Immigrants from s**thole countries

Every so often, and it is often, President Trump says or does something that people take exception to and mainstream, alternative and social media are full of it. Most of the comments that come my way are negative. I have little doubt Trump’s detractors need little excuse to have a go at him when he says something they disapprove of, and that is invariably what happens.

The most recent instance was regarding Trump allegedly referring to countries like Haiti (and some African countries) as being s**tholes. The precise words that were said in a private meeting and the precise context there is some dispute over. I would have liked to have been a fly on the wall with the brain the size of a planet to weigh everything, but that is not the case so the best I can do is to give my take on what might have been said and the reactions to this latest Trump shot. Given I am in a minority among my circle of friends and acquaintances who more disapprove than approve of the President, I have often found myself weighing in with my opinion.

I should reiterate that I do not defend the indefensible and regret if that use of words was made or any intemperate language, partly because the ignorant and Trump haters will see these as tantamount as him being racist and partly because I dislike crassness and making points that can be misinterpreted or are unbalanced. Part of Trump’s charm (or not depending on your views) is he shoots from the hip and says things as he sees them. I have little doubt Trump sees there are good and bad Haitians and that can be said for every country under the sun, and it would be regrettable if as a result of his supposed use of words people see Haitians as mostly bad. I would like him though to use he position to decry all xenophobia.

But compared with nearby El Salvador, for example, Haiti is a s**thole, given the level of crime, corruption, poverty, squalor etc. Understandably, when considering who you would want to come to your own country there will be fears that those coming from such places would be less likely to uphold the values of your country and contribute as well as whether they come legally. I don’t think Trump is saying anything other than that. In Europe we are reaping the consequence of taking in immigrants from so called s**thole countries, which because of the backlash against so called racists who argue the point based on evidence these are not fully realized.

As for racism, Trump’s record in business when he has employed many black people, including to senior positions, his recent record on the economy that has seen black unemployment significantly reduced, and listening to his words including some his detractors deem as racist, I do not see anything to make me think he is racist. I reckon, like Martin Luther King, he judges people by the content of their character rather than the colour of their skin. Some of my friends will disagree with this view but that is their problem.

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