Immigrants, politicians demand apology from Trump after ‘shithole’ comment

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Rev. Jesse Jackson condemns President Donald Trump Saturday for allegedly calling Haiti and other African nations “shithole” coutries. | Rachel Hinton / Sun-Times

Days after President Donald Trump referred to Haiti and a group of African nations as “shithole countries,” immigrants from those countries joined Rev. Jesse Jackson Jr. and other politicians to demand an apology Saturday.

“Mr. Trump has put a global shame on our nation,” Jackson said. “He is a global disgrace with a pattern of racist language and racist actions. If he were just an ordinary guy without power, we would say he has a problem, but since he has more power than any man in the world, we have a problem.”

The demand for an apology is the latest in a steady stream of push back to comments Trump made Thursday — in a tweet Friday, he denied using the term “shithole” but did say he used “tough” language. The African Union, which represents several of the continent’s countries, called for a retraction and apology Friday.

At the Rainbow PUSH Coalition headquarters Saturday, immigrants from Syria, Nigeria, Haiti, South Africa and other countries did the same – but also urged others to register to vote and demonstrate against the president.

U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush, D-Illinois, said President Donald Trump has “stooped to a new level” Saturday. | Rachel Hinton/Sun-Times

U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush, D-Illinois, said President Donald Trump has “stooped to a new level” Saturday. | Rachel Hinton/Sun-Times

U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush, Attorney General candidate Kwame Raoul and Cook County Board president candidate Bob Fioretti condemned the “ignorant and racist” remarks. Raoul, a state senator whose parents are Haitian immigrants, said Trump needed to “learn his history” about America and said Haiti “broke the shackles and started the freedom ball rolling in the Western hemisphere.”

Rush, who has sponsored articles of impeachment and plans to sponsor articles to censure the president, said Trump had “stooped to a new level” with his comments.

“The Congressional Black Caucus is sick of this madman,” the Chicago Democrat said. “He’s the most dangerous man in the world today and the most unstable leader in the world. Some of us are tired of being sick and tired of his racism and his antics and his ignorance of the world and the world’s peoples.”

Ewa Ewa, chairman of the African Political Action Committee and president of the Nigerian American Forum, said the comments were insulting. Instead of bringing people together, the president was dividing people on the basis of race.

“An individual who should be bringing people together has decided to divide us because of the color of our skin,” Ewa said. “We need to register to vote and demonstrate that what has happened over the past year doesn’t represent the character of America.”

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