Yesterday, January 11th, President Donald Trump continued his pattern of offensive rhetoric when he questioned in an immigration meeting why the United States would want to take immigrants from “shithole countries.” Many were quick to respond to Trump’s comments with outrage and disbelief. CNN anchor Don Lemon took it a step further, plainly stating that Trump is a racist.
The Washington Post reported that Trump made the comment in question during a meeting to discuss replacing the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. When members of Congress brought up protecting immigrants from El Salvador, Haiti, and nations in Africa, Trump wondered aloud why the U.S. would want immigrants from “shithole countries.”
In his broadcast, Lemon cited Trump’s preference for immigrants from Norway — a predominantly white, European country — as further proof of the president’s racism. He also called out Trump’s supporters for ignoring Trump’s bigoted remarks.
Trump denied making the “shithole countries” remark in a tweet on January 12th, but the White House, but Senator Dick Durbin confirmed on CBS Chicago that the president had made the comment.
Lemon and Trump have feuded before. In December, after the New York Times reported that Trump watches Lemon’s show out of spite, the president responded by denying that he watched the show and called Lemon the “dumbest man” on TV.
And Trump has a history of discriminatory statements. In November, he called Senator Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas” at a Navajo veterans’ event. And most recently, the president said that immigrants from Haiti “all have AIDS” and Nigerians wouldn’t want to “go back to their huts” after living in the United States.
Sadly, even in 2018, racism is still alive in our country and in the nation’s highest office. One of the first steps to ending prejudice is to bring attention to it, meaning Lemon’s candor is greatly needed. We commend Lemon for calling out racism and discriminatory rhetoric when he sees them.