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La concejal  Jannie Blackwell (centro) junto a los concejales Derek Green (segundo por la izquierda), Helen Gym y Curtis Jones.  Linn Washington Jr.
City Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell (center) joined by Council colleagues Derek Green (2nd left), Helen Gym and Curtis Jones.  Linn Washington Jr.

[OP-ED] Local Elected Officials Assail The Oozing Bigotry Of President Trump

Businessman Trump exhibits astounding ignorance about Philly economics

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Two countries in Africa – the continent that America’s Chief Racist Donald Trump recently called a “shithole” – are the two largest sources of goods imported through the bustling Port of Philadelphia according to the federal government. 

Imports from Nigeria and Cameroon bring a billion dollar-plus economic bonanza to Philly and beyond.

Oil from Nigeria fuels refineries throughout the Delaware Valley.

Cocoa beans from the Cameroon are essential for Pennsylvania chocolate manufacturers like the Hershey Company, the number one producer of chocolate products in North America. Hershey’s worldwide manufacturing facilities include three jobs producing facilities in Pennsylvania: Hazelton, Lancaster and Hershey where that corporation is headquartered. 

“Without African exports to the United States, across this country and in Pennsylvania we would have an economic depression,” Philadelphia City Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell declared during a City Hall gathering last week to denounce President Trump’s ‘shithole’ characterization of Africa and Haiti, a Caribbean nation.

Cocoa bean imports from Cameroon through Philly’s port last year rose nearly nine percent to $786.08-million according to a December article on Forbes.com.

That City Hall gathering organized by Blackwell included an interracial, bi-partisan collection of members from City Council, the Pa state Senate and Legislature along with representatives from Philly’s African and Haitian communities. Attendees at that gathering spanned the color spectrum from Asian to black, Latino to white.

Another purpose for that unique gathering was to highlight the often-overlooked economic contributions African and Haitian immigrants make in the Philadelphia region. Immigrants from African countries, for example, have helped revitalize sections of Southwest Philadelphia.

Stan Straughter, the Chairman Emeritus of the Mayor’s Commission on African and Caribbean Immigrant Affairs, said Philadelphia area residents from Africa and Haiti have been “struggling for years for equity and fairness.” 

Straughter also said some of these citizens experience the same struggles with immigration status and DACA as some Latinos.

“Everybody thinks immigration reform is a Latino issue,” Straughter said during an interview last week. He noted that the Philadelphia area is home for persons from 35 African and Caribbean countries.

“Africans and Haitians are suffering immigration enforcement and deportation issues also. But you don’t read about the late night raids where they are shipped off to the [immigration] prison in York [Pa].”

Straughter, the Chairman of the African/Caribbean Business Council of Greater Philadelphia, helped Councilwoman Blackwell organize that City Hall gathering.

That ‘shithole’ utterance from Trump not only exhibited his engrained bigotry. It again exposed the ignorance of the President who recently attempted to refute escalating evidence of his incompetence with the claim that his “two greatest assets have been mental stability and being, like, really smart!”

If Trump is as “really smart” as he proclaimed, that UPENN undergrad would know not to use slang-phrasing like “like” and the documented fact that immigrants from Africa have the highest levels of education among all immigrants to the U.S., including immigrants from predominately white countries that Trump said he favors.

Compounding Trump’s ‘shithole’ comment is the stinking fact that it is shared widely among his supporters

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