Home / News / ‘Completely Racist’: Edwidge Danticat on Trump’s ‘Shithole Countries’ Remark Targeting Africa, Haiti

‘Completely Racist’: Edwidge Danticat on Trump’s ‘Shithole Countries’ Remark Targeting Africa, Haiti


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International defamation of Donald Trump is flourishing after reports the boss used an clamour during a assembly about immigrants from Africa, Haiti and El Salvador. While assembly with lawmakers, Trump reportedly said, “Why do we wish all these people from Africa here? They’re shithole countries … We should have some-more people from Norway.” Trump also reportedly said, “Why do we need some-more Haitians? Take them out.” Earlier Friday morning, Trump wrote on Twitter, “The denunciation used by me at the DACA meeting was tough, but this was not the denunciation used. What was really tough was the outlandish offer made–a big reversal for DACA!” Trump’s remarks come weeks after The New York Times reported Trump had also disparaged Haitians and Nigerians during a closed-door assembly in June. Trump pronounced Nigerians would never “go back to their huts” if they came to revisit the U.S. As for Haitians, Trump pronounced they “all have AIDS.” Trump’s latest remarks come just after his administration announced it is finale proxy stable standing for up to 250,000 Salvadorans who have been vital in the U.S. given at slightest 2001. Last year, the Trump administration announced it is also finale proxy stable standing for tens of thousands of Haitian, Nicaraguan and Sudanese immigrants vital in the United States. Trump’s remarks from Thursday have been cursed opposite the globe. We pronounce to Haitian-American writer Edwidge Danticat as Haitians symbol the eighth anniversary of the harmful 2010 earthquake.

Transcript 

This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

1

AMY GOODMAN: This is Democracy Now!, democracynow.org, The War and Peace Report. I’m Amy Goodman.

International defamation of Donald Trump is growing, after reports the boss used an clamour during a assembly about immigrants from Africa, Haiti and El Salvador. While assembly with lawmakers, Trump reportedly said, “Why do we wish all these people from Africa here? They’re s—hole countries … We should have some-more people from Norway.” Trump also reportedly said, “Why do we need some-more Haitians? Take them out.”

Earlier this morning, Trump wrote on Twitter, quote, “The denunciation used by me at the DACA meeting was tough, but this was not the denunciation used. What was really tough was the outlandish offer made–a big reversal for DACA!”

Trump’s remarks come weeks after The New York Times reported Trump had also disparaged Haitians and Nigerians during a closed-door assembly in June, observant Nigerians would never, quote, “go back to their huts” if they came to the U.S. As for Haitians, Trump said, quote, they “all have AIDS.”

Trump’s latest remarks come just after his administration announced it’s finale proxy stable standing for up to 250,000 Salvadorans who have been vital in U.S. given at slightest 2001. Last year, the Trump administration announced it also is finale proxy stable standing for tens of thousands of Haitians, Nicaraguans and Sudanese immigrants vital in the U.S.

Trump’s s—hole remarks Thursday have been cursed opposite the globe. That’s s—hole. We’re not using the tangible clamour that he used, 4 letters before the word “hole.” United Nations high commissioner for human rights [spokesperson] Rupert Colville decried Trump’s remarks.

RUPERT COLVILLE: These are intolerable and ashamed comments from the boss of the United States. I’m sorry, but there’s no other word one can use but “racist.” You can't boot whole countries and continents as [bleep], whose whole populations, who are not white, are therefore not welcome. … The certain criticism on Norway creates the underlying view very clear. And like the progressing comments done adverse Mexicans and Muslims, the policy proposals targeting whole groups on grounds of nationality or religion, and the hostility to clearly reject the anti-Semitic and extremist actions of the white supremacists in Charlottesville, all of these go against the concept values the universe has been essay so tough to settle given World War II and the Holocaust.

AMY GOODMAN: In South Africa, Jessie Duarte of the African National Congress also criticized Trump.

JESSIE DUARTE: Ours is not a [bleep] country. Neither is Haiti or any other country in distress. Obviously, we are in no position to stop any boss from observant anything they wish to say. But all we can contend is that building countries do have difficulties. Those problems are not tiny matters. And it’s not as if the United States doesn’t have difficulties. There are millions of impoverished people in the U.S., millions of people who don’t have medical services or entrance to education. And we would not disdain to make comments as derogative as that about any country that has any kind of social, mercantile or other difficulties.

AMY GOODMAN: And in Haiti, longtime romantic René Civil pronounced Trump should be reminded of Haiti’s history.

RENÉ CIVIL: [translated] In the name of the Haitian people, we are partial of a nationalistic emergency that is fighting for genuine change in Haiti. We direct that Donald Trump apologize before the whole continent, as good as before Haiti, the country whose blood has been used by ancestors who have served with their minds and bodies to acquit the United States itself from slavery. … Haiti is not a [bleep]. It’s a good country. It’s the mom of liberty.

AMY GOODMAN: Trump’s remarks stirred his hometown paper, the New York Daily News, to tell on its cover an painting featuring Trump’s correspondence superimposed over a cartoonish “poop” emoji, with the title “S— FOR BRAINS: Trump spews infamous offence against immigrants.”

