This afternoon, the President of the United States said during a meeting that he was upset with immigration from “shithole” countries like “Africa” and Haiti, and wondered why we couldn’t get more immigration from countries like Norway, where the people are of a skin color more akin to the President’s own.
Whether or not the Norway reference is related to actual white supremacist leanings – the Nazis of Germany venerated the Nordics as the “master race” – or whether it was just the first nation that his struggling, clogged cerebral synapses were able to dredge from the decaying morass of his brain for an off-the-cuff and automatically blurted thought remains to be seen.
But there’s no denying the abhorrent racist undertones of the remarks, especially coming so soon after it was reported that he referred to Haitians and Nigerians “all have AIDS” and would “never return to their huts.”
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Ever the germophobe, the language he uses is evocative of cleanliness – asserting that black people are disease-ridden and living in squalid poverty – a clear indication that he doesn’t consider them to be people.
White supremacists often cling to the white/black = clean/dirty dichotomy and use it to justify their genocidal behavior – there’s a reason it’s called ethnic “cleansing.”
MSNBC’s late-night host, Lawrence O’Donnell, shared a critical message this afternoon that we’re all going to have to become accustomed to.
Your kids are going to learn nasty words. It's time for you to teach them one–"shithole." This is the day for you to explain to them what the President said about "shithole countries." It's not going to be easy but this is what parenting is about in the age of Trump.
— Lawrence O'Donnell (@Lawrence) January 11, 2018
We are far beyond the point where it’s acceptable to censor the President’s words, ugly as they are. We live in ugly times, with an ugly president, in a nation animated by ugly forces, in a world torn about by ugly wounds.
O’Donnell is right; we can’t spare our children from this, nor would it be responsible to do so. They have to be taught that this kind of talk is unacceptable from anyone. They need to understand that simply because he’s the president doesn’t mean that he needs to be emulated or respected.