When President Trump lies, it’s usually a whopper. But when he tells his truth, it’s a breathtaking doozy. That’s why we see a direct connection between his belief that there are some “very fine people” lurking among white supremacists and his outrageous comments that this country has too many immigrants from “shithole” countries such as Haiti and El Salvador and nations in Africa.
We get it. Actually we got it ages ago. He has little respect for black and brown people.
We are sure this offensive attitude is guiding his resolve to reject upstanding families from these countries – people who have only enhanced South Florida since they fled here to escape natural disasters and political turmoil.
So maybe that makes South Florida a shithole, too, in Trump’s eyes.
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According to multiple sources of the Washington Post, Trump made his shockingly filter-free statement Thursday in the Oval Office in front of a room full of lawmakers, when they proposed restoring protections for immigrants from Haiti, El Salvador and African countries as part of a bipartisan immigration deal.
“Why are we having all these people from shithole countries come here?” Trump asked, according to the Post sources, referring to African countries and Haiti.
The president suggested that the United States should instead bring more people from, oh, say, Norway.
Again, we get it.
A White House spokesman defended Trump’s position on immigration without directly addressing the president’s remarks.
The spokesman didn’t have to. We get the message loud and clear.
It’s the same core message upon which Trump ran. Sadly, it’s the same message that got him elected. Immigrants are, for the most part, bad hombres from lesser countries — in Trump’s racially white-washed world.
We can answer the president’s question: People come here because they believe that they’ll be treated fairly; because their homelands, rather than being “shitholes” are in despair. They come because, right up to Jan. 19, 2017, the United States was a welcoming nation.
It’s ironic that, on Friday, Haiti, the poorest nation in the hemisphere, will observe the eighth anniversary of the devastating 2010 earthquake that brought the country to its knees. The country, but not its resilient citizens. The tragedy led the United States to grant thousands of refugees Temporary Protected Status, (TPS), allowing them to stay here until conditions improved at home. Unfortunately, improvements were dealt a setback by a deadly cholera epidemic and Haiti’s own political dysfunction.
El Salvador made headway in improving its infrastructure since dual earthquakes hit in 2001. But poverty and gang violence endure.
We expect South Florida lawmakers from the president’s party to push back loud and hard against his insult that conflates people — our neighbors — with sorry conditions in their native countries. U.S. Reps. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Carlos Curbelo quickly signaled their outrage. Others must add their voices.
Otherwise, given the downward slide of civil discourse, intractable poverty, blatant racism, efforts to take away healthcare and so on, people in other countries may begin to use Trump’s own vulgarity to describe us.