Leftist journalists, politicians, and celebrities have scuttled out of the woodwork to decry that Trump allegedly branded some unspecified nations “shitholes.” The use of the term, they argue, proves the president is racist – and, as we all learned during the Obama era, all “racist” talk must be silenced.
The circumstances surrounding how we got to this point in the news cycle – where a nation is hanging on to every word of the president’s, and this word happens to be “shithole” – matter little in comparison to what this outbreak of decency among the elite liberal left exposes. It is a fact that those of us with family roots in oppressed nations know all too well: the left divides the world into “paradises” and “shitholes” all the time, depending on how much money there is to be had in duping apolitical Americans into buying their classifications.
It takes barely any time to find a handful of examples of profiteers selling naive thrill seekers the notion that any variety of impoverished, exploited underdeveloped country is a secret oasis full of exotic beauty and free of the “stain” of Western luxury.
“North Korea is probably one of the safest places on Earth to visit provided you follow the laws as provided by our documentation and pre-tour briefings,” Young Pioneer Tours, the company that swindled 22-year-old Otto Warmbier into an excruciating state murder, still boasts on its website today. “North Korean’s [sic] are friendly and accommodating, if you let them into your world and avoid insulting their beliefs or ideology.”
“Deeply embedded in the past, Belarus offers a rare insight into a bygone world,” the British travel website Wanderlust boasts of Europe’s last remaining communist nation, which remains heavily contaminated after Soviet negligence resulted in 2.2 million citizens being bombarded with radioactive waste in the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster. “Located in the heart of Europe, Belarus is a living museum to Soviet Communism.”
“For 2,500 years, this powerful country has entranced, mystified and beguiled the world,” the New York Times boasts of the Islamic Republic of Iran (the Times offers its wealthiest subscribers tours to some of the world’s most repressive destinations through its “journeys” travel program). The tour includes a tour of the “family home of the religious leader who engineered Iran’s transition to an Islamic republic,” presumably former Supreme Leader Ruhollah Khomenei.
“Though Iran often rejects Western ways and is frequently under fire for its positions on human rights, its nuclear program and Israel, its role as a birthplace of civilization cannot be denied,” the Times gushes.
“The Republic of Congo is on the cusp of becoming one of the finest ecotourism destinations in Africa,” the travel guide publisher Lonely Planet‘s website claims, listing “a pleasantly laid-back capital city in Brazzaville, some decent beaches on its Atlantic coastline and the warm and welcoming Congolese culture” as its evidence.
Amnesty International’s page on Congo lists repression of dissidents, lack of press freedom, “harsh and inhumane” prison conditions, and widespread discrimination against the Pigmy ethnic minority as human rights concerns in the country. The World Bank found in its 2017 assessment that two-thirds of students who graduate primary school lack basic literacy and mathematical skills and nearly half the nation’s residents live below the poverty line.
Cuba, a nation drowning in garbage where unarmed mothers are beaten and arrested for going to church, you can find a “sexual Disneyland” where, “thankfully,” the Cuban government turns a blind eye to rampant sex trafficking.
Venezuela, where Marxism has forced people to actually eat the garbage laying around everywhere, was a “paradise for $20” in 2015, according to a Reuters headline quoting tourists at the time. “People should come. It’s so cheap, it’s ridiculous,” one tourist is featured as urging in the piece.
Do not be deceived by the earlier date on that piece – In 2015, Venezuela’s maternity wards were already killing infants with vermin infestations and McDonald’s was charging $133 for an order of fries.
Zimbabwe, a tyranny under leftist nonagenarian Robert Mugabe – and now spring chicken Emmerson Mnangagwa, 75 – for decades, isn’t a tragedy, but a profitable investment opportunity. “For companies willing to take on some risks, now is the time to buy local assets, which, though priced in USD [U.S. dollars], are still fairly cheap because of the associated risk,” the Harvard Business Review suggested last week, despite Mnangagwa exhibiting the same signs of authoritarianism as his predecessor and the nation’s impoverished growing impatient.
Silence is complicit in the propaganda of the oppression of these “shitholes.” Silence is necessary to keep the pockets of everyone from Carnival Cruises to the New York Times to the tourism arms of the regimes that welcome them.
President Trump’s alleged “crudening” of the language to describe these places from which so many flee serves as an opportunity to deny those who profit from masking reality the ability to do so.
