GENEVA - The U.N. human rights office has sharply criticized U.S. President Donald Trump's vulgar comments on migrants from Africa and Haiti, calling them shocking and shameful.
Trump's reportedly crude outburst against migrants from the African continent and Haiti have set off a firestorm of global rebuke. Rupert Colville, spokesman for the U.N. Human Rights Office, calls Trump's remarks clearly racist.
"You cannot dismiss entire countries and continents as 's---holes' whose entire populations, who are not white, are therefore not welcome. The positive comment on Norway makes the underlying sentiment very clear," Colville said.
Recalling Trump's earlier comments vilifying Mexicans who cross the border as "rapists" and Trump's re-tweeting of anti-Muslim propaganda from a far-right British group, Colville says policy proposals targeting entire groups on grounds of nationality or religion goes against universal values.
"This is not just a story about vulgar language," he said. "It is about opening the door to humanity's worst side. It is about validating and encouraging racism and xenophobia that will potentially disrupt and even destroy the lives of many people."
Colville warns that comments by a major political figure, such as the president of the United States, can have damaging and dangerous consequences.
Trump's remarks were made at a meeting of Congressional leaders working on a bipartisan immigration deal to allow some 800,000 so-called Dreamers to remain in the United States.
U.N. human rights chief Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein has previously said the future of the Dreamers should not be used as a bargaining chip to negotiate restrictive immigration measures. The young people are human beings, not commodities, he said.