State Sen. Linda Dorcena Forry, whose parents emigrated from Haiti, last week called reported remarks on immigration reform by President Donald Trump last week “a racist slur” directed at Haitians and people of African descent. She said she’d like to believe that Trump “represents the last gasp of a racist worldview that has been in retreat, here in America, since the fall of Jim Crow.”
The senator was reacting to news reports that at an Oval Office meeting with lawmakers last Thursday, Trump responded to a discussion about what to do with immigrants from Haiti, El Salvador and African countries by asking, “Why are we having all these people from shithole countries come here?”
Forry issued a statement calling on Americans to denounce the president’s comments and voicing disappointment that the country “saw fit to elect an ignorant, mean-spirited, white supremacist to the most powerful office in the world, adding, “I am really getting tired of having to do this.
“I have to express first how demoralizing and upsetting it is to have to register my outrage about hateful remarks made by my own president. And then to have to do it again. And again. The president’s words are ignorant and repulsive and an affront to decency and to history.”
In a tweet on Friday, Trump denied elements of the original story by the Washington Post. “Never said anything derogatory about Haitians other than Haiti is, obviously, a very poor and troubled country,” he posted. “Never said ‘take them out.’ Made up by Dems. I have a wonderful relationship with Haitians. Probably should record future meetings - unfortunately, no trust!”
Forry noted in her statement that Friday marked “a heart wrenching anniversary for Haiti, for our hemisphere and for all people,” a reference to Jan. 12, 2010, the day a catastrophic earthquake struck the Caribbean nation, devastating its infrastructure and, according to the Haitian government, killing more than 200,000 people.