In Praise of Shitholes
President Trump has referred to African countries, Haiti and El Salvador as “shithole” nations and asked why the U.S. can’t have more immigrants from Norway. Probably because Norwegians don’t want to come and live in your dumbass country.
At this stage nothing is surprising and none of this is normal. But it does make you wonder if there’s any kind of threshold we can imagine for:
a) the American public
b) the Republican Party?
Almost certainly not. After all he was elected after the most appalling campaign and conduct in US history after all.
He mocked a disabled journalist, boasted of sexual assault and encouraged his supporters to attack people, so why would they care if he demeaned El Salvador?
The Republican Party have responded to his disgraceful behaviours largely with increased sycophancy, so don’t hold your breath.
We know all this.
Neither does the diplomatic backlash matter much.
Haiti’s Ambassador to the United States Paul Altidor said he and the Haitian government “vehemently condemn” President Trump’s comments which they believe are “based on stereotypes.” “Either the president has been misinformed or he is miseducated.”
Altidor has formerly summoned a US official to explain Trump’s comments to Haiti’s officials. “Haitians fought along US soldiers in the revolutionary war and we continue to be great contributors to American society,” he said.
Nobody really cares.
NBC Micah Grames has written:
“I often see comments like “this is not America” in relation to Trump, and for many it certainly is not their ideals of America, but for other many, it very much is America. Many Trump views that shock have long histories in America, & he’s flicked on some yuge dormant spotlights.”
This is not just about Trump, this is about America, and a deep-seated triumphalism born out of pride in ignorance, cultural and geographical isolation and historical amnesia.
America elected a racist sociopath. He is dipping in the polls but may get re-elected.
So you’re surprised he’s a racist? Did you somehow miss …
1. Housing discrimination
2. The Central Park 5 lie
4. Calling Mexicans drug dealers
5. The ban on Muslims
6. Pardoning Joe Arpaio
7. Calling Nazis “very fine people”
8. Endorsing slave-supporter Roy Moore
9. Saying Haitians: Have AIDS
10. Saying Nigerians: Live in huts
11. Saying Puerto Ricans are Lazy foreigners
12. Saying Blacks are Thugs, Mexicans are rapists and Muslims are Terrorists
13. Saying that Dreamers are a National security threat
Or his KKK Daddy?
This is not new. This is not a shock.
On the trail Trump often suggested people of color live like animals.
Hi racism is open, flagrant flaunted and adored.
What else will those “yuge spotlights” reveal?
Rebecca Solnit has talked of Trump’s “powerlessness hung out like dirty laundry”:
“The man in the white house sits, naked and obscene, a pustule of ego, in the harsh light, a man whose grasp exceeded his understanding, because his understanding was dulled by indulgence. He must know somewhere below the surface he skates on that he has destroyed his image, and like Dorian Gray before him, will be devoured by his own corrosion in due time too. One way or another this will kill him, though he may drag down millions with him. One way or another, he knows he has stepped off a cliff, pronounced himself king of the air, and is in freefall. Another dungheap awaits his landing; the dung is all his; when he plunges into it he will be, at last, a self-made man.”
Trump is an ogre, a tragedy, a ‘pustule of ego’, but he’s also a mirror.
Sure Trump is a racist but he’s the head of a racist society, with a racist police force, a racist legal system, a country founded on – built upon racism.
As was said again and again ‘Make America Great A~gain’ really meant ‘Make America White Again’.
As the tshirts says: “Fuck your feelings”.