The President’s vulgarity is only one aspect of this storm. Describing many poor, struggling and often courageous nations as “S**t-holes” – that’s clearly offensive enough.
But then imagine throwing in the racial bait, making clear that immigrants from Norway would be welcome, but Africans and Central Americans would not be.
For his critics, Trump is abandoning the very idea of America – that it is an inclusive nation that should embrace the hardworking and the talented from across the world, irrespective of race.
The Chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus is saying that Trump’s message made clear that the President’s real agenda is to “Make America White Again.” Many other Democrats are openly accusing the President of being a racist. Exceptionally few Republicans are even trying to defend him.
Add to the mix the fact that President Trump appears to be especially offensive towards Haiti, a country still struggling to emerge from a devastating earthquake. In fact, today is the 8th anniversary of the Haitian quake that killed up to 300,000 people.
Those of us who have worked in Haiti know that, yes, it is a country blighted by rampant corruption, but that it is blessed with a people who are remarkably resilient and talented.
Perhaps the CNN anchor Anderson Cooper put it best with this deeply personal and emotional response to Trump’s outburst.
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This is not the first time Trump has insulted Haiti and Africa. Back in June he accused all Haitians immigrants arriving in the US of having AIDS. And he predicted that when Nigerians arrived in America they would “never go back to their huts.”
Many broadcasters and newspapers in the US are struggling to cover this story. They don’t want to repeat the language of the President. That’s extraordinary in itself.