The Norwegians cover their eyes, embarrassed to be singled out

Our president is a racist and a shameful laughingstock, part MCXVIX.

President Trump grew frustrated with lawmakers Thursday in the Oval Office when they floated restoring protections for immigrants from Haiti, El Salvador and African countries as part of a bipartisan immigration deal, according to two 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 African countries and Haiti. He then suggested that the United States should instead bring more people from countries like Norway, whose prime minister he met yesterday.

Meanwhile, the more polite and diplomatic members of the rest of the world are all thinking about what a shithole the United States is becoming.


  1. John Morales says

    Graham and Durbin thought they would be meeting with Trump alone and were surprised to find immigration hard-liners such as Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) and Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) at the meeting. The meeting was impromptu and came after phone calls Thursday morning, Capitol Hill aides said.

    The recently-televised immigration meeting shows why he needs minders at such meetings.

  2. slithey tove (twas brillig (stevem)) says

    Man who wants those descendants of Vikings moving here. Those pillagers and scavengers /S
    Really, Norway and most of scandavian countries have become models toward which we need to aspire. *sigh*

  3. birgerjohansson says

    Norway may be a very good choice.
    Unlike other oil-producing countries, they have set aside the oil money in long-term funds for future generations, for when the oil is gone.
    The gini coefficient is good. Healthcare, social programs, education, all are high in lists comparing industrial countries.
    Gender equality, the whole shebang.
    Minus points for a xenopobic populist party, but that is the only problem I can think of, offhand.
    And every party that rises above a four-percent treshold gets a proportional share of parliament seats.

  4. says

    He then suggested that the United States should instead bring more people from countries like Norway

    He acts as though people are his to be bused in. I can’t imagine why anyone in Norway would want to come here, given that they have a much better, and much more stable society than we do here in Ustates.

  5. blf says

    Apropos of nothing much, in 2010(-ish), there was apparently around 1000 immigrants from Norway. I have no idea what the “quota” is for Norway (the State Dept calls it something else), but would not be surprised to learn it’s under-subscribed; that is, that there are more “slots” available for Norwegian immigrants than applications.

  6. Saad says

    SC, #7

    This was just reported on CNN: “The President’s ‘shithole’ remark is being received much differently inside of the WH. Staffers predict the comment will resonate with his base.”

    That’s how he got the nomination and then got the second highest number of votes.

    I’m not sure why anyone would think it would be received any other way.

  7. birgerjohansson says

    Also re. Norway; We in Sweden got the musicians and the crime authors, they got the polar explorers and the scenery.
    – – –
    But let us not forget the many other great countries.
    Ironically, those countries are great because they have implemented good ideas that usually originated in USA!
    – – –
    Two generations of US politicians decided to burn the place down while the rest of the world moved ahead on and up.
    What have you done with your pitchforks? ?

  8. says

    I wonder how many Norwegians are currently in the US without permission, or working contrary to the provisions of their visas. Despite what people like Trump think it’s a number greater than zero.

  9. says

    #4: Vikings? Most of those Norwegian immigrants, like my great grandfather, were farmers who settled in cold empty parts of the country and raised cows.

    Also, there was some discrimination: squareheads, they were called. Norwegians were thought to be kind of slow, not very bright, more of the plodding, unimaginative sort. To reciprocate, of course, Norwegians taunted Swedes for being soft and wimpy, and Finns were just plain weird semi-savages.

    There’s bigotry everywhere.

  10. cartomancer says

    MCXVIX? Has the enumeration of Trump’s vile excrescences broken the Roman reckoning completely now?

  11. cartomancer says

    To be fair the majority of Norse settlers in early Medieval Europe – the people who got called Vikings – were also farmers who settled down to raise cows in the cold, desolate bits nobody else wanted. The angry pillaging ones doing the actual viking just got all the tabloid inches in the mainstream monastic chronicles.

  12. says

    That’s how he got the nomination and then got the second highest number of votes.

