Donald Trump is facing global backlash after calling African nations 'shithole countries'
The United Nations has condemned President Donald Trump's "racist" description of African nations and Haiti as "shithole countries," amid global outrage over the vulgar comments.
In a discussion with lawmakers on immigration, Trump reportedly asked why the U.S. should accept more immigrants from Haiti and "shithole rights office on Friday rejected his words as "racist" and inciting xenophobia.
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"These are shocking and shameful comments from the President of the United States. There is no other word one can use but 'racist'," U.N. human rights spokesman Rupert Colville told a Geneva news briefing when asked about the comments.
"You cannot dismiss entire countries and continents as 'shitholes', whose entire populations, who are not white, are therefore not welcome," he added. "It's about opening the door to humanity's worst side, about validating and encouraging racism and xenophobia that will potentially disrupt and destroy lives of many people."
Colville was not alone in condemning the vulgar comments. As Africans woke up to news of the president's words, much of the world had already weighed in.
The African Union continental body told The Associated Press it was "frankly alarmed" by the president's comments.
"Given the historical reality of how many Africans arrived in the United States as slaves, this statement flies in the face of all accepted behavior and practice," AU spokeswoman Ebba Kalondo said.
The comments put African leaders across the continent in an uncomfortable position.
As top recipients of U.S. aid, nations were weighed with the decision of how to respond diplomatically, especially with the Trump administration threatening to slash foreign assistance.
South Sudan government spokesman Ateny Wek Ateny told AP: "Unless it was specifically said about South Sudan, we have nothing to say."
South Africa's ruling African National Congress was quick to call the comments "extremely offensive," however.
Deputy secretary general Jesse Duarte said that while developing countries are facing difficulties, the U.S. itself has millions of people who are out of work or without healthcare.
Still, "we would not deign to make comments as derogatory," Duarte said.
Kenyan activist and award-winning photojournalist Boniface Mwangi tweeted out an image showing the word "racist" superimposed over the president's face, writing: "President @realDonaldTrump has called Africa a shithole. How America elected a narcissist, racist, white supremacist to be their president defies logic. Africa sends love and light to America.