Local politicians responded to the President of the United States referring to Haiti, El Salvador, and African countries as “shithole countries”.
Just yesterday, President Donald Trump was reported by the Washington Post to have said: “Why are we having all these people from shithole countries come here?” It was during a meeting with a bipartisan group of senators. The Post also reported that Trump suggested the US bring more people from Norway instead.
Despite what many pundits have said, it was indeed racist but not surprising as the President has constantly made such comments in the past.
“Donald Trump’s remarks about Haiti and Africa were hateful, disgusting, bigoted, and downright racist. America is a proud nation of immigrants from all countries and continents. His repugnant and divisive remarks demonstrate an embarrassing ignorance of the incredible contributions made throughout world history by Haiti, and African nations and cultures,” said 47th District Council Member Mark Treyger.
“Our city’s history has been forged by immigrants, and the vibrant diversity of our immigrant communities is part of what makes New York so singular. As a child of immigrants, I’m disgusted by these remarks. I stand in solidarity with our many immigrant communities, including the Haitian community and the diverse African communities, and unequivocally condemn the President’s remarks and targeting of immigrant communities. Our city and our nation are made stronger by immigrants from across the globe.”
Brooklyn is home to many immigrants from Haiti. In fact, Haiti makes up the top ten immigrant groups in NY. According to 2011 data from NYC.gov, there were 61,550 people born in Haiti living in Brooklyn alone.
Eight years ago on this day, Haiti was thrown a 7.0 magnitude earthquake killing more than 200,000 people and injuring more than 300,000. Many hardworking Brooklynites had friends and families who were affected, as seen from the numbers in the table above.
“Where do I start? The President’s remarks were wrong, ignorant, divisive and hateful. America is made stronger, and more vibrant because we welcome all people with open arms,” 43rd District Council Member Justin Brannan told BKLYNER. “I strongly condemn the President’s remarks because the United States and our President should always lead the world in respect for all people.”
Congressman Hakeem Jeffries along with 45th District Council Member Jumaane Williams also tweeted out against the President.
Congresswoman Yvette Clarke tweeted about the eight-year anniversary of the devastating earthquake, and against Trump.
Brian Cunningham, the man who ran against Mathieu Eugene in local elections, also expressed his outrage.
And so did the Mayor of NY, though he didn’t directly tweet the President. It is what some people would call, throwing shade.