President Donald Trump is being held accountable by citizens of the United States for recent racist comments spoken about Haiti and several African countries during an immigration meeting.
On Jan. 12, during a bipartisan White House meeting regarding United States immigration policies, President Trump reportedly referred to Haiti and some African countries with crude and explicit language as a way of expressing his desire to halt immigration from said locations. This alleged accusation has prompted John Brown University students to respond.
The response from students, however, is not one of shock or surprise. When asked what his initial response was, Jonathan Schultz, a junior communication major, said, “My first reaction is not one of surprise, unfortunately. [President Trump] has displayed time and again his immaturity in his position—that he thinks something like this and then just says it.”
Abigail Vining, a senior elementary education major, shared a similar feeling, “[President Trump is] probably doing good things I don’t know about—I’m not too involved—but it’s like, ‘wow, this guy has no tact.’”
Vining continued and said, “It just continues my uneasiness with him in general. I try to not have too many opinions about [him] because I don’t know everything but…It’s actually super scary if I were to really think about it. He’s saying things that are closer and closer to Hitler’s views. [These countries] may not be economically stable, but there are still people who live in them.”
Freshman Intercultural Studies major Kat Caldwell also sees the implications of such a statement. “To declare a country an [expletive implies] all of the people and cultures within that country [are the same]… [and] are not worthy of entering the U.S. As a country based on Christian morals, we should be inviting people into our country with hearts full of hospitality,” Caldwell said.
Caldwell also said, “It saddens me to hear that parts of our world are spoken of so poorly. God created this earth as a beautiful place and everyone as equals. To hear countries spoken of in such degrading ways is heartbreaking.”
When asked what this remark from President Trump communicated about his leadership, Vining said, “A lot of presidents are too politically correct and careful with what they say—and come off as having no opinions—Trump doesn’t care about that. But there are things as a leader that you have to stand for. He needs to represent the people and he doesn’t—he represents himself and his opinions.”
Schultz viewed President Trump’s leadership in a similar way. “He doesn’t care about his leadership or other people or places. He’s trying really hard to focus on the American people— ‘make American great again’—which is fine, but what does that actually mean? So far it means screw all other places,” Schultz said.
Schultz went on to share an example he felt explained all of this, and he said, “I heard this really funny quote from Chris Rock where he was talking about powerful leaders who have no regard for other countries and he basically just said, ‘God bless America and nowhere else.’”