    I’m not sure why anyone would think it would be received any other way.

    I think what’s (somewhat) new is the blatant admission and open racist cynicism, with little or no attempt at spin.

    This should have an interesting effect in Latin America and the Caribbean.

  13. blf says

    This should have an interesting effect in Latin America and the Caribbean.

    And throughout Africa, which I assume was an inadvertent omission. (Hair furor’s comment was, in part, in direct response to “African countries and Haiti”.)

    And much of the rest of the world, albeit in some cases cynically.

  14. blf says

    And much of the rest of the world

    Not yet confirmed, but what may be an early response, Donald Trump visit to London called off amid fears of mass protests:

    President [sic] will not now open new US embassy next month, with secretary of state Rex Tillerson likely to take his place

    Donald Trump has backed off the idea of visiting Britain next month to open the new US embassy in London amid fears of mass protests.

    Government sources suggested that Washington had signalled that secretary of state Rex Tillerson would instead open the multimillion-pound embassy.


    With activists pledging to stage mass protests and MPs determined not to give the president [sic] the opportunity to address parliament, no date for a state visit has been set.

    Instead, it had been expected that Trump would make a brief, less formal “working visit” next month, to cut the ribbon on the $1bn (£750m) embassy in Nine Elms, south-west London, and hold meetings with May.


    However, even that more modest plan now appears to have been abandoned for the time being.


    Asked about the [Fire and Fury] revelations last weekend, [UK PM Theresa] May said she believed they were not serious, and Trump was a man making decisions, in the interests of the United States.


    The president [sic] is expected to be the biggest draw at the World Economic Forum in Davos later this month […]

    There are numerous additional reasons hair furor to stay away, but this might have been the icing on the cake, so to speak.

  15. says

    And throughout Africa, which I assume was an inadvertent omission.

    No – my present knowledge of the continent and its regional alliances and different countries’ current relations with the US isn’t sufficient to make even vague predictions about the effects of his comments.

  16. says

    I think I posted about this bullshit at the time:

    Then-candidate Donald Trump promised to be a “champion” for Haitian Americans during the 2016 election: “The Haitian people deserve better. That is what I intend to give them. I will give them better.”

  17. says

    #14: We’re just reduced to spluttering out random Roman numerals. There is no tally. There can be no tally. Might as well throw in a few Suzhou numerals while we’re at it. Or toss up our hands and vomit on the page.

  18. says

    Cross posted from the Political Madness All the Time thread.

    Trump’s “shithole” comments are wildly popular with white supremacists.

    […] Christopher Cantwell, a white supremacist organizer who is being charged with assaulting counter-protesters in Charlottesville, praised Trump’s comments on Gab, a social network that caters to online racists.

    If you don’t know Haiti is a shithole, you probably aren’t qualified to vote for, much less be, POTUS

    Trump was also praised on Gab by Jared Wyand, a white nationalist who was banned from Twitter for anti-Semitic posts, endorsed Trump’s comments and added that “blacks are incapable of building thriving civil societies.” […]

    Trump’s comments were also popular on Stormfront, a message board for white supremacists. One user said Trump was absolutely right to trash “non-white” countries. […]


  19. says

    From Yamiche Alcindor:

    I just talked to Haiti’s Ambassador to the United States Paul Altidor who said he and the Haitian government “vehemently condemn” President Trump’s comments which they believe are “based on stereotypes.” “Either the president has been misinformed or he is miseducated.”

    Haiti’s US Ambassador Paul Altidor tells me Haiti’s government has formerly summoned a US official to explain Trump’s comments to Haiti’s officials. “Haitians fought along US soldiers in the revolutionary war and we continue to be great contributors to American society,” he said.

  20. eggmoidal says

    I never thought I would live to see the day when the president of the United States called an entire country and an entire continent shitholes. At least I didn’t until Nov of last year. In a single year he has destroyed what remained of the world’s post-war goodwill towards us with his nonstop villainy. How can anyone ever look at the US the same again? How can the people who voted for him ever atone for him?

