Social Movements of Haiti and South Africa Respond to Trump’s Racist, Colonialist Comments

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By The Dawn News / January 17, 2018

Last week during a bipartisan meeting on immigration, the President of the United States Donald Trump, made extremely racist and derogatory comments about people from Haiti, El Salvador and African countries, “Why are we having all these people from shithole countries come here?”, and instead there should be more people coming from Norway and Asian countries who could help the country economically.

Though extremely inflammatory, the reality is that these atrocious comments are a direct reflection of the views that many residents and lawmakers of the United States have about immigration from the Global South. Whether Republican or Democrat the right to migrate freely from countries like Haiti, El Salvador, African countries and other Latin American and Caribbean countries, has been systematically denied and it is these Brown and Black immigrants who are targeted for detention and deportation.

Both parties also refuse to acknowledge their responsibility in hundreds of years (and continuing) of extraction of resources and forced labor, coup d’etats, interventions, military occupations, and the many other manifestations of colonialism and imperialism in these regions.

However, the masses, the social movements and the leftist organizations in these countries know this reality well, and understand that the inequality and hardship they suffer from is a product of capitalism and imperialism. The following is a declaration from Caribbean social movements and organizations about Trump’s comments and below that, a declaration from the South African Federation of Trade Unions -SAFTU-.

Declaration of Caribbean Peoples

(A declaration written by the people’s panafrican and socialist forces of the Caribbean nation Barbados in Bridgetown on Saturday January 13, 2018 and presented to the people and organizations of civil society of the Caribbean for their support and approval)

THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES DONALD TRUMP HAS BEEN DECLARED “PERSONA NO GRATA” IN THE CARIBBEAN

We, the undersigned sovereign Caribbean people, declare that the President of the United States of America Donald Trump is a “Persona No Grata” in our region of the Caribbean!

Additionally we declare that as “Persona No Grata” Presidente Donald Trump is NOT welcome in any territory of the Caribbean, and through this declaration we affirm that we the Caribbean people, will protest vehemently and we will take every measure necessary to avoid the entry of President Donald Trump to any part of the sovereign territory of our Caribbean region.

As sons and daughters of the Caribbean we affirm that the continent of Africa is our revered motherland, and the Republic of Haiti, the fundamental architect of the destruction of the system of slavery, as system that kept our ancestors enslaved, is the cornerstone of our Caribbean Civilization, as as such we consider that any insult or attack that is directed to the African Continent or to the Republic of Haiti is intrinsically an insult or attack that could also be directed at us.

We affirm that additionally us Caribbean people, in the light of our history of experimenting, resisting, and surviving the most horrendous forms of slavery and colonialism, we consider ourselves consciously champions and defenders of dignity and fundamental human rights of all Black and African peoples, and what guides us as a global and non-negotiable principle is of zero tolerance for any manifestation of racism or discrimination against Black people or African people.

It is in this context that we, the sovereign people of the Caribbean, have determined that by describing the nations of Africa, the Republic of Haiti and the Central American nation El Salvador as “shithole countries,” the President of the United States Donald Trump has committed a despicable and unforgivable act of anti-black, anti-african, and anti-moreno racism that has served to energize and strengthen even more the vile system of white supremacy that President Trump has consciously looked to defend and lead.

We, the sovereign Caribbean people, declare to the whole world that we vehemently and without reservations denounce President Donald Trump and the wicked and inhumane system of white supremacy that he represents.

 

SAFTU condemns Trump’s racist remark

Zwelinzima Vavi, SAFTU General Secretary, 12 January 2018

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 neoliberal 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!’

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