People Are Sharing Why Their Countries Don't Deserve What Trump Said About Them
Twitter was alit with inspiring stories on Friday, Jan. 12 as users threw comments reportedly made by President Donald Trump back in his face. These tweets by immigrants Trump dissed show the positive side of the countries — and people — he threw under the bus. The tweets come on the heels of a reported inflammatory quote by the president in reference to young immigrants as "people from sh*thole countries."
Trump's comments came amid an Oval Office meeting with lawmakers on Thursday to discuss the future of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program (DACA), which protects young immigrants brought to the country as children from deportation while allowing them to live and work legally, according to The Washington Post. Back in September, Trump gave Congress a six-month window to reach an agreement before the program would be terminated, giving them until March to seal the fates of some 700,000 undocumented immigrants.
While some people like Tomi Lahren defended the president's "sh*thole" remark (let the glorious trolling commence), others took the high road and offered their own positive accounts of the countries Trump demeaned.
Users took to Twitter to counter the "sh*thole" image Trump had given.
AJ+'s Ahmed Shihab-Eldin's simple message cut down Trump's comments in short order. "My sh*thole country is beautiful and so is yours too," he tweeted.
"I'm the proud daughter of immigrants from British Guyana and the Congo. My immigrant family — my cousins, aunts, uncles and my husband's Jamaican family — have contributed MIGHTILY to this country," wrote Joy-Ann Reid.
Reid has her own show, contributes to other news shows and publications, and is a published author.
Preet Bharara, U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, came from Punjab, India as a child — and he doesn't think then-President Richard Nixon would have labeled his country as such.
MSNBC's Ali Veshi, who was raised in Canada, wanted to know if he should change his Twitter bio to reflect a "sh*thole" status.
New York Times correspondent Helene Cooper gracefully and subtly shared an article about Liberia being a vacation destination with the comment, "My sh*thole country."
In fact, for The Establishment editor Ijeoma Oluo, it was precisely because Trump disparaged her country that she said "I've never been prouder to claim my Nigerian heritage."
Activist Sean Kent, among other users, pointed out how the country's view of foreigners has changed dramatically over the last century, and how many European immigrants' home countries would have been similarly categorized.
Even Senator Bernie Sanders (D-VT), whose family is originally from Poland, shared his story.
(For the record, Trump's family is German, but denied its own heritage for years, falsely claiming they were Swedish instead.)
There were stories like this one of successful immigrants who had achieved incredible heights in the U.S.
Others highlighted the undeniable contributions immigrants have made to the country — including giving their lives for it.
"Two weeks ago a 26-year old soldier raced repeatedly into a burning Bronx apartment building, saving four people before he died in the flames. His name was Pvt. Emmanuel Mensah and he immigrated from Ghana, a country Donald Trump apparently thinks produces very subpar immigrants," wrote Bill Kristol.
Many more users shared stories, whether immigrants or not, of the beauty and success they'd experienced in these countries.
One more thing about those immigrant stories, though.
"It's not necessary to have high achievements to be accorded full rights and dignity," wrote Ali Abunima on Twitter. "Everyone deserves not to be subjected to racist abuse."
He makes a point. While stories of success and ambition are inspiring, experts say there's a danger to the "model minority" narrative that assumes only those with miraculous backgrounds deserve respect and pins people of color against each other.
Need some more inspiration? Here you go.
Michael Moore has some advice for how to tell those in charge that you're not on board with the president's comments. He encourages us to call our members of Congress and say, "I'm an American. My family originally came from the sh*thole country of (fill in the blank). On Nov 6th, I will be bringing my sh*thole self & and a sh*tload of others to the polls." (If you have an aversion to swearing, get creative.)
And sharing positive stories like these that turn the "sh*thole" narrative on its head isn't a bad place to start, either.