  21. says

    From Republican Representative Erik Paulsen of Minnesota:

    It is completely inappropriate for the President to refer to other countries in the manner in which he reportedly did, especially given the circumstances and disasters that led many TPS immigrants to seek refuge and shelter in the US.

    I hope the White House apologizes for these degrading comments and focuses on working towards a solution for those from TPS countries rather than making denigrating statements.

  22. says

    From Fox News host Tucker Carlson:

    So if you say Norway is a better place to live and Haiti is kind of a hole, well anyone who’s been to those countries or has lived in them would agree. But we’re jumping up and down, “Oh, you can’t say that.” Why can’t you say that? […]

    An awful lot of immigrants come to this country from other places that aren’t very nice. Those places are dangerous, they’re dirty, they’re corrupt, and they’re poor and that’s the main reason those immigrants are trying to come here and you would too if you live there. […]

    Option A: El Salvador isn’t a “shithole,” so they don’t need 17 years of Temporary Protected Status, and migrants from there should be sent home immediately. Option B: El Salvador is, in fact, a “shithole.”

    Option C: Tucker Carlson’s brain is not in proper working order.

  23. medievalguy says

    Norwegians aren’t Vikings. Norwegians are what were left over after all the Vikings left. ;)

    Medieval Guy, proud Norwegian-American

  24. Vatican Black Ops, Latrina Lautus says

    “Why are we having all these people from shithole countries come here?”
    I’ll offer you a hint, Mr. President. It’s the seventh word in.

  25. What a Maroon, living up to the 'nym says

    birgerjohnson @5,

    Also, fjords. Don’t forget the fjords. Slartibartfast was very proud of those.

  26. says

    Another comment Trump made concerning immigration, (an excerpt from a new interview Trump gave to the Wall Street Journal):

    [Mexico] can pay for it [the Wall] indirectly through NAFTA. We make a good deal on NAFTA, and, say, I’m going to take a small percentage of that money and it’s going toward the wall. Guess what? Mexico’s paying

    Former Mexican President Vicente Fox responded to Trump’s “shithole” comment:

    .@realDonaldTrump, your mouth is the foulest shithole in the world. With what authority do you proclaim who’s welcome in America and who’s not. America’s greatness is built on diversity, or have you forgotten your immigrant background, Donald?

    Rich Lowry of the National Review defended Trump’s “shithole” comment:

    This is a vulgar way of speaking. You don’t want the president of the United States to talk this way, especially if it is going to be repeated outside the room. But the level of freak out about this, I think goes to just how the elite on both the right and the left of this country has got so disconnected on common sense on immigration. These countries he was referring to, they are basket cases. They are disaster areas. And the point he was making within the context of the immigration policy discussion is we’d be much better off with people with higher levels of education and skills coming here.

    Joy Reid, guest hosting for Chris Hayes on MSNBC’s “All In,” did not defend Trump:

    Now I happen to be an American citizen. I was born in Brooklyn, New York, and raised in Denver, Colorado. But my parents were immigrants. My mom, who was a college professor, was born in British Guyana. My father, who was a geologist, was born in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Two people who immigrated from those countries, from countries located in South America just off the Caribbean in Africa, just off the Caribbean and from Africa. Parts of the world that presumably, according to the president of the United States, you will find “shithole” countries from which the United States should not accept immigrants. Tonight the breaking news out of Washington, D.C. […] It should come as no surprise to any American but should be embarrassing to every American.

  27. robro says

    Apparently Trump, Tucker, et al are ignorant of America’s role in making El Salvador, Haiti, and many African countries such horrible places to live that people desperately try to leave.

  28. microraptor says

    Rachel Maddow tonight pointed out that this comment is going to be in the American media for maybe two weeks before we move on to focus on the next crazy thing that Dump says, but countries in Africa and the Caribbean are going to be remembering it and holding it against the US for years after Dump has left office and there’s something we want them to work with us on.

