US President Donald Trump’s reported reference to Haiti and African nations as “shitholes” has sparked global outrage. But was it racist?
Charlton McIlwain, professor and dean at NYU, and Drew Liquerman of Republicans Overseas, offer contradicting opinions on the matter.
Yes, it was racist
Mr McIlwain: Yesterday, Donald Trump said African and Haitian immigrants hail from “shithole countries”. A little black girl and child of Haitian immigrants I know overheard. Unprompted, and defiant she responded to her mother: “Donald Trump is a shithole!” The word itself was foreign to her, but she intuitively understood the words were derogatory, demeaning – racist. In Trump’s words she recognised a constellation of associations and inferences that Trump drew on to make this so.
A statement is racist when it explicitly denigrates and/or asserts as true a negative,…