The God-King’s latest outburst was all about racism. (More)
“Why are we having all these people from shithole countries come here?”
President Trump grew frustrated with lawmakers Thursday in the Oval Office when they discussed protecting immigrants from Haiti, El Salvador and African countries as part of a bipartisan immigration deal, according to several people briefed on the meeting.
“Why are we having all these people from shithole countries come here?” Trump said, according to these people, referring to countries mentioned by the lawmakers.
Trump then suggested that the United States should instead bring more people from countries such as Norway, whose prime minister he met with Wednesday. The president, according to a White House official, also suggested he would be open to more immigrants from Asian countries because he felt they help the United States economically.
Of course there was the usual pearl-clutching over whether the Washington Post and other major news outlets should have quoted the God-King’s vulgarity. And there were the usual wingnut retorts that the God-King merely spoke the blunt if impolitic truth.
First, I asked the Grafix Department to find a picture of an outhouse, that is, an actual shithole. And – surprise! – almost all of the pics they found were in the U.S. What’s more, almost all of the pics they found were in the kinds of rural places that wingnuts insist are Real America™. The photo we used is from Funk Mountain – a great name for a place to put an outhouse – in Conconully, Washington. They note that the outhouse is open to the public but “usage is not recommended.”
It turns out there are a lot of shitholes in the U.S.:
According to the latest American Community Survey, nearly 630,000 occupied households lack complete plumbing facilities, which means that they are without one or more of the following: a toilet, a tub or shower, or running water. The Census Bureau says that the average household contains 2.6 individuals, which means that today, in 2014, in the wealthiest nation on Earth, upwards of 1.6 million people are living without full indoor plumbing.
The state with the highest percentage of residents lacking indoor plumbing? That paragon of Real America™ … Alaska. Which makes it a frozen shithole. Just sayin’.
But of course the God-King wasn’t talking about literal shitholes. He meant that metaphorically — crappy places to live. And in that sense, he wasn’t entirely wrong. Most U.S. immigrants do – and always have – come from “shithole countries” …
… and that’s imminently logical. Moving to a new country is a major undertaking, and a big risk. You’ll usually leave family, friends, and community ties behind. You’ll probably have to learn a new language. You’ll certainly have to get accustomed to a new culture. You may not have a job waiting for you, and it may be difficult to find one because you’ll be an outsider. It may be a bit easier if your destination has a community of people from your homeland — unless those people hated your family back in the old country.
To overcome all those negatives – to justify the hardship and risk of leaving one country, permanently, to start anew somewhere else – where you are now must be pretty awful.
That’s why the first wave of Irish immigrants came to the U.S. during the Potato Famine, and the first wave of Polish immigrants were called za chlebem (“for bread”). That’s why northern Italians came here to escape the Risorgimento – the wars of unification – and later southern Italians came to escape the grinding poverty of a now-unified nation that hoarded its wealth in the north. That’s why many of America’s Jews arrived during the pogroms. I could go on, but you get the point: most of our immigrants came from what were, at the time, for them and their families … “shithole countries.”
And that’s why, nowadays, we don’t get a lot of immigrants from “places like Norway.” Norway ranks #5 on the Quality of Life Index, behind only Canada, Sweden, Denmark, and Australia. The U.S. is all the way down at #17, behind Switzerland, Finland, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Germany, Austria, Japan, Luxembourg, Ireland, France, and Singapore … and only three spots ahead of China.
An equally weighted average of scores from nine country attributes that relate to quality of life in a country: affordable, a good job market, economically stable, family friendly, income equality, politically stable, safe, well-developed public education system and well-developed public health system.
To answer the God-King’s idiotic question, we don’t get many immigrants from “places like Norway” because their countries offer a higher quality of life than ours. As for those “Asian countries” whose immigrants would “help our country economically” – more on that in a moment – they’re about on par with the U.S. in quality of life … especially for the well-educated and economically-successful people that the God-King wants.
Why would people from “places like Norway” and “Asian countries” want to come here?
Well … because life in their homelands is even harder than life for immigrants in the U.S. In short: “shithole countries.”
So back to that “help our country economically” remark about Asians. Note that the God-King didn’t say that about “places like Norway” … and that’s the blaring racist foghorn that wingnuts pretend was anything else. If you’re from one of those “Asian countries,” we’ll take you if you’ll “help our country economically.” And if you’re from “places like Norway” – very, very white – then of course you’re welcome regardless.
Oh, and here’s the real kicker:
The same folks who want to stop people in “shithole countries” from moving here … throw tantrums anytime a factory opens in one of those countries. Including the God-King.
In other words, they want those countries to remain “shitholes” … and the people who live there to stay there. But it’s not racism. Oh no….
Photo Credit: Summit Post
Good day and good nuts