Trump's remarks about changing European culture draw ire




  • In Business/Economy
  • 2018-07-14 20:45:32Z
  • By JESSE J. HOLLAND and RUSSELL CONTRERAS
 

WASHINGTON (AP) - President Donald Trump's lament this week that immigration is "changing the culture" of Europe echoed rising anti-immigrant feelings on both sides of the Atlantic, where Europe and the United States are going through a demographic transformation that makes some of the white majority uncomfortable.

Historians and advocates immediately denounced Trump's comments, saying such talk would encourage white nationalists.

"The way he put this argument about changing our culture ... about Europe becoming less nice than it is, in other words, these people are here and they are making the culture crappy and making the place lesser, that's straight out of the white supremacist/white nationalist playbook," said Heidi Beirich, director of the Southern Poverty Law Center's Intelligence Project.

Trump, in an interview with the British newspaper The Sun, blamed immigration for a changing culture in Europe: "I think allowing millions and millions of people to come into Europe is very, very sad. I think you are losing your culture. Look around. You go through certain areas that didn't exist ten or 15 years ago."

Trump, the grandson of a German immigrant and the son of a Scottish immigrant to the United States, repeated his contention at a news conference with British Prime Minister Theresa May:

"I just think it's changing the culture. I think it's a very negative thing for Europe. I think it's very negative," he said. "I think it's very much hurt other parts of Europe. And I know it's politically not necessarily correct to say that, but I'll say it and I'll say it loud. And I think they better watch themselves because you are changing culture, you are changing a lot of things."

Beirich called those comments "racist."

Claire M. Massey, a scholar at the Institute for British and North American Studies at Ernst-Moritz-Arndt Universität in Greifswald, Germany, said Trump's comments were "awfully painful," especially for the United Kingdom, where immigration has played a key role in rebuilding the country after World War II. "England and the United Kingdom wouldn't be what it is today without immigrants," she said.

Massey said Trump's comments remind her of the rhetoric coming from neo-Nazis in Germany and Poland. The comments will embolden the far-right in Europe at a time when many European nations are already very diverse.

Lisbon, Portugal, for example, is now home to sizable and visible Brazilian, Cape Verdean, and Angolan populations. The immigrant groups and their Portuguese-born children have helped revitalize areas of the cities once in disrepair and have a presence in everything from professional soccer teams to popular culture.

Portuguese Mozambique-born fado singer Mariza is among the nation's most beloved performers.

In France, immigrants from the Middle East and Africa have settled throughout Paris and have drawn the ire of the far-right and even some moderates over the city's changing makeup. Then-French Prime Minister François Fillon decreed in 2011 that women were banned from wearing face veils outside of the home except in mosques or as car passengers. A European court later upheld the ban, saying the intent was to unify the country, but not before an outcry by human rights activists.

Throughout England, from London to Liverpool, immigrants from Asia, Africa, the Middle East and the former British colonies in the Caribbean have reshaped various neighborhoods, drawing scorn from members of the far-right and some rural residents who blamed the European Union and immigrants for the economic struggles of once-prosperous mining regions.

The United States is also going through a demographic shift. The Census Bureau estimates that the country's population will have more minorities than whites for the first time in 2043, a change due in part to higher birth rates among Hispanics and a stagnating or declining birth rate among blacks, whites and Asians.

Trump's public life has been filled with controversial statements about immigrants.

In the first moments of his presidential campaign in June 2015, he called for the construction of a border wall with Mexico and accused the country of sending migrants who were "bringing drugs. They're bringing crime. They're rapists. And some, I assume, are good people."

He continually used dark imagery to depict immigrants as dangerous invaders. Then, in the aftermath of a terrorist attack that December in San Bernardino, California, that was carried out by a U.S.-born Muslim and his Pakistani wife, who was a legal U.S. resident, Trump called for barring all Muslims from entering the country. The Supreme Court eventually upheld his executive order banning travel from several mostly Muslim countries, rejecting challenges that it discriminated against Muslims or exceeded his authority.

In January, Trump questioned why the U.S. would accept more immigrants from Haiti and "shithole countries" in Africa as he rejected a bipartisan immigration deal, according to one participant and people briefed on the conversation.

In recent weeks, Trump bowed to tremendous political pressure and issued an executive order ending his administration's practice of separating migrant children from their parents when families cross the border with Mexico illegally.

Paul A. Kramer, a Vanderbilt University historian who specializes in the politics of inequality in the United States, said Trump's most recent comments were an intentional attempt to ally himself and his base in the United States with the far-right nationalist movements in Europe.

"The rising tide of white nationalism is something that he embraces, that he sees himself as participating in and that he wants to encourage," Kramer said.

___

Contreras contributed to this report from Albuquerque, New Mexico.

___

Jesse J. Holland and Russell Contreras cover race and ethnicity for The Associated Press. Contact Jesse at jholland@ap.org and on Twitter at https://twitter.com/jessejholland . Follow Contreras on Twitter at http://twitter.com/russcontreras .

COMMENTS

More Related News

Google CEO Had To Explain To Congress Why Googling 'Idiot' Shows Donald Trump
Google CEO Had To Explain To Congress Why Googling 'Idiot' Shows Donald Trump

Search for the term "idiot" on Google and several photographs of President

Trump says would intervene in arrest of Chinese executive
Trump says would intervene in arrest of Chinese executive

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Tuesday he would intervene with the U.S. Justice Department in the case against a Chinese telecommunications executive if it would help secure a trade deal with Beijing. "If I think it's good for the country, if I think it's good for what will be certainly the

AP: Ivanka, Kushner could profit from tax break they pushed
AP: Ivanka, Kushner could profit from tax break they pushed

At an Oval Office gathering earlier this year, President Donald Trump began touting his administration's new real estate investment program, which offers massive tax breaks to developers who invest in downtrodden American communities. "Ivanka, would you like to say something?" Trump asked

California judge orders porn star to pay Trump legal fees
California judge orders porn star to pay Trump legal fees

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Porn star Stormy Daniels must pay President Donald Trump nearly $293,000 for his attorneys' fees and another $1,000 in sanctions after her defamation suit against him was dismissed, a federal judge in Los Angeles ordered Tuesday.

Flynn to make arguments against prison time in Russia probe
Flynn to make arguments against prison time in Russia probe

WASHINGTON (AP) - Lawyers for Michael Flynn, President Donald Trump's former national security adviser, are poised to ask a judge to spare him prison time in a sentencing memorandum due by the end of Tuesday.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Comments

  • friv 2
    (2018-08-09 11:15:41Z)

    If you want to increase your experience simply keep visiting this web site and be updated with the newest gossip posted here.

    REPLY

Top News: Economy

facebook
Hit "Like"
Don't miss any important news
Thanks, you don't need to show me this anymore.