U.S. Ambassador Quits Over Trump’s Racist Remarks

By on January 12, 2018

President Donald Trump’s racist comments about immigrants’ home nations in Africa and Latin America resulted in one member from within his State Department to resign.

John Feeley was the United States Ambassador to Panama. But because of Trump’s comments labeling nations from Africa, as well as Haiti and El Salvador, as “shithole countries,” he determined on Friday that he could no longer serve under a president who held such attitudes.

“As a junior foreign service officer, I signed an oath to serve faithfully the president and his administration in an apolitical fashion, even when I might not agree with certain policies,” Feeley wrote in his resignation. “My instructors made clear that if I believed I could not do that, I would be honor bound to resign. That time has come.”

His resignation will not be immediate: Feeley will continue to serve as ambassador until March 9. Still, the point is made, and Feeley’s resignation will send a strong message to many within the State Department, as well as other executive departments in the Trump administration.

Feeley was appointed Ambassador to Panama in 2016 by then-President Barack Obama. He decided to remain ambassador into the Trump administration, but made the determination that he could no longer serve carry out his duties beyond March with the current leadership in the Oval Office.

Under Secretary of State Steve Goldstein, Feeley’s former superior, told reporters he understood Feeley’s decision. “Everyone has a line that they will not cross,” Goldstein said. “If the ambassador feels that he can no longer serve…then he has made the right decision for himself and we respect that.”

Feeley’s actions are admirable. He’s demonstrating he won’t cross what Goldstein explained is a “line in the sand.” More individuals in government will likely follow suit, if President Trump continues to make such disparaging, and blatantly racist, remarks.

Featured image credit: Wikimedia/Public Domain