January 15, 2018
Right at the moment when I was ready to flush all hope down the toilet, along comes Donald Trump with a comment about shitholes.
At a White House meeting on Thursday with a handful of congressional reps who are trying to push an immigration bill that would let the Dreamers stay in exchange for axing the Diversity Lottery, an unnamed source claims that Trump uttered the following words:
Why do we want all these people from Africa here? They’re shithole countries.…We should have more people from Norway.
Trump denies saying “shitholes” but admits to using “harsh” language in describing such countries during the meeting. The congressional reps who attended the meeting give wildly different accounts of whether or not he said “shitholes.” In this case, I would rather he lied about not saying it than having him not say it at all. It’s simply too Trumpian for him not to claim as his own.
Lindsey Graham, that suspiciously swishy Republican Trump-hater from South Carolina, says that Trump said “shitholes” and publicly condemned him for it. On Friday he solemnly declared that “America is an idea, not defined by its people but by its ideals.” On Friday Graham neglected to mention that in 2013, he was filmed saying “The people coming across the southern border live in hellholes.”
(Although Ted Kennedy didn’t use the word “shitholes” while he was pushing the 1965 Immigration Act, he did imply that large swaths of the Third World were shitholes when he promised that the bill “will not inundate America with immigrants from…the most populated and deprived nations of Africa and Asia.”)
In keeping with the scientifically verifiable fact that everything that is said against Trump is far more hyperbolic than anything he’s ever said, his alleged comments caused the predictably retaliatory shitstorm, with CNN in particular vying to get into the Guinness Book for most times the word “shithole” was used by news broadcasters in a 24-hour period.
Sean Penn, whose only positive contribution to our national welfare may have been that time he allegedly bound and gagged Madonna, called Trump “an enemy of the state” and “an enemy of mankind.” Ten bucks says he’s repeatedly referred to the rural American South as a “shithole.”
Political pundits, apparently thinking this would deter rather than delight Trump’s supporters, variously referred to him as a “terrorist sympathizer,” a “white supremacist,” and “someone who could lead the Ku Klux Klan in the United States of America.” MSNBC’s Donny Deutsch offered this highly sober and loftily intellectual assessment:
He is an evil man. We don’t talk about that a lot. We talk about he’s insane, he’s crazy. That’s evil. This is just an evil, evil man.
Reasonable people—you know, the kind that build the world rather than tear it down—deal with facts and don’t use the word “evil”; it’s only pearl-clutching church ladies with perpetual PMS who toss around such emotion-laden and deeply unquantifiable terms like tear-soaked Kleenexes.
Haitian officials, who oversee a nation where dirt cookies are a delicacy, said they were “deeply shocked and outraged” by Trump’s “racist” comments, even though Trump didn’t say a word about race in those comments.
Senegal’s president also said he was “shocked” by Trump’s comments, adding that “Africa and the black race merit the respect and consideration of all.” (In case you weren’t aware, Senegal’s per-capita GDP is slightly over $200 a month and its average life expectancy is 57.5 years.)
In comments that were made during a Thursday speech on migration and were likely not a response to Trump’s comments, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said that the First World should drop the hate shtick and embrace migrants as a positive thing. How might they go about doing that? Why, by focusing on “facts not prejudice,” but of course.
So what are the facts? Let’s examine some basic facts about Norway, the USA, Haiti, and Somalia. I chose Somalia as a representative African “shithole” because America seems to be getting a lot of “migrants” from there these days.