We go now to Florida, where we’re assimilated by the acclaimed Haitian-American writer Edwidge Danticat. She is a novelist, speaking to us from Orlando, Florida, author of a series of books, including The Farming of Bones, which won an American Book Award. She was innate in Haiti, came to the United States when she was 12. We are speaking currently to Edwidge, and on this day after Trump’s s—hole comments, on the eighth anniversary of the harmful Haitian trembler that killed as many as 300,000 people.

Edwidge Danticat, acquire to Democracy Now! Your response to President Trump?

EDWIDGE DANTICAT: Well, appreciate you, Amy. My response to President Trump is sum condemnation. It was a very extremist remark, which strew light on progressing decisions that he had—that have been done by the administration—for example, about proxy stable standing being separated for Haitians and Salvadorans, and his remark, as reported by The New York Times, about all Haitians having AIDS. It seems like, once again, Haiti is being used as a foil, and he is baiting his attract and feeding them—Haiti as red meat.

And it’s intensely unhappy that it happened also in the shade of this day. Today was going to be an unusually unhappy day for many of us, anyway, who lost the family members, who lost the friends, in the harmful earthquake. So this is even some-more salt on the wounds. Not surprising, given of the inlet of this presidency and the way this boss conducts himself, but it is a terrible slight. It’s totally racist, generally the way that he paralleled Haiti and Africa, which is a continent, not a country—someone should tell him—and describing them in this demeanour and resisting them to Norway.

AMY GOODMAN: Seems to be redefining the term “White House,” where he lives, in Washington, and what he wants to see in this country. Edwidge Danticat, we have been personification the responses of people around the world, from South Africa, one of those, as Donald Trump calls them, s—hole, but he uses the full expletive, though, inexplicably, this morning he’s kind of denying this in a tweet, yet yesterday, when the White House was asked about this, they did not repudiate that he pronounced this. we mean, there were so many congressmembers in the room. What does it meant for Haitian-American families, both the policy, what you’re facing, the detriment of—what so many communities are facing, Haitian communities and Salvadoran, the detriment of TPS, but also for your kids, when people hear these terms?

EDWIDGE DANTICAT: Well, that’s accurately where we was going to go. Now there are so many Haitian children who will be going to school today, and fundamentally it will come up. And then they will have to—their parents, who are going to have to explain to the children given they don’t—you know, what the boss has pronounced and what kind of country they actually come from, and a country that—like Haiti, that has had difficulties, but that also the U.S. has played a palm in formulating certain forms of situations that has led, you know, to the turn of misery that we have, which doesn’t meant that we are not human beings, that we don’t have dreams, that we’re not trying very tough to keep the country going. So, it’s very disparaging.

AMY GOODMAN: Edwidge Danticat, what would you contend if you were assembly with President Trump currently at the White House?

EDWIDGE DANTICAT: I don’t consider we would be assembly with President Trump, but we would use this event that you have given me to tell him to just stop it. Stop it. we mean, he’s spewing white supremacist views that have genuine consequences in the lives of typical people. We already see it online, people who are jumping in and saying, “Of march what he’s observant is true.” And then there are people who will act on it, when they meet people like us. They will—who will practice certain prejudices that impact the lives of the people he is articulate about. But that also can lead to tangible assault against the bodies, against the children. So we consider he needs to comprehend that what he’s saying, from the biggest brag pulpit in the whole world, is inspiring particular people. we don’t know that he cares, given we consider he’s just spewing these things, and we think, in part, this was also—you know, this is what he believes.

But what he’s saying, from this very high position of power, affects the future of nations, affects the lives of individuals, affects how people—how policy is created. And now you have all these white supremacists and racists who feel so empowered, because, basically, the boss of the United States has put them on—you know, has put a aim on the backs of these people who he has described in this way, for them to be ridiculed, for them to be geared to have prejudices exercised against them and, in some cases, to have assault and, you know, assaults probable on their bodies, given these difference are very—these difference give permission to certain kinds of people. And we turn then hypervisible in the vulnerability, given we have been singled out, not once—once in the policy with the TPS, once with the AIDS, and now with this, and as a organisation of people, as Haitians, and as people, he was saying, from Africa. And he’s singling out people for and making us targets for all kinds of probable attacks. And—

AMY GOODMAN: And finally, Edwidge, on this anniversary, this eighth anniversary of the trembler in Haiti, that killed up to 300,000 Haitians?

EDWIDGE DANTICAT: Yes. Well, today—this is what we would have been doing today, would be remembering and meditative about the passed and commemorating these losses. But sadly, this has been perplexed by this infamous attack by the boss against the people at this time. So, it is important. We are still going to remember. We are still going to mourn. But to use a observant that many people of opposite backgrounds have been observant given the election of the president, “Today, we mourn. Tomorrow, we fight.”

AMY GOODMAN: Edwidge Danticat, we wish to appreciate you for being with us, Haitian-American novelist, speaking to us from Florida, author of a series of books, including The Farming of Bones, which won an American Book Award.



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