The Maneater

Column: President Trump’s sh-thole comments go against American values

Trump’s disregard for other countries will forever change how the U.S. is perceived by the rest of the world.

Tatyana Monnay is a freshman journalism major at MU. She is an opinions columnist who writes about politics for The Maneater.

In a meeting about immigration policies, President Trump reportedly said this about immigrants from Haiti and African countries: “Why are we having all these people from sh-thole countries come here?”

President Trump’s word vomit and lack of care has gone on long enough. The fact that a president has shown such blatant disrespect for other countries is unacceptable.

I am a child of two Haitian immigrants. I have friends whose parents were born in Russia, Pakistan, Mexico, Jamaica and Trinidad.

Comments such as this one make immigrants and children of immigrants angry.

Not only does it make me angry, but it breaks my heart to hear a U.S. president speak so hatefully about a country where my whole family is from, a country that is part of my identity. It makes me wonder: If my president thinks this of a country I identify with, then what does he think of my family and me?

This repulsive comment has made me dispassionate about American politics and for a while killed my spirit. Overall, I just feel tired. I am tired of reacting to every outlandish and unpresidential thing Trump does. I am tired of watching the same pundits of CNN or MSNBC argue about Trump’s intentions. And most of all, I am tired of feeling less than because of my heritage.

Trump’s sh-thole comment is even more embarrassing when you consider America’s own history. We are a country built by immigrants. So why are immigrants looked down upon now?

There are those who argue we should look at what Trump means rather than what he said. Trump denies that he called Haiti and African countries sh-tholes, but he does not deny that he made harsh comments regarding the immigration of people from these nations. Trump and many people argue the influx of immigrants from less fortunate countries has created more problems for the United States and its economy. These are valid arguments. However, they can be made without disrespecting people and their country.

But I think it is time we hold people accountable for their words and actions. If Trump thinks less of African and Haitian migrants compared to immigrants from Norway, then future immigration policies will surely reflect this. The Trump administration has already begun rolling back Temporary Protected Status for countries like Haiti, El Salvador and South Sudan.

Trump needs to realize how these comments can change what other countries think of America and how Americans perceive their own country.

Trump and his supporters should be deeply ashamed of themselves. His comments may seem fleeting to his base, but the citizens of the countries he has vilified will remember his comments forever.

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