President Trump is, of course, not the prime vehicle for the message that truth sets nations free in this particular case. His sons have publicly showcased vacations in Zimbabwe, very likely profiting longtime tyrant Robert Mugabe with their presence. Though, conversely, it is worth noting that Trump himself has, on multiple occasions, written about his refusal to build real estate commodities in Cuba citing human rights concerns. And then there’s the fact that the reporting surrounding Trump’s comments during the meeting in question is so convoluted and weaponized that it is difficult to even understand what argument he was trying to make by using the word.
Dismissing places where human rights abuses, hunger, and disease are rampant as “shitholes” without offering a viable alternative for running their governments is unproductive. But silencing anyone who dares speak the truth about these places – and what that says about their ruling ideologies – is even worse.
« Shithole countries » : l’expression grossière utilisée par Donald Trump suscite un tollé mondial depuis vendredi. Mais comment est elle traduite ? Incontestablement vulgaire, le terme « shithole » a nécessité quelques trésors d’imagination aux médias du monde entier pour exprimer de manière fidèle la réalité d e la grossièreté de Trump sans trop choquer le public. Car Shithole se réfère aux latrines extérieures pour désigner un endroit particulièrement repoussant.
En français, de nombreux médias, dont l’AFP ou LCI, ont retenu la formule très crue de « pays de merde », proche du sens littéral et conforme au style souvent sans fioritures de Donald Trump. Des dictionnaires bilingues comme le Harrap’s suggèrent toutefois des alternatives moins grossières, comme « porcherie », « taudis » ou « trou paumé ».
« Pays de chiottes » pour les Grecs, « endroit où les loups copulent » pour les Serbes
La presse espagnole est à l’unisson de la française avec « paises de mierda », des médias grecs introduisant quant à eux une nuance : « pays de chiottes ». Aux Pays-Bas, le grand quotidien Volkskrant et une bonne partie de la presse néerlandophone esquivent la vulgarité en utilisant le terme « achterlijke », ou « arriéré ». En Russie Ria Novosti parle de « trou sale », mais Troud (journal syndical) va plus loin avec « trou à merde ». En Italie, le Corriere della Sera avance « merdier » (merdaio), et l’agence tchèque CTK choisit de son côté de parler de « cul du monde ».
Les médias allemands optent souvent pour l’expression « Dreckslöcher », qui peut se traduire par « trous à rats ». L’allégorie animalière est aussi de mise dans la presse serbe, avec l’expression « vukojebina », à savoir « l’endroit où les loups copulent ».
« Pays où les oiseaux ne pondent pas d’oeufs »
En Asie les médias semblent davantage à la peine pour trouver le mot juste en langue locale, tout en évitant parfois de choquer. Au Japon, la chaîne NHK a choisi de parler de « pays crasseux », l’agence Jiji utilisant un terme familier mais pas forcément injurieux pouvant de traduire par « pays ressemblant à des toilettes ».
Les médias chinois se contentent en général de parler de « mauvais pays », évitant de reproduire l’expression originale dans sa grossièreté. La version la plus allusive et la plus imagée revient sans conteste à l’agence taïwanaise CNA, qui évoque des « pays où les oiseaux ne pondent pas d’oeufs ».
« I have interviewed six presidents of the United States. I have traveled with them. I have been in their homes. They’ve been in my home on multiple occasions. I have flown on Air Force One with them and commercial jets and private jets and car caravans and Winnebagos. Went to Disney World with one. They all have used the ‘S-word.’ Even that old gentleman, Ronald Reagan, would sometimes occasionally, rarely use the ‘F-word.’ So, the White house is going to endure, » conservative author Doug Wead said.
Let’s take a look at some presidential profanity throughout history.
Sometimes choice words were reserved for the political opponents. President Reagan famously referred to enemies a few times as “SOBs.” While former President Obama once called Mitt Romney a « bullshitter » in a “Rolling Stone” interview.
One of the more profane presidents in recent history was Richard Nixon. Nixon was caught on White House tapes using numerous vulgarities, including some offensive terms about gay people.
Likewise, President Johnson was accused of often using the “N-word” when talking about African-Americans.
Some of these remarks were caught on video.
In 2000, George W. Bush was caught on a hot mic during a campaign rally calling Adam Clymer, a reporter with The New York Times, a « major league asshole. »
In fact, both the younger Bush and his father, former President George H.W. Bush, are quoted in Mark Updegrove’s book, “The Last Republicans,” as dropping the “F-bomb.”
