First reported by the Washington Post, and then confirmed by various other outlets, President Donald Trump’s racism sparked renewed outrage on Thursday—and the #ShitHoleDon hashtag—after it was learned he referred to Haiti, El Salvador, and African nations as “shitholes countries” during a closed-door meeting with Republican lawmakers.
“Why are we having all these people from shithole countries come here?” Trump reportedly said, according to people briefed on the meeting.
According to a version of the exchange reported by NBC News, Trump said the U.S. should “have more people from places like Norway,” but said refugees and immigrants from places like Haiti and Africa should no longer received protections.
“Why do we need more Haitians?” Trump asked, according to the Post‘s sources. “Take them out.”
In a statement, the NAACP “unequivocally denounced” Trump’s latest outburst:
The person who spoke with NBC, the outlet reports, said Trump “was particularly frustrated during discussions about the visa lottery system—a program Trump has railed against repeatedly in recent months.”
Alix Desulme, a city council member in North Miami, home to thousands of Haitian Americans, told the Washington Post Trump’s comments “disgusting.”
“Oh my God. Oh my God Jesus,” said Desulme. “I don’t know how worse it can get. This is very alarming. We know he’s not presidential but this a low. It’s disheartening that someone who is the leader of the free world would use such demeaning language to talk about other folks, referring to folks of color.”
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And while Trump built much of his political brand on both overt bigotry and racist dog-whistling, as president he has been able to actually enact policies that are manifestly racist, including his travel ban directed at Muslim-majority countries and a set of other immigration policies that specifically target predominately black and brown people from countries that include El Salvador, Haiti, and Somalia.
Just this week, the Trump administration ended special protection status from Salvadorans who came to the U.S. as refugees after earthquakes devastated the country in 2001.
While the White House released a statement in response to reports about Trump’s offensive comments, it did not deny the president said these things.
Rep. Luis V. Gutiérrez (D-IL) responded by saying he was, “as an American, ashamed of the President” over the comments which he said were “disappointing, unbelievable, but not surprising.”
“We always knew that President Trump doesn’t like people from certain countries or people or certain colors,” Gutiérrez continued. “We can now we say with 100% confidence that the President is a racist who does not share the values enshrined in our Constitution or Declaration of Independence.”
In separate comments to the Post, Gutiérrez said Trump’s remarks comments “will shake the confidence that people have” in the ongoing talks in Congress about immigration policy. “Democrats and Republicans in the Senate made a proposal. The answer is this racist outburst of the president. How can you take him seriously? They [Republicans] don’t believe in immigration — it’s always been about people of color and keeping them out of this country,” Gutierrez said.
Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif) said Trump’s racist remarks were “beyond the pale, even for him”:
The disgust and outrage was contagious and fast-moving, as was the use of the new #ShitHoleDon hashtag on social media:
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