President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with President Sauli Niinistö of Finland at the White House in Washington, DC, on August 28, 2017.

The slur heard round the world: Lawmakers, nations and much of the American public are condemning the news that President Donald Trump disparaged African nations as “shithole countries” and questioned why the U.S. would want to admit immigrants from Haiti. The President is denying the reports of his language but Senator Dick Durbin stands by his account of yesterday’s meeting. In this half hour of Forum, we get your reaction to this latest news.

President Trump Denies Using Vulgar Slur to Describe African Nations 12 January,2018Mina Kim

  • Kurt thialfad

    We should never accept immigrants from any country not willing to take any back as deportees. That is nonsense.
    Also. any DACA deal should end automatic birth citizenship and prosecute the parents for their border violations.

    • David

      Why? Suppose a Christian immigrates from a country intolerant of Christians, where that country would not take back any Christian who has left. Should we not accept that Christian?

      • Sar Wash

        This would fall under the refugee system (persecution on the basis of religion is a reason to grant asylum), not the immigration system. A valid question though for both systems.

    • David

      I concur on the auto-citizenship by birth as well as prosecution of parents. The parents are at fault, whatever their motivations. We need a fair system and we need to enforce it.

    • Bill_Woods

      “… end automatic birth citizenship”

      That would require very creative reinterpretation of the 14th Amendment: “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.”
      In short, it’s not happening.

      • David

        Absent an amendment, yes, but amendments do happen.

        • Kurt thialfad

          Put the question as a referendum, and let the people decide, as they did in Ireland in 2005.

      • Kurt thialfad

        Well, Bill I can find 3 qualifications to your quotation from the 14th Amendment text;
        1) the parents have to be subject to US jurisdiction. But that would exclude diplomats and consular staff who have diplomatic immunity.
        2) the parents have to reside in a state. Does that mean they need to legally reside?
        3) does the phase ‘All persons born’ refer to the past tense? Was this applicable to persons who had already been born in 1868 (like an amnesty), or applicable to those born going forward?

      • Curious

        Not so.

        “Clear” would be: All persons born in the United States are citizens.

        What the amendment actually says is: “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside.”

        The framers of the 14th Amendment weren’t putting a secret trap door in the Constitution for fun. The “jurisdiction thereof” and “state wherein they reside” language means something.

        The cases in the first few decades following the adoption of the 14th Amendment leave the strong impression that it had something to do with freed slaves, and freed slaves alone:

        — Supreme Court opinion in the Slaughterhouse cases (1873):

        “(N)o one can fail to be impressed with the one pervading purpose found in (the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments), lying at the foundation of each, and without which none of them would have been even suggested; we mean the freedom of the slave race, the security and firm establishment of that freedom, and the protection of the newly-made freeman and citizen from the oppressions of those who had formerly exercised unlimited dominion over him.”

        — Supreme Court opinion in Ex Parte Virginia (1879):

        “[The 14th Amendment was] primarily designed to give freedom to persons of the African race, prevent their future enslavement, make them citizens, prevent discriminating State legislation against their rights as freemen, and secure to them the ballot.”

        — Supreme Court opinion in Strauder v. West Virginia (1880):

        “The 14th Amendment was framed and adopted … to assure to the colored race the enjoyment of all the civil rights that, under the law, are enjoyed by white persons, and to give to that race the protection of the general government in that enjoyment whenever it should be denied by the States.”

        — Supreme Court opinion in Neal v. Delaware (1880) (majority opinion written by Justice John Marshall Harlan, who was the only dissenting vote in Plessy v. Ferguson):

        “The right secured to the colored man under the 14th Amendment and the civil rights laws is that he shall not be discriminated against solely on account of his race or color.”

        — Supreme Court opinion in Elk v. Wilkins (1884):

        “The main object of the opening sentence of the 14th Amendment was … to put it beyond doubt that all persons, white or black, and whether formerly slaves or not, born or naturalized in the United States, and owing no allegiance to any alien power, should be citizens of the United States … The evident meaning of (the words, “and subject to the jurisdiction thereof”) is, not merely subject in some respect or degree to the jurisdiction of the United States, but completely subject to their political jurisdiction, and owing them direct and immediate allegiance. … Persons not thus subject to the jurisdiction of the United States at the time of birth cannot become so afterward, except by being naturalized …”

        One has to leap forward 200 years from “the founding of the republic” to find the first claim that kids born to illegal immigrants are citizens: To wit, in dicta (irrelevant chitchat) by Justice William Brennan, slipped into the footnote of a 5-4 decision in 1982.

