Trump's "shithole" remark draws fire
Will he learn to hold his tongue?
Published : Sunday, 14 January, 2018 at 12:00 AM Count : 2277
American President Donald J Trump has bent down almost immediately on his highly corrosive remark on Haiti and other African states as "shithole" countries and question as to why USA should take migrants from those countries. He referred to those countries as poor, dirty and "shithole" ones that has drawn immediate protest from around the world including African and American people.
Trump's remark was "unkind, divisive, elitist, and fly in the face of our nation's values," said House Republican Mia Love from Utah, who is the daughter of Haitian immigrants. She released a statement demanding an apology from Trump. "This behaviour is unacceptable from the leader of our nation," she said.
Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, a Republican lawmaker from Florida, tweeted that Trump's comment, if confirmed, "ignores the contributions of thousands of Haitians have made to our community and nation." "The president must apologize to both the American people and the nations he so wantonly maligned." she said.
As Trump was being slammed by all and sundry, in and outside America, the rather shameless President known for his slippery tongue and fleeting comments unlike any other US or world leader quickly scaled down, "clarifying" his abusive remark in a tweeter message. "The language used by me at the DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) meeting was tough, but this was not the language used," he tweeted.
The comments reportedly came as the Republican and Democratic senators were briefing the president on changes to the US visa lottery system and considerations about immigration from Africa.
US President Donald Trump has denied calling countries in Africa and elsewhere "shithole countries", saying he used tough language but not the pejorative expression attributed to him.
He also said that the United States should have more people coming in from countries like Norway. The White House released a statement that did not deny the remarks.
"Certain Washington politicians choose to fight for foreign countries, but President Trump will always fight for the American people," White House Deputy Press Secretary Raj Shah said in the statement.
"He will always reject temporary, weak and dangerous stopgap measures that threaten the lives of hardworking Americans, and undercut immigrants who seek a better life in the United States through a legal pathway," the statement read. "As an American, I am ashamed of the president," said Democrat Representative Luis Gutierrez.
"His comments are disappointing, unbelievable, but not surprising" Gutierrez added, citing repeated disputes over Trump's comments on race since the 2016 US presidential campaign. The African Union said it was "alarmed" by Trump's statement.
"Given 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," African Union spokesperson Ebba Kalondo said.
The US president's remark was "particularly surprising as the United States of America remains a global example of how migration gave birth to a nation built on strong values of diversity and opportunity," she said.
The Geneva-based Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) on Friday described Trump's comment as "shocking", "shameful" and "racist".
"These are shocking and shameful," OHCHR spokesperson Rupert Colville said. "I'm sorry, but there's no other word one can use but 'racist'. You cannot dismiss entire countries and continents as 'shitholes', whose entire populations, who are not white, are therefore not welcome." Such remarks from the US president could "potentially damage and disrupt the lives of many people," Colville said.
Trump, since before his election as President of the world's most powerful country, has lived through series of controversies mired in un-president like behaviour and utterances that often irked the Republicans and raised questions whether he will be impeached or made to quit in any other way.
But his 'sweet and sour" ties with the many other frontline countries including Russia, China and Saudi Arabia, however, proved beneficial to American interest when the world is passing through a critical time -- especially with nuclear powers including India and Pakistan and huge threats from North Korean President to blow away America just by touching the button of the nuclear bomb on the desk.
Trump responded by saying he even holds a bigger button to set off the nuclear device -- something rest of the world heard with little interest but did not rule out the possibility of an World War III as what they feel "mad men" holding the buttons. But others say they are not as mad as others would think because if they do anything like that they would be the first persons and their countries be first to be destroyed.
President Trump has pushed America through several other odds, most prominently his recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, which put him face to face against the Palestinians and many other freedom-loving Muslims.
Independent Islamic countries also oppose thus decision but unfortunately big Muslin countries like Saudi Arabia tacitly supported Trump hoping for American weapons and strong diplomatic support in its war of nerves against Iran and some other countries. Trump entered the White House like a "devil" out to create unrest and destroy harmony on the peaceful valleys. He comes as an apparent mental case needing therapy to recover.
He started planning to deport Muslims from America and stop new entry even before taking over the presidency and still pursues the plan quietly as most Americans and rest of the world oppose such a move.
But we won't be surprised if the US President calls the entire Muslim world as "shithole" as well. The Americans should watch him carefully and pull the rein on his arrogant and disturbing gestures.
The writer is Executive Editor,
The Daily Observer