George W. Bush even had this to say about two former colleagues.
« [Former Vice President Dick Cheney and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld] never made one f—-ing decision. »
Even the silver-tongued President Clinton had his moments. In 2008, Clinton forgot to hang up a phone call with reporter Susan Phillips before saying he wouldn’t take any « shit » from Obama, then a candidate.
Voir par ailleurs:
La gauche angélique et irresponsable fait faussement passer Emmanuel Macron pour un opposant déterminé à l’immigration de peuplement. Ce lundi, le secrétaire général de la CGT, Philippe Martinez, a de nouveau jugé « scandaleux » le « tri » voulu selon lui par le gouvernement entre les « bons » et les « mauvais » migrants. ‘L’histoire de notre pays et le devoir de notre pays c’est d’accueillir des gens qui sont dans la souffrance, les accueillir tous, tous », a déclaré Martinez sur France Inter. Jeudi, sur RTL, l’ancien candidat à la présidentielle, Benoit Hamon, avait déjà asséné : ‘Le tri des migrants, c’est le tri des pauvres ». Dimanche, sur BFMTV, le socialiste Julien Dray a comparé le recensement des migrants dans les centres d’hébergement d’urgence – opérations diligentées par des fonctionnaires et annoncées 48 h à l’avance – à des « rafles », assimilables à celle du Vel d’Hiv organisée en France occupée (1942) contre les juifs étrangers ou apatrides : une outrance inaugurée par L’Obs qui, sur sa une de jeudi, représente le visage de Macron entouré de barbelés. Déjà en 2015, le prix Nobel de littérature Jean-Marie Le Clézio, un des témoins cités dans le dossier de L’Obs, déclarait à l’hebdomadaire argentin Revista N : « Nous devrions éliminer les frontières pour laisser les gens circuler (…) Les restrictions de l’espace Schengen sont une honte. On ferme l’Europe à l’Afrique, l’Orient, l’Amérique latine, on se referme sur nous ».
Cet étalement de bons sentiments en dit long sur l’aveuglement face au raidissement de l’opinion. Partout en Europe, et singulièrement en France, les gens rejettent majoritairement une immigration qui ne s’assimile plus et qui porte en elle un nouvel antisémitisme. Reste que Macron n’est pas l’homme à poigne que croient voir les inconditionnels de l’accueil pour tous. Son soutien à la politique d’Angela Merkel, qui a fait entrer en Allemagne plus d’un million de « migrants » musulmans en 2015, ajouté à son mépris des « populistes » qui réclament le retour aux frontières, ne font pas du président un obstacle sérieux à l’idéologie immigrationniste. Tandis que les pays d’Europe de l’Est, qui ont déjà sauvé l’Europe de l’envahisseur ottoman en 1683, sonnent une nouvelle fois l’alarme sur une histoire qui se répète, Macron joint sa voix à celle de l’Union européenne pour accabler la Pologne ou la Hongrie. Le député Guy Verhofstadt a récemment sermonné ces deux nations : « Il n’y a pas de place pour des pays qui rejettent nos valeurs. Toute référence à l’identité nationale est potentiellement fanatique ». Pour sa part, le commissaire européen aux migrations, Dimitris Avramopoulos, a admis (Le Figaro, vendredi), parlant d’ »impératif moral » mais aussi d’impératif « économique et social » : « Il est temps de regarder en face la vérité. Nous ne pourrons pas arrêter la migration ». Macron l’européen demeure, jusqu’à présent, dans cette logique de l’ouverture et du remplacement.
Black Protest Has Lost Its Power
Have whites finally found the courage to judge African-Americans fairly by universal standards?
Jan. 12, 2018
The recent protests by black players in the National Football League were rather sad for their fruitlessness. They may point to the end of an era for black America, and for the country generally—an era in which protest has been the primary means of black advancement in American life.
There was a forced and unconvincing solemnity on the faces of these players as they refused to stand for the national anthem. They seemed more dutiful than passionate, as if they were mimicking the courage of earlier black athletes who had protested: Tommie Smith and John Carlos, fists in the air at the 1968 Olympics; Muhammad Ali, fearlessly raging against the Vietnam War; Jackie Robinson, defiantly running the bases in the face of racist taunts. The NFL protesters seemed to hope for a little ennoblement by association.
