Thanks, but no thanks.”
“We are not coming. Cheers from Norway.”
Following the uproar, Trump, in a tweet, tried to mitigate his statement.
The language used by me at the DACA meeting was tough, but this was not the language used. What was really tough was the outlandish proposal made – a big setback for DACA!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 12, 2018
In his view, the US will now have to receive more immigrants from ‘crime-prone’ countries. This is against his hardline stance on immigration policies which have been controversial since he took office.
However, not all were against his remarks. A Kenyan blogger named Cyprian Nyakundi supported Trump’s allegations. In his Facebook post:
“Watch out, Africans. American white media always portrays Africa as a shithole with poor amenities, hunger and poor leadership, etc. And now they are baiting you to hate on Trump for saying the truth. They must be laughing at you.”