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Africa calls Trump racist after 'shithole' remark

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Africa calls Trump racist after 'shithole' remark

By Ed Stoddard and Chris Mfula

 

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U.S. President Donald Trump holds a joint news conference with Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg in the East Room of the White House in Washington, U.S., January 10, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

 

JOHANNESBURG/LUSAKA (Reuters) - African politicians and diplomats labelled U.S. President Donald Trump a racist on Friday after he was reported to have described some immigrants from Africa and Haiti as coming from "shithole" countries.

 

Trump reportedly made the remarks at a White House meeting on immigration on Thursday and a U.S. senator who attended the gathering said on Friday that the president used "vile, vulgar" language, including repeatedly using the word "shithole."

 

Trump denied on Friday using such derogatory language, but he was widely condemned in many African countries and in Haiti and El Salvador, and by international rights organisations.

 

"Ours is not a shithole country and neither is Haiti or any other country in distress," Jessie Duarte, the deputy secretary general of South Africa's ruling African National Congress told reporters at a news conference in East London.

 

"We would not deign to make comments as derogatory as that about any country that has any kind of socio-economic or other difficulties," Duarte said, adding that much like their African counterparts, millions of U.S. citizens were affected by problems such as unemployment.

 

Botswana's foreign ministry summoned the U.S. ambassador in protest and called the comments "highly irresponsible, reprehensible and racist."

 

In a statement it said it had asked the U.S. government, through its ambassador, to "clarify" if the derogatory remark also applied to Botswana given that there were Botswana nationals living in the United States and others who wished to go there.

 

Senegal's foreign ministry also called in the U.S. ambassador in Dakar to demonstrate its displeasure, a U.S. State Department official said.

 

The African Union (AU), an organisation which promotes cooperation on the continent, said it was alarmed by Trump's "very racist" comments.

 

"Given the historical reality of how African Americans arrived in the United States as slaves, and the United States being the biggest example of how a nation has been built by migration - for a statement like that to come is particularly upsetting," AU spokeswoman Ebba Kalondo said.

 

The AU's mission in Washington expressed its "infuriation, disappointment and outrage" at the comment and demanded a retraction as well as an apology.

 

In Haiti, on the eighth anniversary of a devastating earthquake that killed about 220,000 people, the government also summoned the top U.S. diplomat for an explanation, while the Haitian ambassador to Washington called for an apology.

 

"Haitians don't deserve such treatment," said Ambassador Paul Altidor. "Haitians should not be seen as a bunch of immigrants who come to the United States to exploit U.S. resources."

 

Special status given to about 59,000 Haitian immigrants, that has protected them from deportation following the 2010 earthquake, will end next year following a Trump administration ruling last month.

 

El Salvador, also facing an end to protected status for its 200,000 citizens living in the United States, sent a formal letter of protest to the U.S. government over the comments.

 

El Salvador's foreign ministry said the U.S. president had "implicitly" accepted the use of "harsh terms detrimental to the dignity of El Salvador and other countries."

 

'HARSH AND OFFENSIVE'

 

Since taking office a year ago, Trump has pursued controversial policies aimed at curbing immigration into the United States as part of a hard-line "America First" agenda.

 

Trump said on Twitter on Friday he merely used "tough" language when discussing a new immigration bill with a group of U.S. senators.

 

He said the bill was a step backwards because it would force the United States "to take large numbers of people from high crime countries which are doing badly".

 

The Trump administration has spoken little about how it wants to engage with African countries, focusing its foreign policy instead on issues like North Korea and Islamic State.

 

On the streets of Lusaka, capital of the southern African country of Zambia, Trump's reported remark reinforced long-held views about the U.S. leader.

 

"Trump has always been a racist, only a racist can use such foul language," said Nancy Mulenga, a student at the University of Zambia.

 

Retired Ethiopian long-distance runner Haile Gebrselasse, who won his first 10,000 Olympic gold medal in the U.S. city of Atlanta in 1996, told Reuters Trump's comments did not reflect the views of all Americans.

 

The United Nations human rights office said it had no doubt Trump's remarks were "racist," while the Vatican newspaper branded them as "particularly harsh and offensive."

 

"You cannot dismiss entire countries and continents as 'shitholes', whose entire populations, who are not white, are therefore not welcome," said U.N. human rights spokesman Rupert Colville.

 

 
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-- © Copyright Reuters 2018-01-13
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How many countries in africa would people like to live.

 

Not many a kid from south Africa that lives next door told me it ia dangerous so his family moved to Canada and he had to leave canada for some immigration deal and then return in 4 months soubt he will het more than 2 tourist visas here he is about 25 years old   

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7 minutes ago, Bluespunk said:

Worked as a VSO in Ghana for two years. 

 

Absolutely loved it.  

Had a feiend from ghana super nice guy his thai firlfriend got pregnant ao he was trying to get into wurop with her to get on the social programs 

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1 minute ago, USPatriot said:

Had a feiend from ghana super nice guy his thai firlfriend got pregnant ao he was trying to get into wurop with her to get on the social programs 

Yeah right...that was his motivation to get into Europe (I assume that’s where you meant). 

Edited by Bluespunk
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29 minutes ago, USPatriot said:

How many countries in africa would people like to live.

 

Not many a kid from south Africa that lives next door told me it ia dangerous so his family moved to Canada and he had to leave canada for some immigration deal and then return in 4 months soubt he will het more than 2 tourist visas here he is about 25 years old   

Deflection. 

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18 minutes ago, Bluespunk said:

Yeah right...that was his motivation to get into Europe (I assume that’s where you meant). 

It was he told me so

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BANGKOK 28 May 2018 16:30
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