Trump’s ‘Shithole’ Comment About Black and Latino Nations Shouldn’t Surprise Anyone

“I don’t need this one incident to show me that Trump is racist. I have enough history that shows it for me,” Lucien Metellus, a son of Haitian immigrants, told DiversityInc.

Along with calling Mexicans rapists, referring to protesting Black NFL players as sons of bitches and describing Neo-Nazis as fine people after the Charlottesville protests — to name a few racist comments — President Donald Trump has now insulted Haiti, El Salvador and African nations by calling them “shithole countries.”

Trump made his white supremacist constituency proud on Thursday at the White House as Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin and Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham briefed him on a bipartisan immigration deal, which includes potentially restoring protections for immigrants from countries who had temporary protected status.

He singled out Haiti.

“Why do we need more Haitians?” the president of the United States said, according to The Washington Post. “Take them out.”

While discussing changes to the visa lottery system, he said, “Why are we having all these people from shithole countries come here?”

Trump thinks that white Norwegians can make America great again. At the meeting, according to reports, he said the U.S. should bring in more people from Norway, and perhaps people from Asian countries because he said they might help America economically.

Friday morning on Twitter, Trump issued a denial of calling Haiti a “shithole,” but did not deny calling African nations the derogatory term. “I have a wonderful relationship with the Haitians,” he said.

Sen. Durbin confirmed Friday that Trump made the “shithole” remark.

“He said these hate-filled things and he said them repeatedly,” Durbin said during a press conference at an MLK breakfast.

And, on Thursday, the White House did not deny the Post’s account of Trump’s remarks.

“Certain Washington politicians choose to fight for foreign countries, but President Trump will always fight for the American people,” spokesman Raj Shah said.

“ … Like other nations that have merit-based immigration, President Trump is fighting for permanent solutions that make our country stronger by welcoming those who can contribute to our society, grow our economy and assimilate into our great nation.”

‘This behavior is unacceptable from the leader of our nation’

Republican U.S. Rep. Mia Love, a daughter of Haitian immigrants, said in a statement Thursday posted on Twitter that his comments were “unkind, divisive, elitist, and fly in the face of our nation’s values” and called on Trump to apologize.

“When President Trump made his statements today, as a Haitian American, I wasn’t shocked at all,” Lucien Metellus, 42, a senior business analyst based in New Jersey and son of Haitian immigrants, told DiversityInc on Thursday. “I don’t need this one incident to show me that he’s racist. I have enough history that shows it for me.

“This is the Donald Trump that I’ve known of since the ‘80s when he put an ad out to convict the Central Park Five, who were later proven innocent. These are the kinds of historical things that we knew about Donald Trump before he became president.

“My mom came to the U.S. from Haiti in her 20s with my dad. They got married. They have bought houses. My dad started his own business in Florida. My mom owns a house in Queens, N.Y. My aunt is a pharmacist from Haiti. My other aunt, who passed away, was a physical therapist.

“They all came from Haiti, and they all did what they needed to do to be successful. They didn’t give any excuses. Trump has this misconception that Black and Latino people are lazy.

“Let’s be honest, it was the economic structures that were put in place to oppress people of the Latino and Caribbean diaspora that has created the systematic poverty that we see. They did not put themselves in these positions.”

Trump does not want the U.S. to accept immigrants from predominantly Black and Latino countries. This week, he moved to end the status for immigrants from El Salvador, which could result in 200,000 Salvadorans legally in the country being deported, beginning in September of next year.

In November, the Trump administration ended the status for immigrants from Haiti and Nicaragua. It gave the roughly 59,000 Haitian immigrants who had been granted the status until July 2019 to return home or legalize their presence in the United States. Nicaraguans have until January 2019.

Paul Altidor, Haiti’s ambassador to the U.S., called Trump’s comments an “assault on Haitian people and the country’s history.”

Haiti is the world’s first free Black republic.

“Haitians fought along U.S. soldiers in the Revolutionary War and we continue to be great contributors to American society,” Altidor said, according to PBS NewsHour White House correspondent Yamiche Alcindor.

Activist Michael Skolnik posted a photo of a statue that pays tribute to the soldiers from Haiti who fought against the British in 1779 at the Battle of Savannah.

Altidor also said that the Haitian government has formally summoned a U.S. official to explain Trump’s comments to Haiti’s officials. Friday marks Haiti’s national day of remembrance of the 7.0 magnitude earthquake that struck the country Jan. 12, 2010.

“Protests are not going to change Trump’s mind,” Metellus told DiversityInc.

