In case you happened to be peacefully dreaming about a world in which our president doesn’t refer to other countries as “shitholes,” yesterday The Washington Post broke a story revealing that during an Oval Office discussion regarding a bipartisan immigration deal, President Donald Trump referred to Haiti, El Salvador, and various African nations as “shithole countries” while refuting the idea of restoring protections for immigrants from those countries.
“Why are we having all these people from shithole countries come here?” Trump reportedly told the lawmakers present during the meeting, including Senators Dick Durbin and Lindsey Graham. He then apparently suggested that the United States should instead be looking to accept more immigrants from countries like Norway, whose prime minister he recently met.
Naturally, Trump’s statement was met with immediate outrage, with Paul Altidor, the Haitian ambassador to the United States formally summoning an official to explain the remarks, and Botswana summoning an official to clarify whether Trump considers the country to be a “shithole.” It’s also worth noting that Trump made the comments on the eve of the anniversary of the devastating earthquake in Haiti in 2010. While Trump took to Twitter this morning to issue a vague denial of using the word “shithole” during the meeting — instead, calling his language “tough” — Senator Durbin refuted his claims, saying, “He said these hate-filled things and he said them repeatedly.”
But in the midst of the very warranted outrage, it was pointed out that Norwegians — and their universal healthcare, free education, and ranking as the happiest country in the world — are not looking to mass migrate to the United States.
There’s no doubt that Trump’s language during the meeting was overtly racist, and we’re glad that many of the media organizations covering the abhorrent remarks are rightfully referring to it as such.
Frankly, this incident is just another in an increasingly long list of our president’s embarrassing and offensive actions. And while Trump and his administration may now be attempting to take control the narrative, they’re simply too late and need to be held accountable for this “shithole” of an international incident they’ve created.