How sadly ironic is it that just days from the birthday of civil rights icon Martin Luther King, the president who governs us referred to Haiti, African nations, and El Salvador as “shithole countries” during a White House meeting to discuss a preliminary agreement over DACA with a bipartisan group of senators.
CNN indicated that news of Trump’s comments, first reported by The Washington Post and then spread like wildfire nationally and internationally, came to light at the same time that Trump recorded a presidential message about MLK Day.
Trump lamented that the United States, instead of continuing to admit immigrants from so-called “shithole countries,” should instead embrace immigrants from countries like Norway. I ask you, what is the distinguishing feature that Norwegians have that Trump likes so much?
However, as disgusting is Trump’s most recent racist outburst, it’s equally disgusting to see his parade of enablers on television contorting themselves, once again to defend, justify, and excuse him.
This man has called Mexicans rapists and terrorists; said that Haitian immigrants “all have AIDS”; on January 11, during the White House meeting asked, “why do we need more Haitians?”; and said that Nigerian immigrants would never “go back to their huts” in Africa.
His immigration policy is based on racial discrimination. That is why he wants to kill TPS and the diversity visa lottery. That is why he is obsessed with ending “chain migration,” which is really just the process by which family members sponsor relatives to immigrate. That is why he has rejected the tool of prosecutorial discretion that used to focus deportations on real criminals. That is why he ended DACA, even if now he claims he wants to pass a “bill of love” for Dreamers.
And to take it back just a little bit further, racism drove Trump’s insistence that President Barack Obama was not born in the United States. Coming back to the present, racism is the reason that President Trump is treating Puerto Ricans devastated by Hurricane María as fifth-class American citizens.
However, as disgusting is Trump’s most recent racist outburst, it’s equally disgusting to see his parade of enablers on television contorting themselves, once again to defend, justify, and excuse him. It’s also disgusting to see the Republican Party – the party of abolitionist Abraham Lincoln – be complicit in their silence, as the president’s big mouth drags them all down into the shit.
By Maribel Hastings
Maribel Hastings is a Senior Advisor and columnist at América’s Voice and América’s Voice Education Fund.
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