By Hazel Trice Edney
(TriceEdneyWire.com) – President Donald Trump, who has constantly denied being a racist, is now embroiled in a growing controversy after he referred to African countries, Haiti and El Salvador as “sh*thole countries” and asked why America can’t draw more immigrants from places like “Norway”, a predominately White country.
The remarks made Jan. 11 during a bi-partisan Whitehouse meeting on immigration policies, has set off a fire storm of criticism from both sides of the aisles, including from the only Haitian-American in Congress, Republican Rep. Mia Love (Utah), who has demanded an apology.
“The president’s comments are unkind, divisive, elitist, and fly in the face of our nation’s values. This behavior is unacceptable from the leader of our nation. My parents came from one of those countries but proudly took an oath of allegiance to the United States and took on the responsibilities of everything that being a citizen comes with,” Rep. Love wrote in a tweet Jan. 11. “They never took a thing from our federal government. They worked hard, paid taxes, and rose from nothing to take care of and provide opportunities for their children. They taught their children to do the same. That’s the American Dream. The President must apologize to both the American people and the nations he so wantonly maligned.”
The White House initially issued a statement not denying the comments, but saying that Trump, “will always fight for the American people.”
The White House Statement continued, “Like other nations that have merit-based immigration, President Trump is fighting for permanent solutions that make our country stronger by welcoming those who can contribute to our society grow our economy and assimilate into our great nation.”
“Senator Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), who were in the meeting, confirmed the ‘sh*thole’ account though others in the room claimed they did not hear it, denied that he said it, or that he used the term ‘sh*thouse’ countries.
As the firestorm reaction grew to reports of his crude remarks, Trump then denied having made them. But given the president’s reputation for lying, his reputation for making racist remarks and given the credible witnesses and reports, the outrage continued to rise this week during a time of celebration of the Martin Luther King Day holiday. The following are excerpts from some of the statements:
Congressional Black Caucus Chairman Cedric Richmond (D-La.): “President Trump’s comments are yet another confirmation of his racially insensitive and ignorant views. It also reinforces the concerns that we hear every day, that the President’s slogan Make America Great Again is really code for Make America White Again.”
Richmond continued, “All of the reservations we have had about negotiating with him on immigration are well-founded. President Trump is clearly more concerned with ending the future flow of immigrants from Africa and the African diaspora than providing relief to Dreamers who came here through no fault of their own. Unfortunately, there is no reason to believe that we can negotiate in good faith with a person who holds such vile and reprehensible beliefs.”
The National Bar Association President Juan R. Thomas: “The NBA calls upon all members of Congress to openly reject Trump’s politics of racism.”
NAACP President/CEO Derrick Johnson: “Yesterday, the raw racism of Donald Trump and those driving his immigration and other policy making decisions were on full display as he called for fewer Black people to be admitted into the United States in favor of white immigrants. And this morning, the President doubled down on his comments offering a weak justification for his racist viewpoint.”
National President, National Congress of Black Women: Dr. E. Faye Williams: “These derisive comments are dramatically similar to those made in December when #45 said, Haitians “All have A.I.D.S” and that once Nigerian immigrants saw the United States they would never “go back to their huts.” Sadly, it is apparent that the judgments and decisions made by this man are informed by fundamental racism — a racism that’s as likely to moderate as is the likelihood of the Sun rising in the west and setting in the east.
”Whatever one thinks of #45, no one should feign surprise with the progressively egregious and insulting nature of his comments and conduct. From the opening remarks of his campaign, upon which he based insults directed at Hispanic immigrants, through his “Good” Nazi Charlottesville comments to his most recent, #45 has never tried to disguise his true nature to those listening in earnest,” says Williams.
She concludes that despite the calls from Rep. Love for an apology, no such thing will be forthcoming. “He has never apologized, and most likely will never do so.”