Did he say that, or didn’t he? Looks like he did, but maybe not, hard to tell, it was racist and vicious, but not that racist and not that vicious, but that one heard it, yet that one didn’t recall, and she said he didn’t use that exact phrase, but he said the quote was pretty much accurate.
Welcome to the Fun House.
So, here’s what we know. President Trump said something in reference to certain countries (or immigrants from certain countries) that was rather uniformly heard as a repugnant utterance. The “shithole” noun was either used or, depending on whose earwitness account you listen to, something that meant the same thing was used by the President of The United States to refer to places from which he doesn’t want to accept immigrants.
Having reviewed everyone’s version of what they heard or didn’t hear at the infamous White House meeting, we can adduce that President Trump doesn’t want people coming to the United States that aren’t, well, Aryan. Norwegians are definitely welcome and, we assume, so are Danes, Swedes and those from the land of his forefathers, Germans. Yes, President Trump, they were from Germany, not Sweden.
Well, we think all those Nordic types are great too. They share wonderful DNA that is full of great potential, promise, creativity, and brain power. The thing is, they pretty much share it with all of humanity. “Race” is a social construct. We recognize that our President doesn’t understand that, but qualitatively, Race is meaningless. It may describe how people look, but it has relatively little other value. It has absolutely nothing to do with a person’s potential to contribute mightily to society.
Yes, there are pathetically poor and disadvantaged areas of the world, but it has been demonstrated, time and time again, that every race and every socio-economic group, and every geographic area has produced great thinkers, great artists, and great achievers. And what is most important, it is the country that welcomes these immigrants that benefits from their potential. That’s why they emigrate out of those horribly disadvantaged places to the places that provide opportunity and which, in return, benefit the most from the talent they and their progeny provide.
That doesn’t mean we should have open immigration for all comers from all nations. Any country can be overwhelmed by unrestrained immigration, and no country can afford to have the needs of immigrants, or any group for that matter, drain its resources. But it would be insane to blacklist the citizens of any country from immigrating to the United States, because of their country of origin. Let us be more direct; it would be stupid.
What noun President Trump actually used, or the context in which he used it, has dominated the news cycle for three days now with only intermittent relief coming from an “oops” moment regarding a missile attack that either was or wasn’t aimed at Hawaii or the tragic mudslides in Montecito, California.
What is clear is that President Trump doesn’t want people coming here from what he considers disgusting places, otherwise referred to by some as shitholes. Now, to be fair, the President says that’s not exactly what he said, but, according to the President, he did use pretty rough language. Senator Durbin of Illinois says the President used “hate-filled, vile and racist remarks. Senators Cotton and Perdue said they don’t recall these exact words being used, but Senator Lindsey Graham said the quote was, basically, accurate.
Does the President really wonder about the value and contributions of Americans of African heritage? Doesn’t he realize that would have precluded Americans such as Condoleezza Rice, or Colin Powell, or Ben Carson or Mia Love, the promising young Republican from Utah who is of Haitian ancestry for Pete’s sake?
Doesn’t the President know that the children of very poor, destitute immigrants from a variety of what he would call shitholes and hellholes have been among the most creative and productive citizens in American history? The world’s first highest performing superluminescent diode used in medical technology was invented by Haitian-American Gerald Alphonse, and Dr. Linda Marc-Clérismé, the daughter of Haitian immigrants, made it to Harvard and is now one of the world’s leading epidemiologists.
We wouldn’t be Dreaming of a White Christmas every year or enjoying an annual Easter Parade or singing God Bless America had it not been for the son of poor Russian immigrants. We know him as Irving Berlin, who came from the poverty-stricken Russian shtetl of Tolochin. He came with his parents when he was five years old and his only memory from his boyhood village was lying on a blanket by the side of a road, watching his house burn to the ground.
Nearly half of the fortune 500 companies were founded by immigrants or the children of immigrants, and nearly 60% of the top 35 fortune 500 companies were founded by immigrants or children of immigrants.
President Trump thinks we can cherry pick the immigrants who will be the most productive Americans. He’s pathetically wrong. America has done incredibly well welcoming millions of the world’s huddled masses, wretched refuse, and homeless, tempest-tossed immigrants to its shores.