Shithole Country Comment: Is it Racist?

Donald Trump, 45th president of the United States, has allegedly made vulgar comments regarding certain countries, such as Haiti, El Salvador and some African countries.

Trump may, to some extent, have a history of putting his foot in his mouth. I think he means well overall, but the language he uses is a major factor in what’s been hurting his reputation. Coming from a more real estate background, rather than in politics, his rhetoric may have backfired on him to some extent.

Trump’s alleged remark came during a meeting with lawmakers to discuss immigration reform, whereby he reportedly asked, “Why are we having all these people from shithole countries come here?,” according to The Washington Post.

According to NBC News, Trump allegedly commented: “We should have more people from places like Norway.”

The White House reportedly has not expressed directly that Trump has or hasn’t made these remarks. Instead, the White House said in a statement, “Certain Washington politicians choose to fight for foreign countries, but President Trump will always fight for the American people. The President will only accept an immigration deal that adequately addresses the visa lottery system and chain migration, two programs that hurt our economy and allow terrorists into our country.”

Both Democrats and some Republicans became perplexed by these alleged remarks, believing them to be divisive and elitist, among other things. Rep. Mia Love (R-UT) is a daughter whose parents immigrated to the United States from Haiti. In a “State of the Union” show with CNN, Love said, “I can’t defend the indefensible. You have to understand that there are countries that struggle out there but … their people are good people and they’re part of us.”

When asked if she thought that Trump’s comments were at all racist, Mia Love replied, “I think they were, yes. I wasn’t in the room. I know the comments were made. I don’t know in which context they were made.” She continued on to say, “I’m looking forward to finding out what happened, but more importantly, I’m looking forward to fixing the problem. We have to hold ourselves to a higher standard.” Love believed that Donald Trump should apologize for his comments. She believes that that would show real leadership on Trump’s part.

According to an article from Reuters, “Campaigning for the White House is different than hawking commercial real estate. Trump’s penchant for exaggeration could backfire — he risks promising voters more than he could deliver.” In an interview from about three years ago with the Hollywood Reporter, Trump said that he would have to tone things down a bit in the long run and be more selective in what he says.

I agree with Mia Love. Even if Trump denies making the comment, he could at least acknowledge that some people may have heard the vulgar slur come out of his mouth once or twice. He could at least be somewhat apologetic for the comment. However, I think that context matters, as Mia Love admitted she doesn’t know the context in which the comment was made. Maybe Trump would like to see more immigrants from Norway or other European countries, rather than see a majority of immigrants from Haiti, El Salvador or other Latin American or African countries.

Mia Love pointed out a lot of people are struggling in those countries that they’re attempting to escape from and immigrate to America. Economist William Easterly, expert in economic development, wrote in his book “The White Man’s Burden,” that a problem in some countries is that the government in those areas are rather corrupt. I don’t know if that’s at all true for the countries Trump was referring to, but the fact that those countries mentioned are suffering in an economic sense could be what Trump meant by his comment.

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