From Norway to Haiti, Trump’s comments stir outrage

OSLO — It was already past midnight Friday when the news arrived in Norway: President Trump told members of Congress that the United States needed more immigrants from places like Norway and fewer immigrants from countries like Haiti.

Many in this prosperous Scandinavian country were already asleep, but several prominent Norwegians who were still online took to Twitter to vent their outrage and disgust, not only at Trump’s vulgar language but at what many saw as a racially tinged insult.

“The real White House: Trump calls Haiti and African countries ‘shithole’ countries to the face of members of Congress, and uses Norway to prove his racism,” wrote Andreas Wiese, a newspaper commentator who manages a cultural center in Oslo.


The remarks were widely seen in the Norwegian capital as racially charged and at odds with the country’s values of inclusivity.

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“It falls into a pattern of nativist and very unpleasant language from a poorly qualified president, if not worse,’’ said Helge Ogrim, a journalist who formerly covered the United States for the Norwegian News Agency. “President Trump seems to relish derogatory remarks about others and praise for himself.’’

In Haiti, President Jovenel Moise’s government issued a strongly worded statement denouncing what it called a ‘‘racist’’ view of Haitian immigrants and people from African countries.

‘‘The Haitian government condemns in the strongest terms these abhorrent and obnoxious remarks which, if proven, reflect a totally erroneous and racist view of the Haitian community and its contribution to the United States,’’ it said.

Paul G. Altidor, Haiti’s ambassador to the United States, said Haitian officials “vehemently condemn” Trump’s comments, which he said were based on stereotypes. “Either the president has been misinformed or he is miseducated,” he said on “PBS NewsHour.’’


“Haitians fought along US soldiers in the Revolutionary War, and we continue to be great contributors to American society,” Altidor added. He said Haiti’s government had summoned a US official to explain Trump’s remarks.

Raoul Peck, a Haitian filmmaker and former minister of culture, accused Republican lawmakers and Trump voters of “protecting even his most outrageous behaviors,” saying that if they do not “stand up to this sickening and suicidal pathology, they will go down in history as not only accomplices, but as James Baldwin would say, as criminals.”

The African Union said Trump’s statement “flies in the face of all accepted behavior and practice,’’ the Associated Press reported.

On Twitter, President Macky Sall of Senegal wrote: “I am shocked by President Trump’s comments on Haiti and Africa. I reject them and condemn them vigorously.’’

Botswana’s government issued a statement calling the president’s remark “highly irresponsible, reprehensible, and racist.”