Sean Penn Pens Op-Ed on Trump's Crude Immigration Comments: "An Enemy of Compassion"
"President Donald Trump's words describing the glorious people of Africa, El Salvador and Haiti is far worse than mere insensitivity or even nationalism. Those standards are not disgraceful enough," the actor wrote in an essay for Time.
Sean Penn slammed President Donald Trump's "disgraceful" comments about immigrants from Haiti and Africa in an op-ed for Time published on the eighth anniversary of the devastating 2010 Haiti earthquake.
The actor, who founded the J/P Haitian Relief Organization, recalled spending months working as one of 30 volunteers who helped the Haitian people rebuild the country following the deadly disaster.
"On this pale blue dot Earth that we call home, the Haitian people are our neighbors, to whom our support is both the policy of a great America as it is a sacred duty," he wrote. "While Haitian immigrants typically arrive in the United States with lower levels of education and income than the general population, they sacrifice as parents to scrap and save and to ensure that their children can make the most of the opportunity to be here. They contribute. And there is no disputing the value they add to American society."
He added, "The contribution and spirit of these immigrants, as American citizens and as citizens who honor their homeland, may well be the greatest symbol of what makes America great — or at least of what can."
On Thursday, Trump came under fire for questioning why the U.S. should permit immigrants from "shithole countries" during a meeting with lawmakers.
Penn, referencing the president's remarks, continued, "On this day, we should be recognizing their grace, courage, loss, hardship and heroism. ... President Donald Trump’s words describing the glorious people of Africa, El Salvador and Haiti is far worse than mere insensitivity or even nationalism. Those standards are not disgraceful enough."
Penn ended his essay with a call for unity, describing Trump's White House as "an enemy of the state."
"The solution to our current divisiveness 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," he said. "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."