PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, Friday January 12, 2018 — Haiti’s government has condemned United States President Donald Trump’s reported remarks about its people as “racist”. And it has lodged a complaint with the US Embassy.
Trump reportedly referred to Haiti, El Salvador and African nations as “s…hole countries” during a White House meeting with lawmakers on immigration reform yesterday, questioning why he should accept immigrants from those places, rather than from countries like Norway.
“Why do we need more Haitians?” the Washington Post quoted him as saying, citing people briefed on the meeting. “Take them out.”
“These insulting and reprehensible statements in no way reflect the virtues of wisdom, restraint and discernment that must be cultivated by any high political authority,” the Haitian government statement said, adding that it was “profoundly outraged and shocked by the tenor of the remarks” that “at a minimum are disrespectful and insulting.”
“The Haitian government condemns with the greatest firmness these odious and abject remarks which, if they were said, would in every respect be unacceptable because they reflect a simplistic and totally erroneous racist view of the Haitian community and its contributions to the United States of America,” the statement continued.
However, Trump has denied using the vulgar expression reported, although admitted his language was “tough”.
In a tweet this morning, he specifically rubbished the “take them out” remark.
But Democratic senator Dick Durbin, who was present at the meeting with Trump, insisted that the reports were entirely accurate.
He said the President said “those hate-filled things and did so repeatedly”.
“S…hole was the exact word used once not twice but repeatedly,” Durbin said.
Trump has also been rebuked by the United Nations for his reported comments.
In a strongly-worded statement, the UN said it was impossible to describe the President’s remarks as anything other than racist.
“There is no other word one can use but racist. You cannot dismiss entire countries and continents as ‘s…holes’, whose entire populations, who are not white, are therefore not welcome,” UN human rights spokesman Rupert Colville said.
Meantime, the Vatican has decried Trump’s words as “particularly harsh and offensive”.