        • Another Mike

          The law that people born in a certain country, are citizens of that country, is the universal rule in the Western Hemisphere – ius soli. That is why Ted Cruz was born Canadian, and John McCain was born Panamanian (Panama retained sovereignty over the Canal Zone).

          The dancing around the citizenship cited above covers two issues. One of which is that the children of foreign diplomats, military, etc. will not become citizens even if they were born here. The other is that the children of Indians (“Indians not taxed”) are members of sovereign nations that happen to be resident on our soil. Not till the 1920s did every American Indian gain the right to vote.

          The first case testing birthright citizen ship was the New York case of Julia Lynch (1844), years before the 14th Amendment. Julia’s parents had sojourned in NY for a few months around Julia’s birth in 1819, before returning to Ireland. Julia, an orphan, returned to the US with an uncle in 1834. Another uncle, in the US, died, leaving her a fortune, but she had to be a citizen to inherit.

          The court held that having been born here conferred citizenship on her, which she could not have lost by going to Ireland with her parents.

      • Curious

        During Congressional debate of the Citizenship Clause it was made clear that the drafters did not intend automatic birthright citizenship for all persons born in the U.S. Senator Jacob Howard, a drafter of the 14th Amendment, in floor debate said of the Clause:

        “This will not, of course, include persons born in the United States who are foreigners, aliens, who belong to the families of ambassadors or foreign ministers accredited to the Government of the United States, but will include every other class of persons.”

        Senator Howard also made clear that simply being born in the U.S. was not enough to be a citizen when he opposed an amendment to specifically exclude Native Americans from the Citizenship Clause. He said, “Indians born within the limits of the United States and who maintain their tribal relations, are not, in the sense of this amendment, born subject to the jurisdiction of the United States.”

        Notice the reasoning deployed, Native Americans maintain their tribal relations so they are not “subject to the jurisdiction thereof.” Senator Edgar Cowan said, “It is perfectly clear that the mere fact that a man is born in the country has not heretofore entitled him to the right to exercise political power.”

        Senator Lyman Trumbull said:

        “The provision is, that ‘all persons born in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens. That means, “subject to the complete jurisdiction thereof.”

        He further elaborated, “What do we mean by subject to the jurisdiction of the United States? Not owing allegiance to anybody else.”

        There was still more discussion of the language by Senator Reverdy Johnson. He said:

        “Now, all that this amendment provides is, that all persons born in the United States and not subject to some foreign Power for that, no doubt, is the meaning of the committee who have brought the matter before us, shall be considered as citizens of the United States.”

        • Tom Scott

          Amazing ability to copy and paste. Good scholarship there, “Curious.”

          • Curious

            And another great contribution from you.

      • Sar Wash

        Yes, it probably would require a Constitutional amendment. All the more reason we need swift and immediate deportation for any illegal alien who overstays a visa by even a single day or invades the country. All the more reason that we need to block invading aliens before they enter the country and aggressively deport all alien parents/ relatives who breed anchor babies.

    • Sar Wash

      It probably would require a Constitutional amendment. All the more reason we need swift and immediate deportation for any illegal alien who overstays a visa by even a single day or otherwise invades the country. All the more reason that we need to block invading aliens before they enter the country and aggressively deport all alien parents/ relatives who breed anchor babies.

      • Kurt thialfad

        We already have a Constitutional Amendment.

  • IsernHinnerk

    Some things never (seem to) change. At one time, Trump’s ancestral land (Germany) was considered a “shithole country” by American xenophobic anti-immigrant ‘nativists’.

    • Curious

      What about Barry’s “ancestral land”?

      • Brux

        Hawaii, or England?

    • Another Mike

      When Republicans enacted immigration quotas in the mid-1920s, the largest quota was given to Germany, substantially larger than the one assigned to Great Britain and Northern Ireland. German immigrants were wanted then, as much as Norwegians are today.

  • Alo Moj

    He said he can be “presidential”. He cannot. Character is destiny.

    • Curious

      “especially if you are completely unwilling to learn and think you are a “genius””

      Like Barry?

      • pastramiboy

        except that”Barry” is actually smart.

  • John Henry

    Qui tacet consentire videtur, ubi loqui debuit ac potuit (He who is silent, when he ought to have spoken and was able to, is taken to agree). — Latin proverb Said differently, the Republican’s silence on this clearly racists are all now de fecto racists. The GOPs very stable genius corrupts anything and everyone he touches.

    • Curious

      Uh, no it shows that one country has been successful the other is a shithole.