  29. rietpluim says

    Norway is a lovely country. One of my favorite holiday destinations. Been there only three times though, because it is pretty costly.

    A common misunderstanding: the word “viking” does not refer to a people. Viking was a profession.

  30. birgerjohansson says

    Who now remembers the American occupation of Haiti 1915?
    It ended with Haiti having to agree to some very unfair trade agreements.
    Also, France extorted Haiti to pay “reparations” for the slaves becoming free, decades after the Haitian independence following a slave insurrection..
    — — — — — —
    1915 is an interesting year, This is when a town in Texas spent several hours torturing and literally burning a black man to death, in the center of town, in front of a very big crowd and without intereference from the authorities. The participants were proud of it and even made postcards depicting the event.
    — — —
    The extreme violent gangs in mesoamerica were born from countries that had suffered civil war, political repression and death squads. The future gang members went to USA, joined gangs, were deported back and now started the extreme gangs that live on today, and are the cause for many people fleeing to USA.
    — — —
    BTW, Swedes originally had a bad reputation in the USA, alongside the Norwegians. As the Swedes left urban ghettos moving on up, they were replaced by latinos…

  31. Derek Vandivere says

    Well, the reason he’s not getting as miuch immigration out of Scandiwegia is that we Euros are starting to see the US as a shithole country. My Dutch colleagues went from about 3/4 thinking I was crazy to give up my US passport 4 years ago to 3/4 thinking I was prescient. I’ve got a few friends in academia (e.g., a physicist who works at CERN) who won’t go to conferences in the US any more.

    I’m finding it more and more difficult to see a scenario where the US doesn’t continue its long slide into corporate feudalism.

  32. Saad says

    From Lynna’s quoted article, #26

    Christopher Cantwell, a white supremacist organizer who is being charged with assaulting counter-protesters in Charlottesville, praised Trump’s comments on Gab, a social network that caters to online racists.

    Isn’t this the whiny Nazi who was complaining about Communists on camera while pouring milk on his face?

  33. rietpluim says

    Ack. In many respects, the US are becoming an underdeveloped country. Sorry Americans, you’ve become a primitive tribe in our eyes.

  34. says

    “Norway may be a very good choice.
    Unlike other oil-producing countries, they have set aside the oil money in long-term funds for future generations, for when the oil is gone.
    The gini coefficient is good. Healthcare, social programs, education, all are high in lists comparing industrial countries.
    Gender equality, the whole shebang.
    Minus points for a xenopobic populist party, but that is the only problem I can think of, offhand.
    And every party that rises above a four-percent treshold gets a proportional share of parliament seats.”

    Right. It’s a pretty nice place (except for a strand of (yes!) puritanism/prudishness which is not uncommon in Scandinavia) and a very good place to live. But precisely for that reason, few if any Norwegians today are interested in immigrating to the USA!

  35. birgerjohansson says

    In Michael Moore’s latest documentary, “Who to Invade Next” at the end of the documentary he asks a woman in… it might have been Iceland, or Norway if she would like to move to USA. She responds “absolutely not!” and motivates it with the way American society ignores the suffering of its members.

  36. Saad says

    The Rapist tweets:

    “The language used by me at the DACA meeting was tough, but this was not the language used. What was really tough was the outlandish proposal made — a big setback for DACA!”

    SC, #49

    The government of Botswana responds, calling the remarks “highly irresponsible, reprehensible and racist.” They call on other nations around the world to strongly condemn them.

    It must be really tough to be the US ambassador/diplomat to these countries. If you stay on, you’ll have to represent Chitler’s positions. If you quit, you’ll just be replaced by a Stephen Miller type bot who is fully in line with Trump’s ideas.

