President Donald J. Trump is an unabashed racist. This should be easy to say. I deserve no congratulations, no celebration, and no adulation. The easiest thing we can do right now is accurately and emphatically call elected officials what they are, with no expectation of a reward.
This week, Trump once again proved just how racist his thoughts and actions were when discussing Haiti and African countries. On Thursday, in a meeting with Members of Congress on immigration, Trump asked, “Why do we want all these people from ‘shithole countries’ coming here?”
Yes, in reference to the fact that immigrants from places like El Salvador, Haiti, and countries in Africa were being protected in a potential bipartisan deal to preserve the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, the President of the United States referred to particular Black and brown countries as “shithole.”
The president also asked if Haiti could be left out of the plan, reports the New York Times, “Why do we want people from Haiti here?”
Trump went on to say that we should focus on bringing people from countries like Norway. Because: white.
Shithole countries—like the Black ones.
Not the country that executes more of its own people than most of the world combined. Not the country that has never elected a woman president. Not the country that criminalizes young Black people instead of allowing them to complete secondary education.
Not the country that continuously thrusts Black and Latino people in jail for selling marijuana, but allows white Americans to profit. Not the country that attempts to stop people from seeking reproductive health care services. Not the country that wants to kick people out who’ve lived here their entire lives.
Yes, those countries are the problem; not this one.
Even with Trump being a racist, this is a low even for him. And in light of Trump’s comments, it’s clear any Republican who still stands by or “Trumpsplains,” is the very definition of unpatriotic. Enough is enough.
So far, Haitian-American and the only Black woman in the GOP’s House, Mia Love (R-Ut.), has demanded Trump to apologize. “The (President’s) comments are unkind, divisive, elitist, and fly in the face of our nation’s values,” Love said in a statement Thursday night. “The President must apologize to both the American people and the nations he so wantonly maligned.”
Love continued, “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.
“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.”
Why are other Republicans not speaking out, but so quick to call everyone else unpatriotic?
Two GOP Senators, in fact, said they do not recall Trump’s reference to “shithole countries” at last night’s meeting. Sens. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) and David Perdue (R-Ga.) issued a joint statement even calling out Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) for confirming the comments by saying Trump was “vile” and “racist.” Durbin was the only Democrat at the closed immigration meeting.
Trump has since denied his comments, saying, “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!”
That’s right, the man who rescinded DACA, a program protecting 800,000 people, tweeted that a proposal for allowing DACA was a hindrance for young people.
But we know this is nothing new for Trump and that he would deny it. It’s hard to believe that he wouldn’t say a statement as offensive considering just three weeks ago, it was reported that Trump said, “[Haitians] all have AIDS” in a June meeting about immigration.
Let’s stop kidding ourselves. This man will not change and will make the lives of marginalized communities worse.
Republicans—and others who voted for Trump—must hold him accountable. Day after day, he takes his small fingers to Twitter to offend, denigrate, and tweet unconstitutional policy. Those who elected him must hold him accountable, and anytime they decide to explain away his comments, they are endorsing his racism, sexism, and homophobia live for the world to see.
What is going to take for everyone to finally say something we all know to be true?
That President Trump is a racist and is the real shithole.
Preston Mitchum is a Washington, DC-based writer, activist, and policy nerd. He is a regular contributor with theGrio and The Root and has written for the Atlantic, Slate, Think Progress, OUT Magazine, Ebony.com, and Huffington Post. Follow him on Twitter here to see just how much he appreciates intersectionality.