Penn first praised former president Barack Obama's deployment of 22,000 service members to help Haitians when the earthquake struck on January 12th, 2010; Penn's op-ed comes on the eighth anniversary of the earthquake, and the actor recounted the efforts to help the Haitians as well as the island nation's ongoing struggles.
"On this day, we should be recognizing their grace, courage, loss, hardship and heroism. We should be mourning those lost to a curable poverty, to avoidable cholera, to Hurricane Mathew. We should be remembering the America that rose to its defining grace in support of this great and troubled island nation, which has supported and loved us," Penn wrote. "Instead, we have been forced to focus on a man whose sense of our country is an inherited gift for sales-gab."
Penn continued to condemn Trump, who the actor says "encourages the enslavement of America by a core minority of our electorate; he massages into them the notion that American principal lives not in the belief and sacrifice of their own ancestors or our country’s forefathers, but rather in their own pain, rage and fear."
"President Donald Trump’s words describing the glorious people of Africa, El Salvador and Haiti is far worse than mere insensitivity or even nationalism. Those standards are not disgraceful enough," Penn wrote in his Time op-ed.
"The solution to our current divisiveness does not live in the White House. Instead, we will find unity 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."