To the editor: As an African American male who loves this great country of ours and has tremendous respect for authority, I am appalled by the comments of President Trump. ("Trump is a liar, but his 'shithole' remark shows he's often scariest when he says what he truly believes," editorial, Jan. 11)
As a parent, I teach my children to respect authority, but when the person with the most authority in the country consistently makes derogatory comments about other countries and races, how do you respect a person like that? How do you explain the president's comments to our future leaders?
Trump's comments and actions are not those of the leader of the free world, but of an insensitive, unintelligent, racist, power-crazed narcissist. I fear that the president is causing so many problems that his successor, whether a Democrat or a Republican, may not be able to rectify them.
Eric Williams, San Bernardino
To the editor: Trump's reference to allowing immigrants from "shithole" countries instead of countries like Norway, while deplorable on its face, is not as surprising as the number of citizens and politicians who refuse to condemn his words.
Putting party and politics above American values does not comport with our exceptionalism as a country. Citizens and politicians, regardless of their political affiliation, need to stand up to any form of intolerance. Remaining indifferent to the words of our president is no different or better than making excuses for him.
The words of Desmond Tutu, a person from one of these "shithole" countries, captures the need for silent people of conscience to denounce Trump: "If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor."
Mark Henderson, Laguna Niguel
To the editor: Recent remarks made in the Oval Office further demonstrate that we must continue to expose the often-forgotten plight of black immigrants.
Our country is fortunate to be enriched by the contributions of millions of immigrants every year, especially in Los Angeles. It should not be overlooked that Trump's attacks on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program and diversity visas, combined with his divisive rhetoric, are tactics being employed to drive a wedge between the black and Latino communities in the immigration debate.
There are more than 3.5 million black immigrants in the United States. When we look at the issue holistically and see that tens of thousands of DACA enrollees are black and that the plurality of diversity visa recipients are also black, it contextualizes the president's assault on these programs and reminds us that we must not turn on one another in response.
Fear-mongering and hateful rhetoric do not accomplish what we've been sent to Washington to do. Immigration is a black issue too.
Rep. Karen Bass (D-Los Angeles)
To the editor: Recently, Trump made sure the world knew he was a "stable genius." More recently, he wondered why America wants "all these people from shithole countries."
I'm probably not a genius (and I will not address my stability), but I am smart enough to subscribe to and read the Los Angeles Times, and just before Trump made his immigration query there was one answer to it in the article, "Who's picking your food? A record number of foreign laborers." It reported that while wages for farmworkers have increased, not enough locals have applied for jobs.
So, people from poor countries come to America to work in demanding jobs that Americans (and presumably Norwegians as well) aren't interested in for the wages being offered.
Bob Fey, Orange
To the editor: Trump believes that the "United States should shift its immigration policy away from poorer, developing countries, and instead focus on carefully selecting educated immigrants ... who can already speak English and have professional or technical skills needed in the United States."
What I find amazing is that the Trump administration insists on allowing more than 800,0000 educated immigrants — English-speaking, tax-paying individuals, most either in school or already gainfully employed — to be threatened with deportation.
I must be missing the genius level of intelligence to understand throwing away the investments already made by this country in these individuals. Doesn't it make more sense to keep these immigrants who are already here and put them on the path to citizenship?
Joan Balaris, Palm Desert
To the editor: The thought that a president, especially of the United States, could make such an arrogant and irresponsible comment about immigrants from other countries is just another reason why this country obviously elected the wrong person to run it.
Trump's comment that we need "more people from Norway" is totally ridiculous. Why would anyone from Norway or any other European country want to come here when there are probably millions of Americans who don't want to be in the United States right now?
It's just a shame that this man is the representative of our country and is allowed to continue making racist remarks. I hope that people in other countries realize that not all Americans think the same way.
Michele Deady-Paano, Lakewood