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President Trump: the least racist person ever. Or is he?

Saarim Damani

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President Donald Trump made a remark about African nations calling them “sh**hole countries” in a meeting with lawmakers on immigration, Monday, Jan 11th, 2018. The statement triggered international outrage particularly amongst the African Nations. African leaders are discarding Trump’s denials that he used gutter language, and a media review shows there is an emerging consensus among these leaders that he is a flat-out racist.

Nigeria’s foreign minister has reached out to American diplomats to address the President’s comments, characterizing them as “deeply hurtful, offensive and unacceptable.” The UN human rights spokesman, Rupert Colville, also condemned the comment, calling it “shocking and shameful.” Unfortunately, this is not the first time the President has made comments considered to be disparaging to ethnic and racial groups. In 2015, he claimed that Mexican immigrants were rapists, banned Muslims from entering the US and in 2017 he referred to Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren as Pocahontas.

In response to Trump’s remarks, Republicans like Sen. David Perdue, Sen. Tom Cotton and Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen have denied that the comments were made in the first place. Though some Republicans who attended the meeting said his comments were unacceptable, the majority have been silent. The Republicans that have spoken out have offered vague, confusing and even contradictory explanations of what happened.

So, what’s going on? Why can’t Republicans get their stories straight about whether or not President Trump belittled entire countries with just a single comment? Obviously, they have their own political calculations by sticking close to the President. It is unreasonable to believe that the President didn’t make such comments knowing his previous behaviors and his stances on marginalized groups. The President himself openly denied his remarks by tweeting on Monday “Senator Dicky Durbin totally misrepresented what was said at the DACA meeting. Deals can’t get made when there is no trust! Durbin blew DACA and is hurting our Military.”

During an interview in Florida, President Trump stated “No, no, I’m not a racist. I am the least racist person you have ever interviewed, that I can tell you.” Former African American Engagement Director for the Democratic National Committee, Dejuana Thompson, claimed “I can’t speak to his personal belief system but I think that he believes that and that’s the problem. Even in believing he is not racist, he allows himself to use such damaging language.”

Great power comes with great responsibility. Our president’s behaviour makes me think otherwise because I believe that he does not take responsibility for his words and, more significantly, for the consequences it may have or might have caused already. Conclusively, Trump’s extremist comments can lead to a world full of hatred. He needs to understand the definition of racism and the people he is influencing and affecting with his actions. There are other things at stake for the American community, hence, we need to create an interconnected world regardless of each other’s differences rather than create barriers which limit all races around the world.

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President Trump: the least racist person ever. Or is he?