During an Oval Office meeting in which lawmakers suggested restoring protections for immigrants from Haiti, El Salvador, and Africa, Trump lashed out at the prospect of enacting legislation for those who come from “shithole countries.”
“Why are we having all these people from shithole countries come here?” Trump said while in a meeting with Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Richard Durbin (D-IL), as well as those with hardline immigration stances, including Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) and Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR), among others.
The comment quickly drew ire from around the world, but legendary musician John Legend’s response hit the nail on the head.
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The president is a racist. He has been for his entire public life. If you vote(d) for him, you do so because of that or despite that. We need a multi-racial anti-racist coalition to defeat him and try to heal our nation.
— John Legend (@johnlegend) January 12, 2018
As Legend pointed out, this is not Trump’s first instance of racism. Rather, the President has a sordid past rife with vile, racist comments and behavior.
Legend, for his part, was not the only person to address the remark. Even White House principal deputy press secretary Raj Shah was forced to issue a response amid the swift backlash.
Most tellingly, Shah’s response is neither a condemnation nor a denial of Trump’s disgusting words. Rather, he parrots Trump’s misguided talking points and fear mongering regarding the “dangers” of immigrants.
The acting director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Thomas Homan, has gone so far as to claim, contrary to what Trump has repeated throughout his tenure in office, that undocumented immigrants committed no more crimes than native-born Americans.
At off-cam WH briefing acting ICE dir. Horman concedes undocumented immigrants do not commit more crimes than native born Americans.
— Jim Acosta (@Acosta) June 28, 2017
During today’s meeting at which the controversial comments took place, Trump went so far as to suggest that the United States should welcome people who come from countries like Norway. Trump met with the Norwegian Prime Minister yesterday. The difference, of course, is that Norwegians are overwhelmingly white, whereas those from Haiti, El Salvador, and Africa are not.
While the intent of the meeting was to find common ground for a bipartisan immigration deal, Trump’s glaringly racist and petulant comments reportedly left lawmakers stunned.
Trump’s remark comes on the heels of his administration’s decision to end protections for more than 200,000 Salvadorans living in the United States. The move jeopardizes an entire subset of people who have been living in the country for 15 years.
Trump may try to call himself a unifier, but John Legend called him exactly what he is — a racist.