“S***hole” Countries


Courtesy of Zach Gibson

Sens. Tom Cotton (R-AR) and David Perdue (R-GA) stand with President Trump and deny accusations made against him.

Amanda Chung, Photojournalist

President Trump, infamous for controversies, allegedly made a few racist remarks regarding immigrants from Haiti, El Salvador, and African countries at a meeting in the Oval Office with lawmakers on Thursday, January 11. This meeting was intended to negotiate a bipartisan immigration deal that would “extend protections and offer a path to citizenship to DACA recipients” while also including “money for border security and reforms to some immigration programs” (VOX). However, the mood turned sour after Trump had an racist outburst and called the countries under discussion, “s***hole” countries. “Why do we need more Haitians?” Trump said, according to sources familiar with the meeting. “Take them out.” Instead, he suggested that the U.S. should take more people from countries like Norway.

This is not the first time President Trump has stirred up controversy regarding race. He accused former president, Obama, of not being born in the U.S.,  called neo-nazis at the Charlottesville incident “good people,” proposed a Muslim ban, and advocated the construction of a wall at the Mexican border.

A more similar case is when Trump allegedly complained Haitians “all have AIDS” and Nigerians would never “go back to their huts” at a meeting in the Oval Office last December (New York Times). The White House denied Trump made those remarks, just like how many people are denying his “s***hole” comment.

In a joint statement, Sens. Tom Cotton (R-AR) and David Perdue (R-GA) wrote that they “do not recall the President saying those comments specifically” (VOX). Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen also said she didn’t recall hearing the word, but claimed there was indeed “cussing” at the meeting (CNN).

Trump took to Twitter to deny these accusations himself, tweeting: “The language used by me at the DACA meeting was tough, but this was not the language used.” Later in the day, he also tweeted: “Never said anything derogatory about Haitians other than Haiti is, obviously, a very poor and troubled country. Never said “take them out.” Made up by Dems. I have a wonderful relationship with Haitians. Probably should record future meetings – unfortunately, no trust!”

Ashley Bui Tran (11) thinks that it wouldn’t be surprising if President Trump actually said these things. “At this point in time, the things Trump says are getting progressively worse,” she says. “He has no filter and just does things without thinking about the consequences.”

The African Union, a group representing the continent’s countries, and African ambassadors to the United Nations asked for an apology and released a statement saying that they were outraged and disappointed with the comment made by Trump. They said it “dishonor[s] the celebrated American creed and respect for diversity and human dignity” (CNN). Trump has yet to reply.