  • jdoubleu

    Google “S’hole & Tenderloin.” Millions of people use that word. It’s hypocrisy for people to pretend to be shocked. You don’t have to leave California to find S’holes. Putting $10,000 boulders on Cesar Chavez (in a Sanctuary City) doesn’t fix the problem. THE QUESTION IS: with 7.5 Billion people on the planet, what is the U.S. immigration policy for the future? At least 2 billion people would move here tomorrow. Who will we let in? Only people with degrees for the tech companies? Only the millionaires from China buying condos in downtown SF? We do need to have this discussion. The U.S. population has doubled since WWII ended. Do we have open borders, or do we have a government that sets a policy for the future?

    • chriswinter

      You should ask Trump and his sons, since they routinely hire foreign workers on H2A visas for their businesses.

    • Sar Wash

      Not that trump actually cares either way about policy, except to the extent that it brings him attention and wealth, but I wonder if his use of such hateful/ crass language will backfire in terms of improving American immigration policy. Yes, the trumpist base loves politically incorrect and, yes, racist language. However, for moderates and liberals who would otherwise agree that we do need to eliminate illegal invasion and reduce legal immigration, does the perception of bigotry, ignorance, meanness, and racism make it LESS likely that they would support improved border security?

  • John Henry

    Qui tacet consentire videtur, ubi loqui debuit ac potuit (He who is silent, when he ought to have spoken and was able to, is taken to agree). — Latin proverb Said differently, the Republican’s silence on this clearly demonstrates that they are all now de fecto racists. The GOPs very stable genius corrupts anything and everyone he touches.

    • Curious

      “de fecto racists”

      LOL! Great work, Virgil!

  • Skip Conrad

    Is racism a crime, or illegal? In this country we have nudists, fascists, 7th day adventists, communists, fundamentalists, scientists, and racists. The country is a big tent. Get over it.
    Quoting your previous guest, she said “… the republican party and other racists” !?
    And Anderson Cooper stated that “Trump meant that the US doesn’t want black people”. Is Anderson a mind-reader? How does he know what Trump meant?
    The republican party doesn’t react because this is stupid. The whole controversy is stupid. The GOP doesn’t comment about stupid issues. They are smarter than that.

    • John Henry

      Talk about defining deficiency down…He’s the President of the United States for heaven’s sake!

    • Alo Moj

      The Republican party does not react because it is inconvenient for them that Trump is so blatently racist while they are quietly (but just as effectively) racist. Anybody who is Republican and not racist: this is your moment to step forward.

      • Skip Conrad

        Actually, I have no idea why the republican party doesn’t react. Unlike Cooper and others, I have no clue what Trump meant.

    • Alo Moj

      Did you really just compare “racist” to “scientist”?

      • Skip Conrad

        It’s not a comparison.

        • Alo Moj

          The country is a big tent, fine. Certain “…ists” should have no place though: racists, rapists, fascists come to mind. A country needs to have values and a vision or it is morally bankrupt.

          • Curious

            A country needs to have borders.

          • Sar Wash

            Obviously racists and fascists have the same rights as any other American. People are free to believe and speak as they want, as long as they do not discriminate against or hurt another person or limit another person’s freedom. Rapists should be in prison for life. There is a difference between thought/ speech/ belief/ prejudice and discrimination/ action. Everyone has a right to hate people on the basis of race or religion; no one has a right to discriminate based on their beliefs.

          • Skip Conrad

            Rape is a crime. And I didn’t mention rapists – in our big tent.

    • Sar Wash

      Racism is not a crime, although certainly it can be grounds for dismissal from a job and certainly it should preclude one from being president or in another powerful position. It is definitely not illegal (no belief or ideology is); it is unquestionably immoral, destructive, and inaccurate. Still, why does the president use such vulgar and blatantly inflammatory speech? Would it not serve him better to say that he supports merit-based immigration and opposes chain migration without impugning an entire nation or continent (regardless of race)?

  • Tom Scott

    For those saying this recent comment wasn’t racist are ignoring his history of racist comments (see “birtherism” for starters). Racists hate to be called racists. Tough, Trump is a racist.

    • Curious

      How was “birtherism” racist?

      • Tom Scott

        It’s pretty self evident.

        • Curious

          Actually, not at all.

          • Tom Scott

            I’m not here to educate you. Sorry, “Curious.”

          • Curious

            Got nothing, huh? Typical.

          • Tom Scott

            Nothing for you, cowboy.

  • ELZ

    Haiti is a shithole country. What is the problem with that? I was from the Philippines and I have always call the Philippines a shithole. If Haiti was not a shithole, why Haitians want to come here and don’t want to leave.

    • Brux

      I suppose you have a point, there are shithole countries, but what good does it do in THE professional context to use language like that?

