By Frederick H. Lowe
During a meeting Thursday in the Oval Office, President Trump called Haiti and an unnamed number of African countries “shitholes” and he wanted to know why people from those nations were moving to the U.S.
“Why are we having these people from shithole countries come here?” Trump demanded to know. His offensive remarks were later confirmed by several news outlets, including the CNN, NBC News and BuzzFeed.
He then told legislators attending the meeting that the U.S. should have more people come from places like Norway.
Later, Trump denied he used the word “shitholes,” but Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Illinois), who attended the Oval Office meeting, said the president did say that.
Some members of Congress have proposed granting visas to individuals from Haiti, El Salvador and a number of African countries who are in the United States on temporary protected status.
A number of lawmakers quickly condemned Trump’s remarks.
“Donald Trump is a cowardly racist who has no business being President of the United States,” said U.S. Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-New Jersey).
“Immigrants from countries across the globe —- including and especially those from Haiti and all parts of Africa —- have helped build this country. They should be welcomed and celebrated, not demeaned and insulted,” said Sen. Kamala Harris (D-California).
Trump has used hatred of nonwhites to get into the White House.
He charged that President Barack Obama wasn’t born in the United States. He accused Mexico of sending rapists and drug dealers across the border to the U.S. And he has voiced his opposition to black NFL players taking a knee during the national anthem to protest police brutality.