In a blistering op-ed for Time on Friday, Sean Penn called president Donald Trump “an enemy of mankind” and “an enemy of the state” over his reported remarks about “shithole countries.”
On Thursday, the Washington Post reported that President Trump asked, during a meeting with lawmakers, “Why are we having all these people from shithole countries come here?” referring to Haiti and African nations. Trump later said he used “tough” language but denied using that phrase.
In the essay marking the eight-year anniversary of the devastating 2010 Haiti earthquake, Penn talked about his experiences as a volunteering in Haiti.
“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,” he wrote. “They contribute. And there is no disputing the value they add to American society.”
Penn said Trump’s reported comments were “far worse than mere insensitivity or even nationalism. Those standards are not disgraceful enough.”
“We will find unity,” Penn concluded, “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.”