      Further, what does Trump, the Republicans, the Democrats and business and the majority of Americans really think about all this immigration – legal or illegal.

      Sure, it is nice for some of us to have people who will work for a reasonable amount to garden, handyman or work like slaves, but what are the results to the country, and why doesn’t anyone seem to care, moreover why are they disingenuous liars about. Trump used and benefitted from cheap foreign labor he still abused, and when he had to employ Americans he stiffed them anyway.

      Why is it we have a system that forces all of us to promote and reward the most criminal among us with the Presidency.

      Also, to Norway, America is a shithole country with no soul and just unrelenting hate. Why do they get to choose to live in a nice non-shithole country while the likes of Trump is completely dedicated to making us worse?

      • ELZ

        To me, America is not a sh*thole country. There are definitely sh*thole places like Detroit, Baltimore, and Appalachia. Americans are enterprising, respecting law and order, despising corruption (at least among most people), and admiring success. You are probably taking these for granted. For someone from a sh*thole country with rampant oppression, poverty, corruption, and despair, I feel privileged to come and settle here legally, because of my skills. We just can’t take any people who want to come here. If you are so generous, why not take the 103 millions Filipinos or 1.3 billion Indians?

  • ELZ

    If Haiti is not a shithole, then they should boycott and put sanctions on the US.

  • Nikolai

    This segment is a disgrace for NPR, hopefully can be a reason to remove Mina Kim from “Forum”. for years NPR in general and Forum under Mr. Krasnyi specifically was a bastion of balanced journalism, discussing important issues, representing different, often opposite political views with great respect. This segment is a negation of all of the above! It should be titled “Tell us how you hate Mr. Trump, and if you are not, than you are racist!”. It could be expected to hear this stuff from “Rado Pacifica” or other alt-left media, but not at NPR..

    After past two years everyone is quite aware about Mr. Tramp believes. In fact, he demonstrated quite of integrity of his personality for bad or for good. People who believe that he is racist by now have plenty of confirmations, as well as people who may believe differently. This Forum is a sad example of Orwellian “five minute of hate”. I hope Mr Krasny would never allow or approve this type of Forum. Perhaps he should look for better apprentice for his respected program.

    • Alo Moj

      The president’s comments were a disgrace. There can’t be a balanced discussion when the facts are this unbalanced.

      • ELZ

        It is not. I am not white but I support him.

      • Nikolai

        So I respect your opinion. Believe it or not, I am not Trump supporter either. However half of the country seems to disagree.
        My point is that NPR stands for “National Public Radio”. Making a program that explicitly call half of the Nation racists is not a right thing to do. And doing this was the sole purpose of this Forum. Pity.

        • Brux

          Most Americans want manageable immigration. I don’t see a problem with that until Trump and Republicans make a point to go out of their way to provoke people with ugly and racist comments.

  • John

    Trump is a racist psychopath.

    • Curious

      Trump is your president.

      • ELZ

        For the next 7 years.

        • pastramiboy

          not.

      • pastramiboy

        only by law. like Barack Obama was yours.

    • Nikolai

      calling names was the way to loose election. Democrats should note by now

  • Robert Thomas

    res ipsa loquitur

  • Curious

    In pushing for the 1965 Immigration and Nationality Act, Ted Kennedy said:

    “First, our cities will not be flooded with a million immigrants annually. Under the proposed bill, the present level of immigration remains substantially the same…

    Secondly, the ethnic mix of this country will not be upset… Contrary to the charges in some quarters, [the bill] will not inundate America with immigrants from any one country or area, or the most populated and deprived nations of Africa and Asia…

    In the final analysis, the ethnic pattern of immigration under the proposed measure is not expected to change as sharply as the critics seem to think… The bill will not flood our cities with immigrants. It will not upset the ethnic mix of our society. It will not relax the standards of admission. It will not cause American workers to lose their jobs.”

    What liars those on the left are.

  • Curious

    Remember how the MSM was outraged when Obama referred to Libya in the same way? Oh, wait….

    • Brux

      Obama referred to Libya as a shithole … somehow I doubt it.