  37. TheGyre says

    I just can’t get away from this shit, can I? I recently cut the cable. Now I don’t have access to 24-7 cable TV news. One of the reasons for doing this because I was obsessively watching all things Trump. It turns out this wasn’t doing my health any good. At my last doctor’s visit my BP was running high. I was also showing some classic signs of depression. My physician asked me about my politics. I told her what I was. She nodded and said that many of her Democratic patients were showing signs of stress, some acute. She recommended that I stop watching cable news to lower my body’s production of stress hormones. These may be affecting my blood pressure as well as my emotional state. So, I cut the cable (I’d been thinking about doing that for a while anyway). But, as I said at the top, there’s no escaping the madness. Trump gets in no matter what I do. The only way to avoid him is to go someplace remote. A WiFi desert. Maybe Mongolia?

  38. says

    Jeff Flake confirms: “The words used by the President, as related to me directly following the meeting by those in attendance, were not ‘tough’, they were abhorrent and repulsive.”

    Speak up, six Republicans who were in attendance.

  39. vavmonster says

    Eh, the orange shitgibbon is doing a great job. Assuming that he works for Putin and his job is to humiliate and undermine the US. The big question in my tiny mind is just how much of the GOP does Putin own? F*ing traitors all of them.

  40. rietpluim says

    The Netherlands are now welcoming the new US ambassador, who lied about us, then lied about having lied about us, then lied about having lied about having lied about us, not apologizing and not taking words back, despite being shown the actual footage where he lied, lied again, and again lied again.

    How the fuck are we supposed to take seriously a country that sends such a dimwit as its representative?

  41. says

    Hm: “Anyone who is reporting the ambassador to Panama resigned in wake of Trump’s remarks yesterday is WRONG. His resignation was already on US Embassy website BEFORE Trump made those remarks.” The reports made it sound like a new thing.

  42. blf says

    Completely unsurprisingly, people and governments and other organisations in various African countries are upset, Haitians, Africans outraged by Trump’s shithole slur:

    In Africa, a continent Trump has scarcely shown an interest in, officials from several countries expressed dismay at the president’s purported comments, while ordinary citizens took to social media to vent their anger.

    “Given the historical reality of how many Africans arrived in the United States as slaves, this statement flies in the face of all accepted behaviour and practice,” said Ebba Kalondo, spokeswoman for the African Union continental body.

    […] Botswana’s government called Trump’s comment “reprehensible and racist,” saying the US ambassador had been summoned to clarify whether the country was regarded as a “shithole” after years of cordial relations.

    South Africa’s ruling African National Congress called Trump’s comments “extremely offensive,” while opposition leader Mmusi Maimane said: “The hatred of Obama’s roots now extends to an entire continent.”


    African media outlets and the continent’s young, increasingly connected population were not shy, with some tweeting sleek photos of African landscapes and urban areas with the hashtag #shithole.

    “Well, that is the perfect definition of racism. That is all I have to say,” Kenyan entrepreneur Wangui Muraguri told the AP in response to Trump.

    “Casual Friday at the White House is soon to include hoods and tiki torches at this rate,” South African media outlet Daily Maverick wrote.


    Trump’s comments highlighted months of concerns about his lack of focus on Africa, including empty ambassadorial posts in key countries like South Africa, Egypt, Congo and Somalia. A list maintained by the Washington-based American Foreign Service Association says eight such posts are vacant.

    Trump has expressed negative opinions about the continent in the past. Every penny of the $7 billion going to Africa as per Obama will be stolen — corruption is rampant! he tweeted in 2013.

    Also, UN condemns Donald Trump’s shithole countries remark as racist:

    Human rights office steps into row as residents of nations maligned by president [sic] respond angrily and demand apology
    The UN human rights spokesman, Rupert Colville, told a Geneva news briefing: “There is no other word one can use but racist. You cannot dismiss entire countries and continents as ‘shitholes’, whose entire populations, who are not white, are therefore not welcome.”


    Boniface Mwangi, a well-known social activist in Kenya tweeted:

    Africa isn’t a shithole. It’s the most beautiful continent in the world. Beautiful,hardworking people. We have diamonds, gold, iron, cobalt, uranium, copper, bauxite, silver, petroleum, cocoa, coffee, tea etc. Sadly we have #shithole leaders like Trump shitting on us everyday.

