George Graham

Feeling the Contempt


I can understand why CNN’s Anderson Cooper (lower photo)  had to fight back tears as he defended Haiti after Trump (top photo) described it as a “s—hole country.” Haiti has been through more than its share of horrors and deserves sympathy not contempt.

But Trump’s disdain is not restricted to Haiti. He included El Salvador and parts of Africa in his disgusting designation.

It’s what you might expect from a man like Trump. He is the kind of American who feels contempt for other cultures.  I’m sure you have met this kind of person.

I know I have.

When I worked for American companies in Jamaica, some of my American colleagues often expressed derision for Jamaican ways. It was not done with malice but jokingly, sometimes affectionately. But it betrayed a deep-seated belief in the superiority of Americans and their ways.

That’s the kind of guy Trump is. And I suspect that kind of guy comprises much of his base.

Obviously, Trump and his followers don’t want people from the Third World in America. At a meeting on immigration reform this week, the president expressed a desire to encourage more immigration from Norway and Asia but wondered “why are we having all these people from s—hole countries come here.”

As a Jamaican immigrant who long ago swore allegiance to the United States of America and to the republic for which it stands, I am deeply disappointed. I was inspired to become a citizen by the sentiments in the Declaration of Independence, the US Constitution and other proclamations of what I believed were American values.

I was eager to embrace those values, and I assumed that as a true believer, I would be welcome in America.

Now, after all these years, I wonder.

Trump’s contemptuous comment

Anderson Cooper’s response

About the author


I am a Jamaican-born writer who has lived and worked in Canada and the United States. I live in Lakeland, Florida with my wife, Sandra, our three cats and two dogs. I like to play golf and enjoy our garden, even though it's a lot of work. Since retiring from newspaper reporting I've written a few books. I also write a monthly column for