  • Mason Gibb

    No offense meant to Haitians, which have a rich cultural history and deserve respect and admiration for being the most successful slave revolution in the Western hemisphere. But, unfortunately, the focus of NPR’s reporting on Haiti would lead everyone to assume that–indeed–Haiti is a shithole. From NPR’s reporting in July 2017 about Haiti’s on-going issues with sewage treatment:
    “For nine months, nothing was built at the Titanyen sewage treatment plant. In that time, disease surveillance data suggests more than 2,500 people died of cholera in Haiti. Without a safe dumping site open, DINEPA data suggests more than 100,000 cubic meters of raw sewage was dumped elsewhere in and around the city.”
    “Without a sewage system to divert waste out of clogged canals, the Good Friday rainstorm filled the streets and alleys of Project Drouillard with 3 feet of raw sewage.Residents blamed the flood on poorly excavated canals and on the waste dumped by rich people who live on higher ground. Both are undoubtedly true, but the waste clogging the canal also came from right there in Project Drouillard. Scattered throughout the neighborhood are sets of cinder block pit latrines, most of which are filled to the top with waste.”
    https://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2017/07/29/537945957/you-probably-dont-want-to-know-about-haitis-sewage-problems

    If there was better reporting on Haiti, from the unique culture and history of the Haitian people, to the incompetent operation of international agencies and NGOs in Haiti (like the Clinton Foundation and the UN), perhaps there would be more knowledge of Haiti and some context to its problems. Perhaps some empathy. And it would be harder to dismiss an advanced country’s responsibility to assist people in need by reducing foreign countries to shitholes.

  • MrRFox

    Folks don’t risk their lives to run away from the places of their birth unless those places are the kinds of places Trump described – you don’t run away from Paradise, do ya’?

    And just how did those places become those kinds of places – was it God that made them that way? IDTS – those places are what they are because the inhabitants, and no one else, made them into that. And having turned their own countries into charnel houses and garbage dumps, … why would any other country want to give them the opportunity to work that same magic elsewhere?

    Trump’s candor will earn him a lot of grief from talking-heads … and a lot of votes next time out.

    • Mason Gibb

      Today’s shitholes were generally the outhouses of colonial and imperialist policy. Just look at American involvement in Haiti over the years, and it seems likely the country continues to experience a sewage treatment problem because of very ineffective foreign intervention. It reached a crisis point–the cholera outbreak–because cholera was introduced by UN workers. The standard of living in the developing world is related not merely to the activities of its inhabitants and the capriciousness of natural disasters, but are also attributable to the foreign policies of other nations, the exploitative behavior of transnational corporations, and the competence or incompetence of NGOs

      • MrRFox

        It wasn’t NGOs, natural disasters and/or trans-national corporations that made Singapore a success … and Haiti a place where folks will risk death to GTFO of.

        • Mason Gibb

          You don’t think Singapore’s success had something to do with the Cold War and Sino-Soviet-American strategy in Southeast Asia?
          The foreign policy of other nations first impoverished Haiti (payments to France). More recently, America has backed corrupt politicians and organized corrupt elections in the country for a couple generations.

          • Another Mike

            In the 1950s, the West feared that ethnic Chinese would transmit Communism everywhere they had put down roots, especially Malaya. Singapore was a socialist dictatorship — not an obvious candidate for success.

      • Another Mike

        Just look at the comparative success of the Dominican Republic, which actually shares an island with Haiti, if you want to see what’s wrong with Haiti.

    • Brux

      European imperialism has a lot to do with why some countries, and the people in them are in such a mess.

  • Read Stars

    You know politicians are great! Why? Becuase they read books, lots books. We have so huge amount of books but we don’t have enough time to read them at all… I found Book Club which helps you to read bestseller books review and summaries. http://book-review-summaries.com You might read a book during 20-30 minutes and get a full picture and its main ideas. You can read 5-6 books during one week instead of reading just one during a month. Plus that I think It has a huge advantage that you don’t have to pay for it at all. (disclaimer it is not advertisement

    • Brux

      Cool, do they have anything on “The Wrecking Crew” by Thomas Frank … is so I would recommend you jump on it. I totally agree with you there are too many books that have simple ideas but they take hours to read, and lots of dollars as well. The authors are part of the problem making a lot of money off this inefficient way to communicated news and ideas … they live off the dysfuction, so why would they really want to stop it. it is the ideas that are key and important, and that is why I point out that book, it is very important to understand these ideas, and see how they work, or rather do not work.

Host

Mina Kim

Mina Kim is KQED News’ evening anchor and the Friday host of Forum. She reports on a wide range of issues affecting the Bay Area and interviews newsmakers, local leaders and innovators.

Mina started her career in public radio at KQED as an intern with Pacific Time. When the station began expanding its local news coverage in 2010, she became a general assignment reporter, then health reporter for The California Report. Mina’s award-winning stories have included on-the-scene reporting of the 2014 Napa earthquake and a series on gun violence in Oakland.

Her work has been recognized by the Radio Television Digital News Association, the Society of Professional Journalists and the Asian American Journalists Association.

Mina grew up in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Oak Park, CA. She lives in Napa.

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