Is the president required to remain respectful towards other countries?

Democrats, Republicans, and independents usually are in agreement over the fact that a president should be dependable, trustworthy, and professional. However, in recent years, Republicans seem to have thrown these values to the wind.

Allegedly, President Donald Trump, in a meeting with lawmakers over immigration reform, referred to places like Haiti as “s—hole countries” and that he wished there were more immigrants from Norway. Trump and other Republicans have denied he has said this, but more and more lawmakers are coming forward claiming that these accusations are true.

Conservatives have been quick to come to Trump’s defense, either saying that Trump did not say the phrase “s—hole countries,” or claiming that the phrase is accurate. An explosion of racist sentiment and memes regarding Haiti and immigrants from African countries has followed in the wake of Trump’s statement.

This is concerning that such a racist and derogatory statement has been spoken by the highest authority in America. Typically such language would be attributed to a far right eccentric such as the infamous Alex Jones, but to hear it pass from the lips of the leader of the United States is terrifying.

In a recent speech, Vice President Mike Pence said, “I know what is in the president’s heart…. I know what President Trump wants to do is reform immigration to make our system one that puts America first”.

This is worrying; the phrase “America first” echoes back to the America First movement of the 1940s, a strongly pro-nationalist and pro-Nazi movement.

Bryce Marcum, senior, said, “Ultimately that is a very rude thing to say… when you refer to another country like that, it makes our country look like a s—hole.” However, Bryce also said, “I do not think it was racist, I think it was purely economically [sic]…. We have a very egotistical president.”

There has been much debate about whether or not Trump actually called Haiti a s—hole, a s—house, or did not refer to it derogatorily at all. However, the main takeaway from this event should not be that Trump called a country a s—hole; it should be that he prefers immigrants from a primarily white country over those from poorer, primarily non-white countries.

Trump is no stranger to racism, despite claiming he is, “the least racist person you will ever meet.” In both 1973 and 1978, Trump has been charged with housing discrimination charges by providing better housing for white people than black people, and has stated that he believes educated black people have an advantage over white people. According to former Trump hotel employee John R. O’Donnel, Trump has said that “laziness is a trait in blacks” and that “the only people I want counting my money are short guys that wear yarmulkes every day”.

Though many have criticized Trump for his comments, the Ugandan president Yoweri Musevani has complimented his candor, tweeting, “Donald Trump speaks to Africans frankly. Africans need to solve their problems….”

On Jan. 15, protesters largely of Haitian ancestry marched in Mara Lago over Trump’s derogatory words, demanding an apology. There was a small counterprotest of a dozen or so Trump supporters, but they were brushed aside by the nearly 400 protesters, according to My Palm Beach Post.

Is the president required to remain respectful towards other countries? Is the president racist for preferring immigrants from an 80% white country to those from Haiti?

In my opinion, the answer to both these questions is a definite yes.