President Trump said the following during Thursday’s immigration meeting with a group of senators:
“Why are we having all these people from shithole countries come here?” According to the story, which The Washington Post broke, he made the comment in reference to Haiti, El Salvador, and African countries.
People quickly condemned the comments, and several news outlets took time to reflect on the Haitian people and the earthquake that hit Haiti eight years ago. Senator Dianne Feinstein released a statement saying that Trump’s comments showed an “effort to set this country back generations by promoting a homogenous, white society.” Representative Mia Love, the only Haitian-American in Congress and a Republican from Utah, condemned Trump’s remarks, saying he must apologize. And Arizona Republican Senator Jeff Flake called Trump’s comments “abhorrent and repulsive.”
Some members of the Congressional majority have not been so critical, with Arizona Representative Martha McSally saying that she uses crude language behind closed doors, and Arkansas Representative Steve Womack saying that he agrees with the sentiment behind the comments.
But should anyone really be surprised by this? There is a well-document history of Trump’s racist actions, dating all the way back to the 1970s when he discriminatedagainst offering housing for African Americans. He launched his campaign by calling Mexicans “rapists,” and his first presidential pardon was of infamous, cruel Sheriff Joe Arpaio. He called Nazis and white supremacists “very fine people,” and he endorsed Roy Moore for senate in Alabama.
And it’s not just the stories that have made the front page that indicate his racist views; in fact, those ideologies influence every action he takes. The Center for American Progress has rounded up 52 ways the Trump administration has harmed people of color in Trump’s first 52 weeks in office. Can we finally all admit it and say it out loud? The President of the United States is a racist, and he has surrounded himself with racist people in his administration. If this is what Trump says when a Democratic senator is in the room, can you imagine what he says when it’s only Stephen Miller or, formerly, Steve Bannon by his side?