OPINION: Trump’s ‘s—hole’ remarks are a sad moment for America and the White House

In 1850, my great, great grandfather, Patrick Dowd, came to America from Ireland as a very poor 17-year-old whose mother had died when he was 8. He settled in Muskegon, Michigan, and without having even enough money for dinner, he commenced to work immediately. He ended up in his life owning a cabbage farm and a hardware store, leaving a legacy of hard work, hope, faith, and a love of his new country to all of his proud ancestors.

Patrick Dowd stood more proudly and strongly for the ideals of America than our current president who has referred to many other countries as “s—holes.”

I have been blessed in my life with many gifts, including three sons, a beautiful daughter, and a son and a daughter I lost way too early in life.

My children descend from the sons and daughters of countries like Ireland, Germany, and Lebanon who when they immigrated to the U.S. were also regarded by many, as with Trump today, as having come from “s—hole” countries.

But they are Americans who give back. My oldest son served two tours of duty in Iraq where he put his life on the line every day and when he had time off would drive out into the countryside and give candy to poor Iraqi children. My youngest son served with CityYear in the “little Haiti” area of Miami, mentoring poor Haitian students in an elementary school there. All of my children carry more of the American ideals in their little fingers than the president does in his entire body.

Today is a sad moment in American history and the history of the White House. For the President of the United States to utter words like this does a total disservice to all of us who are sons and daughters of immigrants which encompasses nearly every American living and working hard in our great land and it again reduces our moral authority in the world. ‘

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