And protest has long been an ennobling tradition in black American life. From the Montgomery bus boycott to the march on Selma, from lunch-counter sit-ins and Freedom Rides to the 1963 March on Washington, only protest could open the way to freedom and the acknowledgment of full humanity. So it was a high calling in black life. It required great sacrifice and entailed great risk. Martin Luther King Jr. , the archetypal black protester, made his sacrifices, ennobled all of America, and was then shot dead.
For the NFL players there was no real sacrifice, no risk and no achievement. Still, in black America there remains a great reverence for protest. Through protest—especially in the 1950s and ’60s—we, as a people, touched greatness. Protest, not immigration, was our way into the American Dream. Freedom in this country had always been relative to race, and it was black protest that made freedom an absolute.
It is not surprising, then, that these black football players would don the mantle of protest. The surprise was that it didn’t work. They had misread the historic moment. They were not speaking truth to power. Rather, they were figures of pathos, mindlessly loyal to a black identity that had run its course.
What they missed is a simple truth that is both obvious and unutterable: The oppression of black people is over with. This is politically incorrect news, but it is true nonetheless. We blacks are, today, a free people. It is as if freedom sneaked up and caught us by surprise.
Of course this does not mean there is no racism left in American life. Racism is endemic to the human condition, just as stupidity is. We will always have to be on guard against it. But now it is recognized as a scourge, as the crowning immorality of our age and our history.
Protest always tries to make a point. But what happens when that point already has been made — when, in this case, racism has become anathema and freedom has expanded?
What happened was that black America was confronted with a new problem: the shock of freedom. This is what replaced racism as our primary difficulty. Blacks had survived every form of human debasement with ingenuity, self-reliance, a deep and ironic humor, a capacity for self-reinvention and a heroic fortitude. But we had no experience of wide-open freedom.
Watch out that you get what you ask for, the saying goes. Freedom came to blacks with an overlay of cruelty because it meant we had to look at ourselves without the excuse of oppression. Four centuries of dehumanization had left us underdeveloped in many ways, and within the world’s most highly developed society. When freedom expanded, we became more accountable for that underdevelopment. So freedom put blacks at risk of being judged inferior, the very libel that had always been used against us.
To hear, for example, that more than 4,000 people were shot in Chicago in 2016 embarrasses us because this level of largely black-on-black crime cannot be blamed simply on white racism.
We can say that past oppression left us unprepared for freedom. This is certainly true. But it is no consolation. Freedom is just freedom. It is a condition, not an agent of change. It does not develop or uplift those who win it. Freedom holds us accountable no matter the disadvantages we inherit from the past. The tragedy in Chicago—rightly or wrongly—reflects on black America.
That’s why, in the face of freedom’s unsparing judgmentalism, we reflexively claim that freedom is a lie. We conjure elaborate narratives that give white racism new life in the present: “systemic” and “structural” racism, racist “microaggressions,” “white privilege,” and so on. All these narratives insist that blacks are still victims of racism, and that freedom’s accountability is an injustice.
We end up giving victimization the charisma of black authenticity. Suffering, poverty and underdevelopment are the things that make you “truly black.” Success and achievement throw your authenticity into question.
The NFL protests were not really about injustice. Instead such protests are usually genuflections to today’s victim-focused black identity. Protest is the action arm of this identity. It is not seeking a new and better world; it merely wants documentation that the old racist world still exists. It wants an excuse.
For any formerly oppressed group, there will be an expectation that the past will somehow be an excuse for difficulties in the present. This is the expectation behind the NFL protests and the many protests of groups like Black Lives Matter. The near-hysteria around the deaths of Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Freddie Gray and others is also a hunger for the excuse of racial victimization, a determination to keep it alive. To a degree, black America’s self-esteem is invested in the illusion that we live under a cloud of continuing injustice.
When you don’t know how to go forward, you never just sit there; you go backward into what you know, into what is familiar and comfortable and, most of all, exonerating. You rebuild in your own mind the oppression that is fading from the world. And you feel this abstract, fabricated oppression as if it were your personal truth, the truth around which your character is formed. Watching the antics of Black Lives Matter is like watching people literally aspiring to black victimization, longing for it as for a consummation.
But the NFL protests may be a harbinger of change. They elicited considerable resentment. There have been counterprotests. TV viewership has gone down. Ticket sales have dropped. What is remarkable about this response is that it may foretell a new fearlessness in white America—a new willingness in whites (and blacks outside the victim-focused identity) to say to blacks what they really think and feel, to judge blacks fairly by standards that are universal.
