World stands up for Haiti, Africa after Trump’s ‘shithole’ comment

haiti flag trump shithole countries abdallahh flickr

Update: US President Donald Trump has taken to Twitter to respond to reports that he referred to Africa, Haiti and El Salvador as “shitholes”.

“The language used by me at the DACA meeting was tough, but this was not the language used,” he tweeted.

“What was really tough was the outlandish proposal made – a big setback for DACA!”

Original article: African countries, Haiti and seemingly other nations that aren’t from Norway have been labelled as “shithole countries” by US President Donald Trump Friday. This is according to sources present in an Oval Office meeting regarding immigration reforms.

The news soon hit social media, with users across Twitter and mainstream media calling out Trump on his statement.

#RacistTrump, #PresidentShithole, #ShitholeCountries and “Haitians” were all trending across North America and major cities across the world early Friday.

CNN anchor Anderson Cooper led the conversation, with a outro during his Anderson Cooper 360 show.

“[T]he people of Haiti have been through more, withstood more, fought back against more injustice… than our President ever has,” he remarked, in a tweet worth some 64 000 likes and 33 000 retweets.

Other reporters also had their say.

The Washington Post’s Nick Miroff snarkily noted the potential significance of the comment.

“The president’s supporters are pushing hard for a “merit-based” immigration model, but Trump today didn’t say he wants more doctors, engineers or scientists,” he tweeted.

“He said he wants ‘Norway.’ And Norway is not a skill.”

The Daily Beast’s John Avlon reminded Twitter that today was a famous immigrant’s birthday.

Haitian journalist Frantz Duval also weighed in with a more emotional statement.

“Now that the whole world is aware, are we going to take pleasure in this image? Nothing to change it? Are we going to continue to feed the jumble and the singing nonsense that we use as ornaments?” he tweeted in French.

The Intercept’s Jeremy Scahill noted the irony of the “shithole” statement, highlighting America’s involvement in the likes of El Salvador during the 1980s.

Former FBI Director James Comey quoted lines from Emma Lazarus’s “The New Colossus” — the sonnet written on the lower pedestal of the Statue of Liberty.

“This country’s greatness and true genius lies in its diversity,” he added.

“Mr. President, immigrants from El Salvador, Haiti and the 54 countries in Africa likely helped build your buildings. They’ve certainly helped build our country,” tweeted Chelsea Clinton early Friday, tagging @POTUS in the post.

Mexico’s former President Vincente Fox perhaps had the most scathing tweet directed to Trump.

“[Y]our mouth is the foulest shithole in the world,” he wrote, mentioning Trump’s personal account directly.

“With what authority do you proclaim who’s welcome in America and who’s not. America’s greatness is built on diversity, or have you forgotten your immigrant background, Donald?”

The tweet received some 111 000 likes and close to 44 000 comments at the time of writing.

As Florida is home to the largest Haitian population in the United States, the state’s governor Jeb Bush issued a wordy statement on Twitter, calling for “comprehensive immigration reform”, but also highlighted that the system should be based on merit.

But the effects of Trump’s statement has also breached politics and media. The likes of John Legend led celebrity conversation, calling the US President “racist”.

“The president is a racist. He has been for his entire public life. If you vote(d) for him, you do so because of that or despite that. We need a multi-racial anti-racist coalition to defeat him and try to heal our nation,” wrote Legend.

The tweet has since garnered over 148 000 likes and 36 000 retweets.

Filmmaker Michael Moore called on American immigrants to take action, citing the country’s next general elections on 6 November.

Feature image: abdallahh via Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Andy Walker, former editor


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