When President Trump referred to Haiti and a few African nation’s as “shithole countries,” the world was taken back. How could someone that callous be elected President of the United States? Even the GOP lawmakers that attended the meeting were shocked by what Trump said.
CNN’s Don Lemon wasted no time responding to Trump’s assertion that these predominately non-white countries are subpar compared to countries like Norway. Lemon claimed Trump’s comment is nothing short of racist and many agree.
What’s more, Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) also broke his silence on Friday when he responded to Trump’s remarks. Ryan told reporters that Trump’s remarks were “very unfortunate” and “unhelpful.” The Speaker went on to point out he his ancestors immigrated from Ireland and they also faced resistance when they came to America, so Ryan can relate to the immigrants that Trump is disparaging.
After Ryan heard about Trump’s remarks during the Oval Office meeting on immigration, Ryan told reporters, “The first thing that came to my mind was very unfortunate, unhelpful.” He then tied Trump’s attacks on immigrants back to his own personal story. “But you know what I thought of right away? I thought of my own family,” he said.
Ryan explained, “My family like a whole lot of people came from Ireland on what they called coffin ships and came here and worked the railroads.” Ryan reminded the audience, “the Irish were really looked down upon in those days.”
Ryan recounted stories he had heard growing up from his family about their journey. “I hear all these stories from my relatives about ‘Irish need not apply.’ [The Irish] could basically get constructions jobs, cops or firefighter jobs,” he said.
Fast-forward to several generations later and the great-grandson of an immigrant is the Speaker of the House. It truly is an incredible story. What’s more, Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), who attended the meeting confirmed that Trump did, in fact, make the “hateful” comments about immigrants. How sad is it that we have a president that lacks compassion for humanity?