US President Donald Trump apparently believes most countries in Africa are “shithole countries”. He appears to think the same of Haiti and El Salvador.
According to reports in US media, Trump made the comment during a meeting with a group of senators at the White House. They were discussing immigration and changes to the visa lottery system.
Apparently Trump questioned why the USA would wish to have immigrants from “all these shithole countries”.
South African writer Max du Preez tweeted a message to the US Ambassador in South Africa, saying: “I’m sorry your president sent you to 1 of the countries he regards as shitholes. Must be tough slumming it in Pretoria & Cape Town. Please inform us shitholers if you disagree with your president’s characterisation of our continent @USEmbassySA”
There has not yet been a response from the acting ambassador.
Meanwhile the Haiti Ambassador to the US said Trump’s comments were “regrettable” and referred to stereotypes rather than actual facts. Haiti has reportedly been besieged by messages from Americans apologising for their president’s remarks.
Trump allegedly said America would be better off encouraging more people from countries like Norway.
Trump is in favour of a merit-based immigration system, similar to that used by many countries around the world like Australia, rather than the lottery.
His comments caused criticism from both Democratic and Republican senators, and created headlines around the country (and the world!).
The White House did not deny Trump’s remarks, but said in a statement: “Certain Washington politicians choose to fight for foreign countries, but President Trump will always fight for the American people. He will always reject temporary, weak and dangerous stopgap measures that threaten the lives of hardworking Americans, and undercut immigrants who seek a better life in the United States through a legal pathway.”
Trump later tweeted “think Merit and end Lottery”, and emphasised the need for the ‘Great Wall’ between the US and Mexico.
In another tweet Trump also gave his reason for cancelling his forthcoming trip to the UK, tweeting: “Reason I canceled my trip to London is that I am not a big fan of the Obama Administration having sold perhaps the best located and finest embassy in London for “peanuts,” only to build a new one in an off location for 1.2 billion dollars. Bad deal. Wanted me to cut ribbon-NO!”
Dear US ambassador in SA, I'm sorry your president sent you to 1 of the countries he regards as shitholes. Must be tough slumming it in Pretoria & Cape Town. Please inform us shitholers if you disagree with your president's characterisation of our continent @USEmbassySA
— Max du Preez (@MaxduPreez) January 12, 2018
The Democrats seem intent on having people and drugs pour into our country from the Southern Border, risking thousands of lives in the process. It is my duty to protect the lives and safety of all Americans. We must build a Great Wall, think Merit and end Lottery & Chain. USA!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 12, 2018
Howzit Mr Trump.
I carry a message of greeting from all of us here in die Kaap- the most beautiful place in our amazing South Africa.
— Simon Grindrod (@SimonPGrindrod) January 12, 2018