Academy Award-winning actor, director, producer, and philanthropist Sean Penn has taken aim at Donald Trump for calling Haiti a “shithole country.”
Penn, who founded the the J/P Haitian Relief Organization following the devastating earthquake that struck the Caribbean island in 2010―called Trump “an enemy of compassion” in a new op-ed piece for Time magazine.
— J/P HRO (@jphro) January 13, 2018
In the op-ed, he calls Trump:
an enemy of Americans, Republicans, Democrats, Independents and every new child born. An enemy of mankind. He is indeed an enemy of the state.
He begins the piece this way:
Within days of the devastating earthquake that struck Haiti on January 12, 2010, 29 American volunteers and I became quickly embedded with the 82nd Airborne Division of the U.S. Army. Alongside our military mentors, our hands and souls touched the bodies of the dying and the dead. Our doctors tended the injured. Our educators moved swiftly to establish schools and normalcy for the youth, many of whom had been abruptly orphaned in the disaster that killed as many as 300,000 Haitians.
President Barack Obama deployed about 22,000 U.S. service men and women to Haiti, on one of the most extraordinary missions of support in humanitarian history. No other country in the world offered the generosity of support to the Haitian people that ours did — with our church groups and other NGOs, the money and supplies sent by average citizens. Perhaps most moving for those 30 of us was the extraordinary humanity, respect and commitment offered Haiti by our soldiers.
Penn writes that it’s the eighth anniversary of the hurricane. He talks about the struggles the people of Haiti have had, and the courage and persistence that they’ve shown to change the island’s devastation. He says we should be remembering the America that rose to its defining grace in support of this great and troubled island nation:
Instead, we have been forced to focus on a man whose sense of our country is an inherited gift for sales-gab. He encourages the enslavement of America by a core minority of our electorate; he massages into them the notion that American principal lives not in the belief and sacrifice of their own ancestors or our country’s forefathers, but rather in their own pain, rage and fear. President Donald Trump’s words describing the glorious people of Africa, El Salvador and Haiti are far worse than mere insensitivity or even nationalism. Those standards are not disgraceful enough.
The solution to our current divisiveness, Penn says, does not live in the White House:
Instead, we will find unity only when we recognize that in our current president we have elected, perhaps for the first time in our history, an enemy of compassion. Indeed, we can be unified not only with each other but with Africa, El Salvador, Haiti, Mexico, the Middle East and beyond if we recognize President Donald Trump is an enemy of Americans, Republicans, Democrats, Independents and every new child born. An enemy of mankind. He is indeed an enemy of the state.