We blacks have lived in a bubble since the 1960s because whites have been deferential for fear of being seen as racist. The NFL protests reveal the fundamental obsolescence—for both blacks and whites—of a victim-focused approach to racial inequality. It causes whites to retreat into deference and blacks to become nothing more than victims. It makes engaging as human beings and as citizens impermissible, a betrayal of the sacred group identity. Black victimization is not much with us any more as a reality, but it remains all too powerful as a hegemony.
Mr. Steele, a senior fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution, is author of “Shame: How America’s Past Sins Have Polarized Our Country” (Basic Books, 2015).
Trump Is a Racist. Period.
Charles M. Blow
Jan. 14, 2018
I find nothing more useless than debating the existence of racism, particularly when you are surrounded by evidence of its existence. It feels to me like a way to keep you fighting against the water until you drown.
The debates themselves, I believe, render a simple concept impossibly complex, making the very meaning of “racism” frustratingly murky.
So, let’s strip that away here. Let’s be honest and forthright.
Racism is simply the belief that race is an inherent and determining factor in a person’s or a people’s character and capabilities, rendering some inferior and others superior. These beliefs are racial prejudices.
The history of America is one in which white people used racism and white supremacy to develop a racial caste system that advantaged them and disadvantaged others.
Understanding this, it is not a stretch to understand that Donald Trump’s words and deeds over the course of his life have demonstrated a pattern of expressing racial prejudices that demean people who are black and brown and that play to the racial hostilities of other white people.
It is not a stretch to say that Trump is racist. It’s not a stretch to say that he is a white supremacist. It’s not a stretch to say that Trump is a bigot.
Those are just facts, supported by the proof of the words that keep coming directly from him. And, when he is called out for his racism, his response is never to ameliorate his rhetoric, but to double down on it.
I know of no point during his entire life where he has apologized for, repented of, or sought absolution for any of his racist actions or comments.
Instead, he either denies, deflects or amps up the attack.
Trump is a racist. We can put that baby to bed.
“Racism” and “racist” are simply words that have definitions, and Trump comfortably and unambiguously meets those definitions.
We have unfortunately moved away from the simple definition of racism, to the point where the only people to whom the appellation can be safely applied are the vocal, violent racial archetypes.
Racism doesn’t require hatred, constant expression, or even conscious awareness. We want racism to be fringe rather than foundational. But, wishing isn’t an effective method of eradication.
We have to face this thing, stare it down and fight it back.
The simple acknowledgment that Trump is a racist is the easy part. The harder, more substantive part is this: What are we going to do about it?
Every weekday, get thought-provoking commentary from Op-Ed columnists, the Times editorial board and contributing writers from around the world.
First and foremost, although Trump is not the first president to be a racist, we must make him the last. If by some miracle he should serve out his first term, he mustn’t be allowed a second. Voters of good conscience must swarm the polls in 2020.
But before that, those voters must do so later this year, to rid the House and the Senate of as many of Trump’s defenders, apologists and accomplices as possible. Should the time come where impeachment is inevitable, there must be enough votes in the House and Senate to ensure it.
We have to stop thinking that we can somehow separate what racists believe from how they will behave. We must stop believing that any of Trump’s actions are clear of the venom coursing through his convictions. Everything he does is an articulation of who he is and what he believes. Therefore, all policies he supports, positions he takes and appointments he makes are suspect.
And finally, we have to stop giving a pass to the people — whether elected official or average voter — who support and defend his racism. If you defend racism you are part of the racism. It doesn’t matter how much you say that you’re an egalitarian, how much you say that you are race blind, how much you say that you are only interested in people’s policies and not their racist polemics.
As the brilliant James Baldwin once put it: “I can’t believe what you say, because I see what you do.” When I see that in poll after poll a portion of Trump’s base continues to support his behavior, including on race, I can only conclude that there is no real daylight between Trump and his base. They are part of his racism.
When I see the extraordinary hypocrisy of elected officials who either remain silent in the wake of Trump’s continued racist outbursts or who obliquely condemn him, only to in short order return to defending and praising him and supporting his agenda, I see that there is no real daylight between Trump and them either. They too are part of his racism.
When you see it this way, you understand the enormity and the profundity of what we are facing. There were enough Americans who were willing to accept Trump’s racism to elect him. There are enough people in Washington willing to accept Trump’s racism to defend him. Not only is Trump racist, the entire architecture of his support is suffused with that racism. Racism is a fundamental component of the Trump presidency.