Donald Trump has sparked new controversy after describing immigrants from Africa and Haiti as coming from “shithole countries”.
On Thursday, the US president questioned why America should welcome immigrants from African countries and Haiti, referring to them as “shithole countries”. Instead, he argued, the US should bring in more immigrants from places like Norway.
Trump made the comments in the White House in front of lawmakers from both parties, and has made no attempt to deny the words.
Speaking to reporters in Geneva, UN human rights spokesman, Rupert Colville, said “There is no other word one can use but racist” to describe Trump’s comments. “You cannot dismiss entire countries and continents as ‘shitholes’, whose entire populations, who are not white, are therefore not welcome”, he said.
Cedric Richmond, Democratic representative and chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, said Trump’s words confirmed his “racially insensitive and ignorant views” and made clear that that “the president’s slogan ‘Make America Great Again’ is really code for ‘Make America White Again’”.
In front of Republican lawmakers in December, Trump is reported to have said that Haitians “all have aids”. The White House disputes the claim, but the comments follow a pattern where Trump also dismissed Mexican immigrants as ‘drug dealers, criminals, and rapists” at a campaign rally before he became president.
Trump’s racist language has been rejected by both Democrats and Republicans in the US, as well as leaders from across the globe. British Prime Minister Theresa May has remained silent and has refused to rescind Trump’s invitation for a state visit, no matter what he says or does.