Trump’s “shithole” comment has continued to get reactions as 78 former United States Ambassadors who served in Africa wrote to the president to remind him about the continent’s great exploits and potentials.
In a joint statement, the ambassadors disclosed, “As American ambassadors abroad, we have seen Africa’s complex and rich cultures, awe-inspiring resilience, and breath-taking generosity and compassion.
“Even as some nations have faced challenges, we have counted among our contacts dynamic entrepreneurs, gifted artists, committed activists, passionate conservationists, and brilliant educators.
“We learned of novel solutions to complex problems, helped American companies find partners critical to their success, and counted on African military and intelligence officials who often assumed real risks to help achieve outcomes critical to our shared security.
“We know that respectful engagement with these countries is a vital part of protecting our own national interests. The United States of America is safer, healthier, more prosperous, and better equipped to solve problems that confront all of humanity when we work with, listen to, and learn from our African partners.
“We also know that the entire world is richer because of the contributions of Africans, including the many Americans of African descent.
“It was one of the greatest honours of our lives to represent the United States of America abroad. It was also a privilege to live in and learn from the diverse and spectacular countries of Africa.
“We hope that you will reassess your views on Africa and its citizens, and recognize the important contributions Africans and African Americans have made and continue to make to our country, our history, and the enduring bonds that will always link Africa and the United States.”
The statement came days after Mr. Trump reportedly derided Africa, Haiti and El Salvador in a meeting about immigration policy in the White House. Mr. Trump reportedly singled out Haiti, El Salvador and parts of Africa as “shithole countries” during the January 11 meeting.
Trump however, encouraged immigration from Norway and Asia, saying they help the country economically.
The president has denied this claim saying he is not a racist in a tweet.
“Never said anything derogatory about Haitians other than Haiti is, obviously, a very poor and troubled country. Never said “take them out.” Made up by Dems. I have a wonderful relationship with Haitians. Probably should record meetings – unfortunately, no trust!” Mr. Trump said.
Several African countries, including Ghana, Nigeria and South Africa, have protested the alleged comments by Mr. Trump and summoned the U.S. top diplomats in their countries.
Some of the 78 former ambassadors who signed the statement are listed as follows:
Mark L. Asquino – Equatorial Guinea
Shirley E. Barnes – Madagascar
William (Mark) Bellamy – Kenya
Eric D. Benjaminson – Gabon, Sao Tome and Principe
Michele Thoren Bond – Lesotho
Parker W. Borg – Mali
Aurelia E. Brazeal – Kenya, Ethiopia
Pamela Bridgewater – Benin, Ghana
Reuben E. Brigety II – African Union
Kenneth L. Brown – Ivory Coast, Ghana, Republic of the Congo
Steven A. Browning – Malawi, Uganda
Edward P. Brynn – Burkina Faso, Ghana
John Campbell – Nigeria
Katherine Canavan – Botswana
Timothy Carney – Sudan (among others)
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