WASHINGTON, January 15, 2018.: In a recent closed-door meeting where discussions are meant to be confidential and are only reported to the public when leaked by members for political reasons, it was reported that President Trump referred to some third world countries as “sh**holes.”
Nearly every major news outlet presumed the information was correct and responded very strongly.
CNN’s Anderson Cooper concluded that the President is “tired of having so many black people come to this country.” And the “sentiment that the president expressed today is a racist sentiment.”
“The president of the United States is tired of so many black people coming into this country. Tired of immigrants from Haiti and Africa being allowed in,” Cooper says. “Tired of Africans and Haitians, the president said he would like to bring more people from countries like Norway. Norway, which population is overwhelmingly of Nordic descent. White people in other words,” he explained.
Time.com reported that Trump’s “description of Haiti, El Salvador and some parts of Africa as shithole countries has sparked unprecedented international outrage.”
“I found the comments insulting, irresponsible, and extremely disappointing,” said Arikana Chihombori-Quao, the ambassador of the African Union in Washington.
San Juan mayor Carmen Cruz said of Trump, “He’s a hater-in-chief. He’s an ignorant-in-chief.”
Senator Rand Paul, who has been at opposite ends of the political discussion with the President says citizen Trump funded doctor trips to Haiti to provide medical care (Rand Paul Calls It ‘Unfair’ to Label Trump Racist After He Helped Fund a Medical Trip to Haiti).
What did Trump mean to say?
When Trump decided to ban immigrants from countries where proper security measures could not be implemented, he was labeled as a racist since those countries had a mostly Muslim population. Now when Trump wants to limit illegal immigration from countries where much of the population lives in squalor, Trump is again labeled a racist since the inhabitants of those countries are mostly people of color.
Although the mainstream media, the Never Trumpers and all members of the opposing party label Trump a racist, a more objective view would not reach that conclusion.
The definition of a shithole, as defined by the Oxford dictionary, is a slang term used to describe a dirty, shabby or otherwise unpleasant place.
If much of the population in those countries live in “dirty, shabby or otherwise unpleasant” places, then maybe the description, although very crude, vulgar and inappropriate, does partially fit.
While it is true that many people have immigrated from these countries to the US, becoming contributing members of society, most immigrants from those countries have not done well. The poverty rate, for instance, for all immigrants from Africa is 26% higher than the average poverty rate in the US.
Immigrants from countries like Yemem and Solmalia have nearly three times higher poverty rates than the US average.
Many Westerners who have never visited these countries, perceive living conditions in Haiti, El Salvador and some parts of Africa as dirty, shabby and otherwise unpleasant. Westerners think much of the population lives in poverty without some of the most basic services.
In other words, many people believe that Trump’s slang describes much of the reality in those countries.
Trump tells it like it is.
Since President Trump is a businessperson and not a politician he never learned how to be politically correct. Instead, he often reacts in a straightforward manner that reflects his beginnings as a person born and raised in Queens, New York. People from Queens tend to be very direct and usually don’t hold back.
Perhaps Trump could have said, “The US should carefully monitor immigration from impoverished countries so that the immigrants we admit are ready to contribute to the welfare of the US rather than being a burden on the system. We should use merit-based immigration criteria similar to Canada, Australia, Germany and the Danish countries.”
On the more positive side, Trump brought to the public’s attention the deplorable conditions in many countries and the reason why so many people want to leave. People who live in unhealthy conditions and don’t have access to good education opportunities certainly want to leave their home country and come to the US for a better opportunity.
The president just recognizes that many of these immigrants could become a burden on the US and will take resources that would otherwise be used to benefit American citizens. While Americans are very compassionate, there is a limit.
Estimates say that up to 3 billion people, worldwide, are living in poverty. That includes more than 1 billion children. The US does not have the resources to help all of them.
It is up to the people and the governments of these impoverished countries to promote economic development and improve the standard of living of their citizens. The current conditions are that many of the citizens in those countries live in a dirty, shabby or otherwise unpleasant place.
In other words (crudely yet respectfully), many live in shitholes.