Does Trump's 'Shi*hole' Remark 'Mainstream Racism'?
Donald Trump's remark about not wanting immigrants from "shi*hole" countries has presented a marvelous opportunity for virtue signalers around the world to demonstrate their piety and purity about their love for their fellow man.
But I doubt the vast majority of them would be comfortable with their private conversations regarding immigrants or some of those "shi*hole" countries being recorded for posterity.
Trump has already destroyed the dignity of the presidency, so his use of a barnyard epithet to describe some countries is hardly a major news event. It's not Trump's use of the expletive that has the world in a tizzy. Trump's remark has set off a planetary guilt trip because all of us know that there are dozens of places where the adjective the president used is a spot-on description of the conditions billions of people have to endure.
But to hide the guilt about actually agreeing with a lout like Trump, the term "racist" has been employed to describe his remark.
To wit: The New York Times:
This week, Austria’s new far-right interior minister suggested “concentrating” migrants in asylum centers — with all its obvious and odious echoes of World War II.
So when President Trump said he did not want immigrants from “shithole” countries, there was ringing silence across broad parts of the European Union, especially in the east, and certainly no chorus of condemnation.
In fact, some analysts saw the remarks as fitting a pattern of crude, dehumanizing and racist language to describe migrants and asylum seekers that has steadily edged its way into the mainstream. Coming from the White House, such words may be taken by some as a broader signal that racism is now an acceptable part of political discourse.
“What we see now is a conscious policy to reintroduce language that was previously not acceptable in debate,” said Gerald Knaus, the director of the European Stability Initiative, a Berlin-based research organization that has played a leading role in forming recent European migration policy.
Expletives are always "not acceptable in debate." The question isn't whether using one of the "Seven Words You Can't Say on TV" in a conversation about immigration is wrong. It is. The question is whether saying a country is a "shi*hole" is racist.
Even if it's true?
That's where the problem lies. There isn't a person on this planet with half a brain who doesn't know that there are dozens of countries in the world that are dangerous, awful, horrible places to live or even visit. Bad government, no government, repressive government, universal poverty, crime, murder, kidnapping, rape, mayhem, starvation, no healthcare, bad housing. If these things did not exist and Trump said they did, that would be racist. But these things are the reality that billions of the world's citizens must contend with. And race has nothing to do with it.