U.N., African countries blast Trump’s ‘racist’ words in angry global backlash

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The world is responding to highly charged comments reportedly made by Donald Trump during DACA talks.

The torrent of criticism began within hours of reports that Trump, meeting with several lawmakers to discuss immigration, questioned why the United States would accept more immigrants from Haiti and “shithole countries” in Africa rather than places like Norway.

On Friday, Trump appeared to deny he had used those exact words. Sen. Dick Durbin, D.-Ill., who was in the room, confirmed that the president had, in fact, employed the vulgar phrase several times.

Officials and representatives of the target countries responded quickly and sharply, with a U.N. official leading the way:

Rupert Colville, a human rights spokesman for the international organization, said: “If confirmed these are shocking and shameful comments from the president of the United States, I’m sorry but there is no other word for this but racist.”

“You cannot dismiss entire countries and continents as ‘shitholes,’ whose entire populations, who are not white, are therefore not welcome,” he said in Geneva.

More: Trump appears to deny using vulgar term to describe immigrant countries

“SHAME ON TRUMP!,” said former president Laurent Lamothe on Twitter.

“The world is witnessing a new low today with this #ShitholeNations remark! totally unacceptable! uncalled for moreover it shows a lack a respect and IGNORANCE never seen before in the recent history of the US by any President! Enough is enough!!

Twitter user Harold Isaac shared idyllic-looking pictures of his country alongside the following comments: “Hey #ShitHolePresident! Here is what my #shithole looks like.”

Hey #ShitHolePresident ! Here is what my #shithole looks like pic.twitter.com/CDIHKeYqCH

Haiti’s U.S. ambassador condemned the statements in more diplomatic terms.

“In the spirit of the people of Haiti we feel in the statements, if they were made, the president was either misinformed or miseducated about Haiti and its people,” Paul G. Altidor said. Haiti formally summoned a U.S. official to explain the remarks.

The 55-member continental organization that works for greater economic and political unity and solidarity across Africa said it was “frankly alarmed” by Trump’s comments.

“Given the historical reality of how many Africans arrived in the United States as slaves, this statement flies in the face of all accepted behavior and practice,” African Union spokeswoman Ebba Kalondo said in a statement. “This is particularly surprising as the United States of America remains a global example of how migration gave birth to a nation built on strong values of diversity and opportunity.”

Boniface Mwangi, a social activist, tweeted that Africa “isn’t a shithole.”

“How America elected a narcissist, racist, white supremacist to be their president defies logic. Africa sends love and light to America. #ShitholeTrump,” he said. 

President @realDonaldTrump has called Africa a shithole. How America elected a narcissist, racist, white supremacist to be their president defies logic. Africa sends love and light to America. #ShitholeTrumppic.twitter.com/AuZDUy1pwf

Leanne Manas, a television anchor for the South African Broadcasting Corporation, tweeted: “Good morning from the greatest most beautiful ‘shithole country’ in the world!!!” Many South Africans expressed solidarity with her ironic comments. 

Good morning from the greatest most beautiful “shithole country” in the world!!!

The Daily Show tweeted of its South African-born host, Trevor Noah: “As someone from South Shithole, Trevor is deeply offended by the president’s remarks.”

The Daily Maverick, a South African media outlet, wrote: “Casual Friday at the White House is soon to include hoods and tiki torches at this rate.”

“Highly irresponsible, reprehensible and racist,” the country’s foreign ministry said. 

“The Government of Botswana is wondering why President Trump must use this descriptor and derogatory word, when talking about countries with whom the U.S. has had cordial and mutually beneficial bilateral relations for so many years.”

Vincente Fox, Mexico’s former president and a longtime Trump social media troll, was particularly blunt in his assessment of Trump’s vulgarity.

“Your mouth is the foulest shithole in the world. With what authority do you proclaim who’s welcome in America and who’s not. America’s greatness is built on diversity, or have you forgotten your immigrant background, Donald?” he said. 

The French gave a very French reaction.

Government spokesman Benjamin Grivaux told reporters after a Cabinet meeting that “silence” was preferable to any reaction in response to Trump’s vulgar comments. 

“We must keep a correct language especially when we speak about countries that sometimes suffered from bad weather, a great poverty and that are in a great distress.”

In Asia, there appeared to be some confusion over how exactly Trump’s reported comments should be translated for domestic audiences. 

According to a roundup published by the AFP news agency, Japan used the phrase “like toilets” for “shithole”; South Korea: “beggar’s den”; Vietnam: “rotten”; Taiwan: “birds don’t lay eggs”; China: “bad.” The Philippines (playing it safe) used “shithole.”