'There's no other word but racist': Trump's global rebuke for 'shithole' remark
Donald Trump 'There's no other word but racist': Trump's global rebuke for 'shithole' remark
US diplomats around the world were summoned for formal reproach, amid global shock over Trump calling African nations, Haiti and El Salvador âshitholesâ
Donald Trump has been branded a shocking and shameful racist after it was credibly reported he had described African nations, as well as Haiti and El Salvador as âs hitholesâ and questioned why so many of their citizens had ever been permitted to enter America.
US diplomats around the world were summoned for formal reproach, amid global shock that such crude remarks could ever be made in a semi-public meeting by the president of America.
In a strongly-worded statement, the UN said it was impossible to describe his remarks as anything other than racist, while the Vatican decried Trumpâs words as âparticularly harsh and offensiveâ.
The 55-nation African Union said the remarks were âclearly racistâ.âShithole countriesâ? Words worthy of a racist-in-chief | Richard Wolffe Read more
Trump initially allowed reported accounts of his comments to go unchallenged, but went into damage limitation mode on Friday, insisting he had not used derogatory words â" but admitting that the language he had used at a meeting with Senators on immigration was âtoughâ.
But the democratic senator Di ck Durbin â" who was present at the meeting with Trump on Thursday â" insisted that the reports were entirely accurate.
He said âthose hate-filled things and did so repeatedlyâ.
âShithole was the exact word used once not twice but repeatedly,â Durbin said, adding that the word was specifically used in the context of African countries.
The UN human rights spokesman, Rupert Colville, told a Geneva news briefing: âThere is no other word one can use but racist. You cannot dismiss entire countries and continents as âshitholesâ, whose entire populations, who are not white, are therefore not welcome.â
Salvador SÃ¡nchez, the president of El Salvador, said Trumpâs words had âstruck at the dignity of Salvadoransâ.
âEl Salvador formally protests and energetically rejects this kind of comment,â SÃ¡nchez wrote on Twitter.
US diplomats and the US embassy in San Salvador sought to assure those in El Salvador of their respect for the country. Jean Manes, the US envoy to El Salvador, tweeted in Spanish: âI have had the privilege to travel around this beautiful country and meet thousands of Salvadorans. It is an honour to live and work here. We remain 100% committed.â
Robin Diallo, the US chargÃ© dâaffaires to Haiti, was summoned to meet the Haitian p resident, Jovenel MoÃ¯se, to discuss the remarks. The former Haitian president Laurent Lamothe expressed his dismay, saying Trump had shown âa lack of respect and ignoranceâ.
Across Africa there was diplomatic fury. Botswanaâs government called Trumpâs comment âreprehensible and racistâ and said the US ambassador had been summoned to clarify whether the nation was regarded as a âshitholeâ country after years of cordial relations. Ugandaâs state minister for international relations, Henry Okello Oryem, called the remarks âunfortunate and regrettableâ.
The African Union said it was alarmed by Trumpâs language. âGiven 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,â its spokeswoman Ebba Kalondo told Associated Press.
Jessie Duarte, the deputy secretary general of South Africaâs ruling ANC, said: âOurs is not a shithole countr y; neither is Haiti or any other country in distress. Itâs not as if the United States doesnât have problems. There is unemployment in the US, there are people who donât have healthcare services.â
The leader of South Africaâs main opposition party, Mmusi Maimane, described the comments as âabhorrentâ. He tweeted of Trump:
The US state department tried to pour water on the flames, issuing a tweet from its Bureau of African Affairs saying that âthe United States will continue to robustly, enthusiastically and forcefully engage in #Africa, promoting this vit al relationshipâ.
Mexicoâs former president, Vicente Fox, who has been an outspoken critic of Trump, said in a colourful tweet that âAmericaâs greatness was built on diversityâ. He added Trumpâs mouth was âthe foulest shithole in the world. With what authority do you announce who is welcome in America and who is not? Americaâs greatness is based on diversity, or have you forgotten your migration background, Donald?â
David Miliband, the president of the International Rescue Committee, said Trumpâs comments were leading a ârace to the bottom on refugeesâ.
Trump has made few references to Africa since his election, and many senior Africa-focused posts in his administration remain unfilled.
In September, he appeared to invent a new country called Nambia while addressing African leaders in Washington. Trump also told them: âI have so many friends going to your countries, trying to get rich. It has a tremendous business potential. â
The US governmentâs Africa Media Hub made an effort to limit the diplomatic damage of the presidentâs words.
Without directly referring to Trumpâs statement, a tweet said the âUS remains committed to working together w/Africans to realize the promise of a more peaceful, more productive, more prosperous 21st century Africa. US deeply respects the people of #Africa & values its partnerships with them.â
Boniface Mwangi, a well-known social activist in Kenya tweeted:
Standing at a coffee stall outside an office block in Rosebank, a commercial and business neighbourhood in central Johannesburg, Blessing Dlamini, a 45-year-old administrative assistant, said Trumpâs words came as âno surpriseâ.
âHe has shown the world he is a racist. We should just block him from our thoughts,â Dlamini said.Topics
- Donald Trump
- US immigration
- US foreign policy
- El Salvador
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