South Bay official defends President Trump's 's---hole countries' remark

Posted at 11:30 PM, Jan 12, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-13 13:09:03-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- One publicly elected San Diego official is standing by President Donald Trump after he used a vulgar word to describe certain countries. 

RELATED: Trump denies making vulgar remark, defends immigration stance

Hector Gastelum is the Otay Water District Board Director. He tweeted:

10News Reporter Bree Steffen spoke with Gastelum, to find out if he stood by his words. 

"I’ve used some words that are not the best," Gastelum said. "But in frustration, we say things that we wish we could pull back.” 

Gastelum told 10News he has worked with people from Haiti and Africa and visited El Salvador.  

“We actually spent a month in El Salvador," Gastelum said. "I love the El Salvadorian people but the place is not a place where you would honeymoon or take your loved one for Valentine’s Day.” 

10News spoke to the family who owns Harar Restaurant on El Cajon Boulevard. 

Tadela Bayou came to America from Ethiopia more than 30 years ago. His wife now runs Harar Restaurant and Bayou is an aerospace systems engineer. 

“It is insulting," Bayou said. "I know many Americans like me are embarrassed by [President Trump's] statements but, you know, let the world know that he’s not representing the great American value.” 

Abebe Antallo has been friends with Bayou for more than a decade and says he felt ashamed when he heard the word the President used. 

“I've been here since 1985," Antallo said. "Our DNA is one . . . we don’t choose our color. Our color came to us by nature. So we have to respect and live together.”

Gastelum says he will always speak out with what he believes on important issues, and this won't be the last time. 

“I can only be myself. All the other spots were taken," Gastelum said. "I am opinionated and I speak what I feel comes from my heart.” 

Antallo had this to say: “We all are human beings...we came from one DNA.”