No, Donald Trump, You Do Not Get to Call Other Countries Shitholes
Yesterday, another one of the famous leaks from this administration revealed from an anonymous staffer that President Trump referred to Haiti and nations in Africa as shithole countries. Normally we use asterisks to censor profane words but since it’s okay for the President to use the word shithole and about every other news outlet, we’re going to do the same. During today’s White House press briefing, instead of asking confirmation of the statement, some reporters just blatantly asked if the President was racist. I first learned of this story by a tweet notification from the Associated Press with the word shithole in the headline, something I thought would never see, and I laughed. In our current political climate, you have to accept your laughs where you can.
Once the laughter was over, I analyzed what happened. Everyone wants the best life for themselves and for some that includes going to another country, specifically the United States. Some areas pose threats, yes and extra screening is needed for these nations. Does that mean we turn our nose up at the entire region calling it a shithole? No. It doesn’t mean that the people there are either. They’re being ruled under corrupt regimes which isn’t a reflection of the people there. Sure this statement could be laughed off, in the same bigoted way that Hillary’s supporters laughed at her calling Trump supporters a “basket full of deplorables.”
I’ve never been a fan of generalizing groups as all people in Haiti aren’t any more shitholes than all blacks are violent criminals or whites on a constant hunt for nations to rape and pillage. It tends to backfire. The president also said he preferred more people came from Norway. Inner cities are not all shitholes either, a point that I try to make consistently on Sonnie Johnson’s Breitbart podcast Did She Say That.
Development trends show walkable communities are seen as more favorable and in 2018, Washington, DC is very successful, Detroit has long been on a resurgence and Chicago ranks as one of the top cities for college grads to move to by Bankrate.com. Detroit, in fact was looked at by Google as a test bed for their SmartCity technology before moving on to Canada instead. Conservatives embraced the Trump candidacy because he paid attention to what liberals have long referred to as flyover country. Now this same bigoted behavior is laughingly being expressed in the most flippant ways towards other countries.
This statement wasn’t explicitly denied by the President, although he did say he used tough language on immigration, that just wasn’t the language he used. Senator Dick Durbin confirmed that was in fact the language he used. So far he has not been called a liar, so your guess is as good as mine.
The problem here, aside from whether he said it or not is how okay people are with it. It makes the argument for the African American vote that much harder, or those from Haiti or parts of Africa. Is there something wrong with them? As a black person, that’s where we came from, so do you have something you would like to say, Mr. President.
Others would argue that the black vote isn’t needed by Republicans, which statistically isn’t true because if you were to go by demographical trends, with the number of mixed race people growing, the Republican Party inevitably is going to die out unless other demographics are embraced and this isn’t going to work.
As someone who has spent their adult life working with those in international development who have spent their lives helping underdeveloped and impoverished nations, it is a complete disregard to positive work occurring there. Also, the correct term for nations like this is “developing nation” as opposed to the US being a “developed nation.” Perhaps if the correct terminology was used in the first place we wouldn’t be here discussing this right now. There is also a level of hypocrisy as Donald Trump’s business model has been geared towards development and leasing of hotels and apartment buildings in developing nations such as The Philippines and India as those impoverished nations aspire to the level of success and luxury of his name.
The object lesson here is to choose your words carefully. As a leader you have the responsibility to be responsible with your language so as to not be taken out of context. The same goes for the President of the United States. As a Trump supporter, this was my concern about him in the beginning and remains the same today.
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