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.

Jerry Kenney



(9) comments

Carlos Ponce

"Labeling Africa a s---hole is plainly ignorant and racist."
Did Trump say that? You really don't know!
There were several senators, one president and cabinet officials present at that meeting. All agree that strong language was used. ONLY ONE senator, Dick Durbin, insists that specific language was used. Senator Durbin is known for his lack of veracity. Do a web search. Senator Lindsey Graham told Senator Tim Scott that the allegation was "basically accurate" but never says that specific phrase was used.
See "Lindsey Graham: 'I said my piece' to Trump. But senator doesn't address 'sh*thole countries' comment "
Senator Tom Cotton and Senator David Perdue who were both at that meeting both say that phrase was not used by the president.
Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said "I don't recall him saying that exact phrase. I think he has been clear, and I would certainly say undoubtedly the President will use, continue to use strong language when it comes to this issue. He feels very passionate about it."
You may question Senator Dick Durbin's statement. You may question President Trump's denial. But based on what others at the meeting recall, I really don't think that specific phrase was used. Did President Trump use strong language in making his point on Merit Based Immigration? Yes, he probably did. Everybody agrees, even the president - but not that specific remark.
Was Jerry Kenney was equally concerned when President Obama referred to an African nation as a "Sh*t Show"? We all know the American media wasn't concerned at all. Leftist Snopes hems and haws around the allegation calling it "mostly" false but concludes "However, Obama used the term 'sh*t show' to refer to the escalating violence in Libya following Gaddafi’s death in 2011."

Jim Forsythe

Some people are able to praising and offend at the same. To suggest that people from Norway want to leave, is not true with most from Norway.  In 2014 ,8,652 people from the USA immigrated to Norway.

Trump may say he did not say it, but most the of the world thinks he did. Our standing with the rest of the world just slipped a little more. 
"Norwegians are baffled and discomfited to be the subject of President Donald Trump's backhanded compliment in his vulgar comments on immigrants from African nations and Haiti.
Trump spoke after a bilateral meeting with Norway's prime minister, asking why the U.S. would accept more immigrants from Haiti and "****hole countries" in Africa rather than places like Norway.
Henrik Heldahl, a commentator for the Amerikansk Politikk website, says the sentiment about Norway might have been welcomed without the rest of the statement. "But the way he said it guarantees that the reaction here will be very negative."
Hilde Restad, a university associate professor in international studies, says Trump has achieved the unlikely feat of praising Norway while still offending its citizens."

Flattery gone wrong.
"She says that "Norwegians in general have such a minority complex that as long as we are noticed we get very excited. But in general we are not wanting to be flattered by this U.S. president in this way."
Why would people from Norway way to immigrate to the USA?"Norway has a very high tax rate, the standard of living is noticeably higher than the U.S.. Norwegians (and those in many European countries) would give up way too much to permanently immigrate to the good 'ole USA"
The place rated as the best , is not the USA.
"Norway topped the United Nations’ World Happiness Report 2017 (the U.S. came in 14th), ranking highly in indicators including “caring, freedom, generosity, honesty, health, income and good governance.” It also took top spot on the Legatum Institute’s 2017 Prosperity Index, and in 2016, was ranked the best democracy in the world for the sixth time in a row by the Economist Intelligence Unit, a London-based consultancy. "

Cindy Price

I thought the president said the White House was a sh*thole. Oh wait. He said it was a dump.

Carlos Ponce

Don't worry, Cindy. After he moved in, Trump had it fixed up. Guess the last occupants didn't take care of it properly.[wink]
If you don't recall, the statement was said as the White House was undergoing renovations - "structural repairs to address a ceiling leak, HVAC work and repairs to the South Portico steps on the South Lawn. Additionally, renovations to the Navy Mess kitchen, the West Wing lower lobby, the IT system and generic cosmetic upgrades including fresh paint, carpet and curtains will be completed before his return later this month."
Have you ever lived in a house as it was being renovated? His description was hyperbole but the White House was a mess.
Also from CNN:
"A White House official confirms the East Wing will also undergo infrastructural improvements. All of the upcoming improvements were approved during the Obama administration following an initial round of renovations.
Around the White House grounds, there were early signs of the upcoming work on Friday. A dozen PODS storage units lined the West Executive Drive between the White House and the Eisenhower Executive Office Building -- starting Friday afternoon, since practically everything in the West Wing will be loaded into storage. A West Wing hallway normally filled with framed photographs of the administration was eerily empty, save for several nails in the wall. Boxes were set outside press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders' office.
Workers in neon vests began to dig up parts of the North Lawn."

Steve Fouga

Lost in the vulgarity is the very sound idea that a nation SHOULD use legal immigration to shape its demographics.

Not race, gender, or religious demographics, but skills. If the U.S. needs engineers, mathematicians, refinery workers or shrimpers, we should actively seek them. If the skilled workers wish to come from Haiti, Africa or Norway, we should encourage them. We should especially encourage students educated in the U.S. to settle here, as a return on our investment in those students.

Carlos Ponce

True Steve. While most of those present at Thursday's meeting used vulgarities what Trump insisted was Merit Based Immigration. There are jobs in this country that go unfilled and if those from other countries can fill them so be it. Why can't American born students fill them upon college graduation? They go after dead end college majors and graduate with non-marketable skills. And those with marketable skills also want to start at the "top". Not good.

Gary Miller

If true Trump's statement was accurate. Most African countries are s--- holes. Not the countryside but the governments and in some cases the people who tolerate those governments.

Randy Chapman

We don't need any more ignorant folks that can't feed themselves here. God knows we have enough homegrown folks that fit that bill. As stated before, immigration should aim to allow only the best of the applicants to wind up here. Sorry Dems, the U.S. is not the Worlds daycare.

Carroll Miles

I, too, lived in Africa.
It isn’t the land or the common people that make many of its countries S...holes. It is governmental corruption which creates a life of poverty where people are forced to live in ramshackle homes with no running water, electricity or plumbing.
And, in countries where resources of oil, gold, and diamonds abound.
I believe that is what President Trump is referring to, if he used that terminology.

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