WAUWATOSA, WI - Locally, a number of people are outraged following President Donald Trump's alleged vulgar comments regarding Haiti and African countries.
“I think it’s unfair to distill an entire country, an entire people down to one word," said Ann Brophy. "One derogatory word at that."
As Haiti observes the eighth anniversary of a horrific earthquake that resulted in the death of more than 200,000 people—the nation is in the headlines for an unrelated reason. Thursday, Trump resisted an immigration deal that would include protections for people from Haiti and some nations in Africa —it’s reported the president also went on to referred to those nations as "s***hole countries."
“To hear such words from him I guess is sort of appalling," Brophy said. "It makes me angry."
Brophy has spent a number of years traveling to Haiti with the Haiti Project —an outreach ministry launched by the Episcopal Dioceses of Milwaukee.
The group was outraged after hearing the reports and issued a statement of solidarity confirming, in part:
"We are greatly disappointed that, as Haiti commemorates the 2010 earthquake and the people of the United States prepare to honor the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, we should hear such words about our brothers and sisters around the world from the President of the United States.
We offer today, on the eighth anniversary of the earthquake, our prayers for the people of Haiti. We know the hurtful words you heard yesterday are not reflective of our love and respect for you and fall short of the call of our Baptism covenant to respect the dignity of every human being."
However, Trump denies using the vulgar words he’s accused of. In a tweet he said:
“The language used by me at the DACA meeting was tough, but this was not the language used. What was really tough was the outlandish proposal made - a big setback for DACA!”
As for Brophy, the controversy just doesn’t sit well with her. Instead, she said she rather people spend time talking about the resilience of a country and it’s people who stand strong even in the face of worst kinds of natural disasters and devastation.
“We learn the strength of faith when we go there," Brophy said. "We come from so much and they come from so little but have so much faith."