Botswana on Friday summoned the U.S. ambassador to "express its displeasure" over U.S. President Donald Trump's "irresponsible, reprehensible and racist" reference to African nations as "shithole countries".
In a statement, our northern neighbour used a polite, diplomatic tone to highlight just how egregious Trump's remark was, and just how unsuited the former reality-TV performer is for any role that requires international diplomacy.
"The Botswana government has also enquired from the U.S. government through the ambassador, to clarify if Botswana is regarded as a 'sh**hole' country, given that there are Botswana nationals residing in the U.S., and also that some of Batswana may wish to visit the US," the statement from Botswana's ministry of international affairs and cooperation said.
"The government of Botswana is wondering why President Trump must use this descriptor and derogatory word when talking about countries with [which] the U.S. has had cordial and mutually beneficial bilateral relations for so many years."
The statement reminded Trump that Botswana had accepted U.S. citizens within her borders over the years and continued to host U.S. guests and senior government officials, including a congressional delegation set to visit the country at the end of this month.
"That is why we view the utterances by the current [U.S.] president as highly irresponsible, reprehensible and racist."
Botswana called on the Southern African Development Community (SADC), the African Union (AU) and "all other progressive nations across the world" to strongly condemn Trump's remarks.
Trump –– previously a frequently bankrupt real-estate developer and entrepreneur who has been dogged by fraud and sexual assault allegations –– made the remark on Thursday, after two U.S. legislators briefed him on a bipartisan immigration bill, which Trump rejected.
He asked why the U.S. had to accept immigrants from "shithole countries" like Haiti and "Africa", which he doesn't seem to realise is a continent.
He would prefer "Norwegian" immigrants –– although why people who enjoy free public healthcare, free education and one of the highest standards of living in the world would want to move to the U.S., he didn't explain.