Commentary

Trump in a ‘Shithole’ of Trouble After (Another) Racist Comment

January 12, 2018

By Arturo Castañares / La Prensa San Diego Publisher and CEO

Just when we thought the political rhetoric coming from the President couldn’t get any more offensive, Donald Trump lowered the bar a few more notches this week, again displaying his complete disdain for people from most other countries.

During a meeting regarding immigration in the Oval Office with congressional leaders on Thursday, Trump got frustrated about a proposal by the Congressional Black Caucus that would allow Visas for immigrants from African countries and Haiti. Trump asked why the US would want more people from those countries instead of from Norway.

“Why do we want all these people from shithole countries coming here?”, the President asked.

Yes, that’s right, the leader of the free world, from the wealthiest country in the world, referred to other countries in that way. His hardcore supporters may call that plain talk from a non-politically correct swamp drainer, but that’s just plain racist.

Maybe Trump, a native New Yorker, doesn’t know what the plaque on the Statue of Liberty actually says. “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.”

The famous line is from a poem by Emma Lazarus written in 1883 to raise money for the base of the Statue of Liberty. The quote has come to symbolize the openness of the United States in attracting and accepting immigrants from every country in the world for over 200 years, creating what has become the most eclectic blend of nationalities and cultures in the world.

But, to Trump, that melting pot seems to be a bad thing. During his campaign and since his election, he has continued to cast foreigners from certain countries as bad for our country.

Mexicans as rapists and murderers. Muslims from various countries as terrorists. Haitians as all having AIDS.

Trump’s stated political position of “America First” tries to mask his true animosity toward certain countries. He argues that he puts our country above all others. That would be true if he was truly xenophobic, meaning he distrusted ALL foreigners equally.

But, he doesn’t speak negatively about all countries, just the ones that have people of different color skin, and especially non-Germanic language speaking countries.

Take note: Mexico, Haiti, China, North Korea. Bad. England, Germany, Norway. Good.

And further evidence of his racist tendencies is that he targets minorities within countries he likes, like accusing Muslims within England and Sweden of being terrorists, but not calling out white supremacists in those countries.

You don’t even have to look internationally, though, to see Trump’s racist actions. When neo-Nazis and white nationalist marched in Charlottesville, Virginia, last summer, Trump said they were fine people. When a white supremacist drove his car into a crowd of counter protesters and killed a woman, Trump refused to label it an act of terrorism.

In contrast, immediately after two attacks in London and an attack in Paris took place, Trump called those acts of terrorism, and used them to push for his Muslim ban. The difference? The alleged attackers in these cases were of Middle Eastern descent, even though their actual nationality and citizenship were still unknown at the time.

Trump’s knee-jerk (or in his case, just jerk) reaction to situations involving foreigners from countries he’s uncomfortable with is to label them in some derogatory way. Losers. Terrorists. Rapists. Murderers. Drug dealers. And this week, shithole.

Why would he have that world view? Let’s see.

Trump’s dad, whose father was kicked out of Germany for failing to register for military service, later lied about their German heritage after World War II and claimed to be from Sweden in order to rent more apartments to Jewish tenants. In the 90s, Trump himself re-embraced his German heritage and was the Grand Marshall of the German-American Parade in NYC. Trump’s first wife was from Czechoslovakia, and his current wife is from Yugoslavia. All good countries, I guess.

To Trump, people from other countries, especially Latin, Asian, and Muslim countries, are jumping our border, taking away our jobs, and killing our citizens. He casts them all as Black vs White, Good vs Bad, and Us vs Them.

When will Republicans, both elected and voters, that support Trump for some of his policies, finally call him out for his racist comments and actions? When will tax cuts and deregulation not be enough to overlook the racism?

When will we demand more from our President? When will decent people say enough is enough?

Racism is wrong, especially when it comes from the President. It normalizes abnormal behavior. It sets the worst example for ourselves and our children.

People have made excuses for Donald Trump for too long. Enough is enough. Period.

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