    Standing at a coffee stall outside an office block in Rosebank, a commercial and business neighbourhood in central Johannesburg, Blessing Dlamini, a 45-year-old administrative assistant, said Trump’s words came as “no surprise”.

    “He has shown the world he is a racist. We should just block him from our thoughts,” Dlamini said.

    Unfortunately for Blessing Dlamini and the rest of the rational world, not-thinking about hair furor and his dalekocracy, whilst possibly beneficial for one’s own peace, does not seem to deal, at all, with the damage and thieving being done.

  43. blf says

    Today in some of the shithole countries, Berbers welcome Amazigh New Year:

    Berbers in North Africa are heralding in the Amazigh New Year, with festivities showcasing traditional food, music and dance planned throughout the region.

    Friday marks the first day of the year 2968 for North Africa’s indigenous inhabitants, who are also known as Amazigh.

    The Amazigh New Year — or Yennayer, as it is locally called — is the first day of the agricultural calendar used by Berbers for millenia.

    Ahmed Assid, an Amazigh activist, told Al Jazeera the event has a “significant historical connotation” for Berbers: “It dates back to ancient times when the Amazigh king Shoshenq I was enthroned in Egypt, after defeating Ramses III.”

    In Morocco, where Yennayer is celebrated by both Arab and Berber communities, some Arabs refer to the event as “Aam Alfilahi” or “Haguza”, which mean the “agrarian year”.


    Many Moroccans believe that given the country’s deep Berber roots, Yennayer should be a declared a national holiday.

    Neighbouring Algeria, which also has a large Berber population, has already declared January 12 a national holiday, and Amazigh activists in Morocco want their government to do the same.


    Berbers inhabit an area spanning most of North Africa, with large populations in Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya and western Egypt.

    Berber tribes and ethnic groups can also be found as far south as Niger, Mali and Burkina Faso.

    While forming substantial populations in these countries, the Tamazight languages have only recently started to gain formal recognition.

    The word Tamazight refers to the spectrum of related dialects spoken by the Berber people.

    In 2011, Morocco became the only country in the world to officially recognise Tamazight, though Berber dialects have “national” language status in Algeria, Mali and Niger.


  44. numerobis says

    TheGyre@52: “The only way to avoid him is to go someplace remote. A WiFi desert. Maybe Mongolia?”

    I recommend the Arctic. Poor internet, so you have to prioritize.

  45. blf says

    Also unsurprisingly, Norwegians (or should that be Normegians?) are having great fun with the attention, ‘No, thanks’: Norwegians pooh-pooh Trump’s crude invitation to emigrate:

    “I wonder if @realDonaldTrump realises that Norway is a functioning social democracy with free healthcare for all citizens and beautiful natural surroundings. Why would we want to live in his ‘shithole’ of a country these days?” tweeted Hein Kristiansen, an Oslo architect.

    As a point of fact, some point out that Norway’s universal healthcare isn’t free. Norwegians do advance cash for healthcare until they reach a set amount for the year, about 2,200 krone or $275 for basic health services, after which the rest of the year is free. Of course, Norwegians do contribute to that affordable healthcare through much higher taxes than Americans. But neither of those factors prevented Norway from scoring the top spot in the 2017 World Happiness Report’s ranking, while the US placed 14th.


    In sharp contrast, the World Happiness Report calls the US “a story of reduced happiness”. The report attributes the drop to “declining social support and increased corruption and it is these same factors that explain why the Nordic countries do so much better”.

    Norway also, yet again, topped the most recent United Nations Development Programme’s Human Development Index; the US ranked tenth. The UNDP’s figures show Norwegians can expect to live 2.7 years longer than Americans and live more connected lives (nearly all are Internet users compared to three-quarters of Americans). The murder rate in the US, according to the 2016 HDI’s figures, is 650 percent higher than Norway’s.


