It’s been another month of self-inflicted racial turmoil for President Donald Trump.
“I am not a racist,” Trump said while defending himself yet again. It’s become a familiar – and troubling – refrain.
During a recent meeting about immigration with congressional leaders, Trump reportedly asked why the U.S. admits people from “shithole countries” like Haiti and Africa. Trump also said the U.S. should allow more immigrants from Norway.
The White House denied the account and Trump spent a few days trying to convince Americans that he’s tolerant of immigrants of color.
But many people, including prominent congressional leaders, weren’t buying it.
House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said President Donald Trump’s controversial comments about certain “shithole” countries make clear that he is a “racist.”
Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.), a civil rights icon, called Trump a racist, and the Congressional Black Caucus is preparing a censure motion in response to the president’s remarks.
While meeting at The World Economic Summit in Davos, Switzerland, Trump sidestepped questions about his alleged “shithole countries” comment during a meeting with the Rwandan President Paul Kagame.
“We have trade with Rwanda. And just generally I would say great relationships,” Trump said while sitting next to Kagame.
But African leaders who were meeting in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia last week made it clear they have not forgotten Trump’s “shithole” comment – and they appear unforgiving.
Moussa Faki Mahamat, chairman of the African Union Commission, said Africa was angry with Trump.
“At the time of this session, Africa has yet to finish digesting the statements of the president of the United States which profoundly shocked with their messages conveying contempt, hate and desire to marginalize and exclude Africans,” he said.
The Trump administration – and Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson — is apologizing to Black journalist April Ryan after a top HUD official, Lynne Patton, called Ryan “Miss Piggy” in a now-deleted Tweet.
Armstrong Williams, a close friend of Carson, says Carson is “deeply disappointed.” Williams said Carson has reached out to Ryan to offer his apologies for Lynne Patton’s derogatory tweet. Ryan covers the White House for American Urban Radio Networks.
“I have known @AprilDRyan for 25 years. No one should be shamed and she has my profound apologies,” Williams tweeted Thursday. “I spoke with Dr. Carson and he was deeply disappointed by what occurred. He tried reaching out to April this morning, but wasn’t able to reach her. He offers his deepest apologies.”
Patton, who heads a HUD regional office, called her tweet “inexcusable,” saying she deeply regrets it.
“No one from this Administration contacted me. It was beneath me & I apologize to @AprilDRyan,” Patton wrote. “My parents raised me to respect others & I regret my response. I apologize to them, @SecretaryCarson & the Trump family. They deserved better.”
Meanwhile, Ryan told PEOPLE magazine the situation with Patton is “not resolved.”
“It’s not resolved, not at all,” Ryan said. “The things she said were terrible. She didn’t only talk about me, she talked about the company I worked for. All lies. It’s not over.”
“This is serious,” she added. “This is not a joke.”
Trump is being criticized for retweeting three racially inflammatory videos from a British far-right group that spews anti-Muslim rhetoric.
The videos depict Muslims assaulting people and smashing a statue of the Virgin Mary.
This is not the first time Trump has retweeted racist content on social media. Trump claims he will apologize for the tweets – and his defense, as always, was that he didn’t know the organization was racist.
“It was done because I am a big believer in fighting radical Islam terror, this was a depiction of radical Islamic terror,” Trump said in a recent television interview. “If you’re telling me they’re horrible people, horrible racist people I would certainly apologize if you would like me to do that. I am the least racist person that anybody is going to meet. Certainly I wasn’t endorsing anybody.”
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