Anger is the natural reaction when someone refers to a place that you love as a s---hole, and I was angry when Donald Trump referred to African countries as “s---holes” on Jan. 11.
My wife and I have been fortunate to live in two of the African continent’s 54 countries, and travel to many more. Africa is breathtaking, a place of beauty and strength, and the home of friends, colleagues and acquaintances who are warm and resilient.
In times of stress, my mind travels back to a beach outside Freetown, Sierra Leone, where a mangrove-lined river meets the sea. I remember my pulse pounding in Limpopo, South Africa, when we came across a cheetah that had just hunted down a wildebeest, and I draw inspiration from students in Bor, South Sudan, who valued education so much that, without a dorm, they slept in tents outside their university.
Labeling Africa a s---hole is plainly ignorant and racist. The people of Africa have no need to defend themselves or their countries. Ultimately, it is us in the United States that must explain how a man that represents the worst stereotypes of Americans — as stupid and misinformed — came to lead our great country.