The South African Federation of Trade Unions vehemently condemns the vile, racist remarks allegedly made on 11 January 2018 by US President Donald Trump.
According to Associated Press (AP), the remarks were made at a White House meeting which was supposed to be discussing Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), a bipartisan deal on immigration policy presented by six senators, evenly split among Republicans and Democrats, that would extend protections against deportation for hundreds of thousands of young immigrants while also strengthening border protections.
Trump reportedly shocked those at the meeting by questioned why the US would want to admit more people from Haiti, El Salvador and Africa and why more people from “shithole countries” should be allowed into the US. He suggested that instead, the US should allow more entrants from countries like Norway.
The White House has not denied that this offensive statement was made‚ though Trump subsequently denied‚ in a tweet‚ that he used the word “shithole”. He blamed Democrats for their “intent on having people and drugs pour into our country” but conceded that his language had been “tough”.
Daily Show’s South African host Trevor Noah said. “I don’t know how to break this to you, but I think the president might be racist… Personally, as someone from South Sh*thole, I’m offended, Mr. President, because not only does he think brown countries are sh*tholes, he thinks we’re never going to know what he said? I mean, don’t get me wrong, it might take a few weeks, but once the news donkey reaches our village, we’ll be so mad.”
Botswana has already asked the United States government to clarify whether it too was regarded as “shithole” country after Trump used the profanity to describe Africa and Haiti.
While the precise form of words Trump used at the meeting may be contested, SAFTU is in no doubt that his views on immigration are racist and offensive.
He is condemning the people from countries which have for centuries been ruthlessly exploited by imperialist powers which have reduced them to poverty, through neopliberal economic policies dictated by US-based economic institutions – the World Bank and international Monetary Fund – which represent the interests of international monopoly capitalism.
We should also never forget that the USA’s economic power was originally built on slavery, the cruel exploitation of the people from these same ‘shithole’ African countries which Trump is now insulting. He is blaming these people for their poverty and economic problems all of which have were created first by slavery and European colonialism and more recently by his own imperialist capitalist class.
Trump’s disgusting and racist attempt to drive a wedge between workers from different parts of the world proves again how necessary it is to revive the famous socialist slogans of ‘Workers of the World Unite!’ and ‘United we Stand – Divided we Fall!’