- Getty Images/Pool
- 48% of respondents to an MSN poll said it was racist of President Donald Trump to refer to African nations and Haiti as “shithole countries.”
- Americans were sharply divided along partisan lines: 83% of Democrats considered the comment racist, compared to 10% of Republicans.
- Trump’s comments have sparked widespread condemnation, including from the African Union, and several commentators and writers have accused Trump of racism.
Americans are divided on whether the latest provocative remark from President Donald Trump was racist.
The comment in question was Trump’s reported use of the word “shithole” to describe African nations and Haiti during a meeting with top senators about immigration last week.
According to a poll from Business Insider’s partner MSN, 48% of respondents thought Trump’s comment was racist, while 51% said it wasn’t and 1% wasn’t sure.
The results were split heavily along party lines: 83% of Democrats considered the comment racist, while just 10% of Republicans felt the same. Exactly 50% of independents said Trump’s comment was racist.
MSN Poll results are analyzed to represent the US adult population or specific sub-demographics. MSN describes the US adult population by thousands of combinations of age, gender, education, location and several other demographics. MSN takes the raw polling data and models how demographic groups answered each question, and then projects those answers onto the true distribution of the demographic groups. The method was tested in the 2016 election and proven to be as accurate as other polling methods – more details can be found here.
Trump’s comments sparked outrage from Democratic lawmakers, and prompted numerous commentators and columnists in the media to accuse Trump of racism.
A day later, the African Union, comprising all 55 African nations, condemned Trump’s remarks, saying they “dishonor the celebrated American creed and respect for diversity and human dignity.” The union demanded that Trump retract the statement and deliver “an apology not only to the Africans but to all people of African descent around the globe.”
“Why are we having all these people from shithole countries come here?” Trump said, according to the report.
The comments were later confirmed by other news outlets. Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin, who was in the meeting, also confirmed Trump made the remark, although some Republican senators in the room said they did not remember hearing it.
The Post added that Trump said he would prefer if the US accepted more immigrants from Norway, which is predominantly white.
Exactly 50% of the respondents in the MSN poll said they were offended by Trump’s remarks. And more than half – 54% – said it was appropriate for the media to repeat Trump’s language. Several news outlets, including The Post, included the word “shithole” in its headlines, and CNN broke with tradition and featured the word prominently in its chyrons.