    Trump himself may be particularly uncomfortable in Norway — and not merely because, relative to Norway’s tiny population of five million, it has nearly three times as many of the African immigrants he pooh-poohed as the US does. The billionaire president might also be uneasy with Norway’s fiscal transparency. As David Frum, a senior editor at The Atlantic, noted on Twitter, “An interesting fact about Norway is that they post every Norwegian’s income tax return on the Internet.”


    Norwegian comedian André Ulveseter […] was more generous in his assessment of Trump’s sudden affection for Norway […]: “Trump loves Norway because we grow his hair.”

    Some tweets quoted by France24:

    If you want to attract more immigration from Norway, you’re going to need to provide Universal Healthcare, Free College, and robust social safety nets. Because they already have all those things.

    1) Why oh why bring us in Norway into it? I feel insulted being brought into such a racist comment.
    2) We have it well where we are, so no thank you. Our country has healthcare, supports education, accepts science and doesn’t have a leader that call other countries “shithole”

    Also, none of the Norwegians I know (and I know a few) have any interest in emigrating to the US at the moment. Anders Breivik is sympatico with Trump, but currently indisposed.

  46. embraceyourinnercrone says

    Apropos of nothing, can people in U.S. government and mainstream news media please refer to specific African regions, nations and states?! I am beyond tired of people who should know better referring to an entire continent of 54 independent states, 1.2 billion people, that makes up about 20% of the total land area of the Earth as just “Africa”

    Burkina Faso
    Cabo Verde
    Central African Republic (CAR)
    Democratic Republic of the Congo
    Republic of the Congo
    Cote d’Ivoire
    Equatorial Guinea
    Sao Tome and Principe
    Sierra Leone
    South Africa
    South Sudan

    Rant over.

  47. Saad says

    embraceyourinnercrone, #67

    Wholeheartedly agree with your frustration with that.

    It’s a sneaky white supremacist/colonial tactic. It makes those countries and the people from the continent seem generic and easier to dehumanize.

  48. blf says

    Al Jazeera has a fantastic rant by Elsie Eyakuze, “a blogger for the Mikocheni Report, based in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania”, ‘Shithole’ nationalism. A few choice excerpts below, but the whole thing should be read.

    One thing that is upsetting about the comments that US President Donald Trump made calling African and African-descent nations “shitholes” is that his African and African-descent supporters from the 2016 election period haven’t come out to support him on that. After all, loyalty counts for something, doesn’t it? Some of these people are my friends, mind you. Any takers? Come on, now. Y’all were loud in 2016, time to show your face again, fellow #shithole inhabitants.

    Seriously, though. There’s a couple of things going on here. First of all, I want to address the fact that Donald Trump is flamingly out of his mind. Where I come from — proudly a #shitholecountry — we generally try to be kind to our elders whose minds have clearly gone into the void while leaving them physically behind. Because there are values connected to the concept of Utu (or as non-East Africans call it, Ubuntu) that demand a basic level of common decency from individuals. It’s a social contract thing.

    As a consequence, I am largely horrified on a daily basis that his people are letting The Donald run around nekkid-minded in public everyday under the pretext that he doesn’t have a formal mental health diagnosis. The only response that’s appropriate from out here is a gentle eye-roll and some prayers for America. This man is dying a slow and horrible public death and here I am writing about it. Utu forgive me.

    The other issue is condescension. Dear media, telling us that Donald Trump is a racist is… not news. It is low-hanging fruit. He’s a mean old git who promised to build a wall between the US and Mexico to appeal to his voters. Was anyone surprised that he also despises people from continents he has never visited, especially considering he can hardly read to expand what appears to be a tragically limited intellect? Nope. It only adds insult to injury that we have to talk about this as though it merits consideration. Another overpriviledged American goes Heart of Darkness. Been there, done that.