“What Haitian American voters should do is go out and vote in the midterms, vote in the presidential election because Caribbean Americans did have a lower turnout in 2016 than they did historically. So, we need to come back out because this is not just a Haitian issue, it’s a Black diaspora issue.”

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  • Michael J. "Orange Mike" Lowrey

    The depths that this man will descend to… they seemingly have no bottom.

  • I wonder what the Haitians working under special visas at Mar-A-Lago think about these comments. Oh, wait, I’m sure they already knew Trump’s a racist. No wonder he’s obsessively worried about being poisoned. Frankly, I’m starting to think that Trump is just upping the ante on his outrageous comments, just to amuse himself observing the moral and logical antics required by his apologists in their efforts to spin away his obvious evil.

    • GRANNYBUNNY–when I taught ESL (English as a Second Language) back in 2008,
      my students were all Haitian and Latino, and some were from El Salvador. Great kids
      with sharp minds…I pushed them all to go to college, earn REAL degrees, and go
      on to change this world for the better! Haitian and Latino citizens of ANY country
      do not deserve this filthy bathroom talk, but that’s what happens when the
      BATHROOM TWEETER-IN-CHIEF thinks, excretes and tweets waste all day, every day.
      It would not surprise me to see Mar-A-Lago destroyed one day…and it wouldn’t surprise
      me if white people took it down! The Dumpy Donmeister STILL owes WHITE PEOPLE
      BILLIONS of dollars–including all those contractors who have never been paid–not
      to mention all those Russian oligarchs/mobsters who helped him get elected.

  • Frank McCloskey

    We are long past the point of Trump and his base being the problem. We are also long past the point of being surprised by his evil which is becoming more and more normalized. The problem staring us in the face (IMHO) is that we are witnessing and not honestly acknowledging the disturbing bigoted character and nature of our country. The fact that white Americans (outside the Trump base) are not overwhelmingly denouncing the racist behavior on display and legeslative polices from this WH and Congress clearly intended to make America white again…is numbing. What is going on is beyond any political party or faith belief association. What is going on is just not acceptable. But where are the white voices rising up and shouting this is not acceptable and demanding accountability with legeslative leaders, nationally and locally? Why are we even debating the evil before us? No, the stain of unresolved racial bigotry in our country’s DNA is the problem.

    • Frank, us ‘white folks’ are just as angry as you are over this. —We have been for a long time. Sadly, we’re not being listened to, either. I’m retired USN, and I must say, this is NOT the government I swore to defend. Trump has got to go. Like my friend has suggested, “I think he’s done enough at ‘making us great again’.” He has destroyed our national image all over this planet. He is totally disgusting. In any other job, he would have been fired long ago. It’s time we told our congress to either impeach him, or expect to lose the next election. Anyone in congress who supports him has to go, too.

      • Frank McCloskey

        John, thank you for your service. You represent the best of the best. Unfortunately I have a different life experience and perspective on white people being just as angry as I am over this. White people (in general) are too blinded and unaware of our systemic advantage for being white. Even with the racial divisiveness before us, we remain too comfortable. We still have no sense of urgency to change institutional systems and processes that ensure we remain in power and control over all others and resulting in discrimination, marginalization, oppression, and death…only because we are white. I will even say there are few whites in our country who have ever had an honest discussion on race. We do not know how to be uncomfortable and accountable to honestly confront our forms of individual racism. Even with good intent, we generally remain complicit in maintaining the status quo. We are unwilling to put ourselves at personal and professional risk to confront the offensive. I really want to believe what you said because that reality would give me a reason for hope that things will be different. I also appreciate and feel your personal conviction. But again, I do not have reasons for hope or feel hopeful. Finally….Luke, stay strong my friend. You remain that beacon of righteousness and justice making a difference.

    • Charity Dell

      FRANK–the fact is, MANY white voices–including all those post-election marches and the Women’s March–have been complaining. I remember the phone campaign done by Michael Moore, and thousands of folks called Ryan and Mitch and
      all the rest. Their response was simply to stop answering their phones. There are some white senators complaining; granted,
      we need more. But the scarier thing to me is that many Euro-American Congress folks are TRIBALLY-ORIENTED, instead
      of being concerned about the NATION-STATE as a whole. All those years of resisting Obama, and yet, nothing is being
      and ETHNIC CLEANSING BY DEPORTATION. Any excuse will do…including “birther” nonsense designed to weed out
      “those who do not look like me.” Much of White America has not figured out that the Wealthy White Nouveau Riche is not
      interested in the welfare of “white-folks-at-large.” They will figure it out when all their families die from lack of health care,
      and their birthright is removed by fiat, because they failed to be White Enough.

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