US President Donald Trump’s vulgar comments to US lawmakers explaining his opposition to Haitian and African migrants has sparked outrage and condemnation at home and abroad. UN human rights spokesman Rupert Colville called the comments racist. “It’s about opening the door wider to humanity’s worst side, about validating and encouraging racism and xenophobia that will potentially disrupt and destroy the lives of many people,” he said. Trump reportedly said migrants from Africa come from “s—hole countries,” a remark Democratic Senator Richard Durbin of Illinois confirmed that Trump used during a meeting on immigration. Friday, the African Union Mission in Washington issued a statement expressing “infuriation, disappointment and outrage over the unfortunate statement” made by Trump.
“The African Union Mission condemns the comments in the strongest terms and demands a retraction of the comment as well as an apology to not only to the Africans but to all people of African descent around the globe,” the group said. The mission said there is a “serious need for dialogue between the U.S. administration and the African countries” to address the administration’s “huge misunderstanding of the African continent and its people.” The African National Congress, South Africa’s ruling party, said Trump’s remarks were “extremely offensive.” Raoul Peck, a Haitian-born director and former Haitian minister of culture, said he was “shocked, appalled and outraged” by Trump’s remark.
“The responsibility of being the president of this great country is not a game nor a reality show,” Peck tweeted. “It demands basic education, basic insight, a dose of humanity and some intelligence. Trump does not and cannot pass any of these grades.” State Department officials said Friday that American diplomats in Haiti and in Botswana had been summoned by government officials to explain the remarks. Botswana issued a formal statement, seeking clarification on whether the United States truly regards the African country in the derogatory way reported. Haiti’s ambassador to the US, Paul G. Altidor, also condemned Trump’s remarks.
“In the spirit of the people of Haiti we feel in the statements, if they were made, the president was either misinformed or miseducated about Haiti and its people,” Altidor said in a written statement. The State Department confirmed Friday that US Ambassador to Panama John Feeley had steppe down, saying his resignation was in the works for some time. – VOA NEWS