News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Fri. Dec. 29, 2017: A US rights group is clapping back at Donald Trump over derogatory comments he allegedly made about Haitian immigrants.
President and CEO of the NAACP, Derrick Johnson, has slammed the US President over a New York Times report that claimed Donald Trump said that thousands of Haitians bound for the United States “all have AIDS.”
“The blatant racism and general disregard for the civil rights and liberties of people of color have not gone unnoticed,” Johnson said in a statement.
Trump reportedly made the crack about a group of 15,000 Haitians sent by that nation’s government to the United States earlier this year, according to The New York Times in a June meeting with then Secretary of Homeland Security, John Kelly, Domestic Policy Adviser, Stephen Miller, and other administration officials.
“Yet, again and again, President Trump and his administration have shown a lack of understanding of the entrepreneurial, economic, and cultural contributions of immigrants of color,” Johnson added. “By instituting policies that marginalize poor and working immigrants of color, the administration’s aim to architect an America that is Protestant, white, male and wealthy is clear, and we will not let this stand.”
The White House has slammed back, saying that the story is false. A statement called the reported remarks, “outrageous claims,” even as it created uproar in some quarters, including on social media.
Brian Krassenstein slammed Trump on Twitter, tweeting: “Hey Donald, do you know what country has the same rate of HIV AIDS cases as Haiti does???? Russia!” while Amy Siskind added: “This is the man who leads our country saying these outrageous things, not some drunk man clutching on to his whisky and a bar stool.”
And Time magazine points out the error of Trump’s alleged insult, which it said was likely inspired by Haiti having the most overall cases of HIV/AIDS in the Caribbean and Latin America.
The magazine says that while a team of international researchers concluded that HIV/AIDS spread to Haiti in the 1960s before it entered the United States and the rest of the world, as of 2016, only about 150,000 adults in Haiti are estimated to be living with HIV/AIDS, according to data from UNAIDS.
That’s just over 2 percent of Haiti’s population of more than 10.8 million people, with sex workers (8.4 percent HIV prevalence) and prisoners (4.3 percent HIV prevalence) among the most infected populations.