“Let me be clear tonight. The people of Haiti have been through more… withstood more — they’ve fought back against more injustice than our President ever has.” Anderson Cooper choked back tears as he reflected on the devastating quake nearly 8 years ago https://t.co/Yuh5xe3P8Q
— CNN (@CNN) January 12, 2018
Donald Trump has said plenty of incendiary things over the course of his presidency (and life), and his latest remarks are truly repellant. When discussing the bipartisan immigration deal, Trump raged about taking in people from “sh*thole” countries after lawmakers “floated restoring protections for immigrants from Haiti, El Salvador and African countries.” No, really.
“Why are we having all these people from sh*thole countries come here?” Trump said, according to these people, referring to African countries and Haiti. He then suggested that the United States should instead bring more people from countries like Norway, whose prime minister he met yesterday.
Many were quick to denounce these comments as racist and inspired Anderson Cooper to reflect on his own time in Haiti. During Anderson Cooper 360, Cooper explained that he had spent a significant amount of time in the country for work and vacation, and explained that while there were good and bad Haitians, just like there are good and bad people everywhere else, he was constantly in awe of their strength and fortitude in the face of “more injustice than our President ever has.”
Cooper continued, explaining that the President’s comments were not “racially charged,” they were racist.
“The president of the United States is tired of so many black people coming to this country. Tired of immigrants from Haiti and Africa being allowed in. Tired of Haitians and Africans, the president went on to say he would like to bring more people from countries like Norway. Norway, whose population overwhelmingly is of Nordic descent. White people, in other words.
James Baldwin … once said that ‘ignorance allied with power is the most ferocious enemy justice can have.’ Ignorance allied with power. For the president to believe that Haitians have not contributed extraordinary things to American society, that is ignorant. For him to claim that all the countries of Africa are ‘sh*tholes’ is woefully ignorant.”
Cooper was also quick to remind viewers that this kind of mentality was nothing new from Trump, referencing his comments that “all Haitians have AIDS” and that Nigerians would “never go back to their huts” after coming to America.
“Perhaps the White House feels the president’s remarks will be well received in some parts of this country, among some parts of the president’s base. But it doesn’t make what he said any less ignorant or any less racist. Not racial. Not racially charged. Racist. Let’s not kid ourselves. Let’s not pretend our dance around it. The sentiment the president expressed today is a racist sentiment.”