Donald Trump‘s controversial “s**thole countries” remark that was directed at Haiti and countries in Africa comes on the eve of the former’s earthquake anniversary.
Struck by a 7.0 magnitude earthquake on January 12, 2010, an estimated three million people were affected by the quake in Haiti, with death toll estimates ranging from 100,000 to 160,000. The government of Haiti estimated that 250,000 residences and 30,000 commercial buildings had collapsed or were severely damaged as a result of the quake.
In 2017, the United Nations reported that 2.5 million Haitians were still in need of humanitarian aid, with U.N. Humanitarian Coordinator Mourad Wahba saying, “There are still about 55,000 people in camps and makeshift camps. Many are still living in unsanitary conditions due to displacement caused by the earthquake. We have a very long way to go.”
CNN correspondents Anderson Cooper and Don Lemon held Trump to task for his comment Thursday evening.
“The president of the United States is tired of so many black people coming into this country. Tired of immigrants from Haiti and Africa being allowed in,” Anderson said at the beginning of his segment. “Perhaps the White House feels the president’s remarks will be well-received in some parts of this country, among some parts of the president’s base, and perhaps that is true but it doesn’t make what he said any less ignorant or any less racist. Not racial. Not racially charged, racist. Let’s not pretend or dance around it. The sentiment the president expressed today is a racist sentiment.”
“The president of the United States is racist. A lot of us already knew that,” Lemon said during his segment. “Those comments are frankly disgusting. They’re not shocking. Not even really surprising, because this is who Donald Trump is. This is what he thinks.”
Trump denied making the “s**thole countries” comment Friday morning, taking to Twitter to write:
The language used by me at the DACA meeting was tough, but this was not the language used. What was really tough was the outlandish proposal made – a big setback for DACA!