‘I’m not a racist’ – Trump’s comments

 

Sir, – Martyn Turner’s cartoon (January 13th) on Donald Trump’s latest ignorant outburst hit the bullseye. Bigly. – Yours, etc,

PADDY McGOVERN,

Dublin 8.

Sir, – Following Donald Trump’s foul-mouthed racist outburst, should broadcasters not alert viewers before watching the news, “Viewers are warned that the following programme contains strong language and scenes that some viewers may find offensive”? Then we can get behind the couch and cover our eyes and ears. – Yours, etc,

TOM BLENNERHASSETT,

Rathfarnham,

Dublin 16.

Sir, – So now The Irish Times cannot publish the word s***hole?

For f**k’s sake! – Yours, etc,

KIERAN FAGAN,

Killiney,

Co Dublin.

Sir, – President Trump’s obscene comments are a disgraceful slur on developing nations, and a fundamental betrayal of the core values of the American people.

They belie the interconnectedness of our world and the US’s own contribution to the state of global poverty.

We can say from firsthand experience that the US government has been an indispensable contributor to some of the most important efforts to save and safeguard the lives of the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people.

Concern has partnered with the US Agency for International Development on programmes that have revolutionised the treatment of malnutrition, transformed national health systems, and saved millions of lives through timely and effective emergency assistance.

But clearly it’s time for a frank conversation.

A five-minute history lesson would highlight the fact that despite being a powerful force for good, the US also continues to pursue policies that play a huge role in causing the very problems that force people to emigrate in the first place

Despite having just more than 4 per cent of the global population, the US is responsible for almost a third of the carbon dioxide that is already in the atmosphere, contributing disproportionately to the global climate crisis, where drought, floods and starvation now grip the least offending nations as a result.

Rising levels of global conflict, forcing millions to flee and seek safety are being fuelled by global arms sales, of which the US is the largest exporter. Arms sales from the US to Saudi Arabia – which has been investigated by the UN for war crimes in Yemen – amounted to more than four times the amount spent on overseas aid last year.

For decades, US agricultural and food aid policies were accused of “crop dumping”, distributing food to countries such as their beleaguered neighbour Haiti. Directly benefiting American farmers, these policies completely undermined local production and exacerbated Haiti’s economic development.

Mr Trump’s comments portray a disgraceful lack of solidarity with the world’s poor.

Perhaps more worryingly, they indicate that the current administration has no ambition to continue America’s role as a genuine leader on the world’s stage. If true, this is a tragedy.

We are experiencing a desperate crisis of multilateralism and diplomacy right now, as conflicts in Syria, Yemen and elsewhere continue to rage into 2018 without substantive efforts on the part of larger nations to address them. They are in fact perpetuating them.

Concern sees the effect of this firsthand on the ground in many of the countries where we work.

We also see the incredible resilience of people from the countries the US president has so shamefully disparaged.

We cannot continue to casually view Mr Trump’s behaviour and his targeting of the world’s most vulnerable people as an appalling sideshow as it was in 2017.

We have to remember that when we ignore, demean or contribute to the human suffering of others, we are ultimately undermining our own humanity. – Yours, etc,

DOMINIC MacSORLEY,

Chief Executive,

Concern Worldwide,

Lower Camden Street,

Dublin 2.

Sir, – “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.” I doubt that Emma Lazarus, whose fine words adorn the pedestal upon which sits the Statue of Liberty, was thinking primarily of Norway when she wrote them. – Yours, etc,

RONAN McDERMOTT,

Rathgar,

Dublin 6.

Sir, – When Donald Trump allegedly uses the word s**thole to describe El Salvador, and Garry Bury paraphrases the term for your readers (January 13th), I think we should reflect on how El Salvador came to be where it is today. Its civil war from 1980 to 1992 left 80,000 people dead, and a million people fled from a country the size of Munster.

The right-wing war machine of government, military, and the unofficial death squads was financed to the tune of $4.5 billion to further US foreign policy.

The notorious Atlacatl Battalion, responsible for unspeakable barbarity, was trained on US soil. The refugees of that time formed the nucleus of today’s Salvadoran community in the US.

I have witnessed how those left behind struggle, against the odds, to reconstruct their society. Is it too much to expect that the US might seek to make amends and lend a helping hand? – Yours, etc,

Dr MARY COFFEY,

Kells,

Co Meath.