    [… T]he thing about #shitholecountries is that we survive, always have… and most menacingly, we always will. This continent is going to hit a billion and a half not too far from now. The superbly highly-skilled immigrants America rejects (African immigrants to the US are consistently the most highly qualified “type” of immigrant, look it up) will find elsewhere to do their work (Jyna, probably) and repatriate their knowledge and money. And we can reproduce like champions. Like I said, I understand. There is something frightening about the inevitability of the browning of the world, and the slow and grinding demise of a certain kind of privilege.

    By the way, could someone please tell Donald Trump that a #shitholecountry feminist woman columnist is praying for America to dump him for his own good and mental health? And that he needs to embrace the inevitable browning of the world? His personal apocalypse is here. Because anything I can do to drive him closer to the edge of completely undeniable unfitness-for-office is something I will do gladly. Utu, forgive me, some things just have to be done.

  49. The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge says

    embraceyourinnercrone @ 67:

    Didn’t Bush the Least’s State Department get Mauretania and Mauritius mixed up on some issue? I remember hilarity ensued </sarcasm>, but I can’t remember the details….

  50. blf says

    No idea about a Bush-era mix-up between Mauritania and Mauritius, but there apparently was something of the sort during Ronaddled Raygun’s time, Behind Qaddafi’s ’81 plot to assassinate President Reagan:

    [… A]ccording to a source who was fully informed on the matter, the target of the secret operation was not Libya but ”Libyan influence” in Mauritius […]

    By this time, however, the public record had become thoroughly muddled. Yet another misinformed source had confused Mauritius with Mauritania […]. That source triggered yet another press report, this one in the Washington Post, saying that the CIA’s target was Mauritania […]


    The mix-up in the press over Libya, Mauritania, and Mauritius might have added up to little more than an amusing farce to shake Washington out of its 1981 doldrums. But two professional intelligence analysts say that the misinformed leakers may have created a boomerang problem of mammoth proportions. […]

  51. The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge says

    Maybe that was it. I didn’t think it was that long ago, but everything’s been a slow-motion trainwreck since Reagan got elected, and it kind of runs together. Plus, I’m senile.

  52. says

    Charlie Pierce quotes MA state rep and child of immigrants from Haiti Linda Dorcena Forry:

    I have received inquiries asking for my reaction to the president’s latest racist slur directed against Haitians and people of African descent worldwide. I am really getting tired of having to do this. I have to express first how demoralizing and upsetting it is to have to register my outrage about hateful remarks made by my own president. And then to have to do it again. And again. The president’s words are ignorant and repulsive and an affront to decency and to history.

    Like many, I would like to believe that Trump represents the last gasp of a racist worldview that has been in retreat, here in America, since the fall of Jim Crow. Sadly, his views and his presidency serve to embolden other hateful people and to diminish our nation’s position as a power for good, for decency, for democracy. Those who enable and normalize his behavior are every bit as culpable as the president himself.

    As leaders and as people of free-will, I call upon all Americans to denounce his statements. I’m very disappointed in us, the people of the United States, who saw fit to elect an ignorant, mean-spirited, white supremacist to the most powerful office in the world. This is a very sad time for our country. I ask that the people of Haiti and the African diaspora worldwide keep us in their prayers.

    Finally, tonight is the eve of a heart wrenching anniversary for Haiti, for our hemisphere and for all people. Eight years ago tomorrow, Haiti suffered one of the greatest natural catastrophes of the modern age when an earthquake struck on Jan. 12, 2010. Hundreds of thousands of people died. So many more were maimed and left homeless for years to come. Haiti is still working hard to recover and to grieve. On behalf of my family and my constituents here in Boston, I extend my deepest condolences to the families of the victims of the Jan. 12 disaster, who are tonight thinking of their loved ones they have lost. We will always be with you.

    He concludes: “This is how leaders talk. This is how presidents used to talk. Goddamn us for forgetting that.”

  53. says

    Nana Akufo-Addo, President of Ghana: “The language of @realDonaldTrump that the African continent, Haiti and El Salvador are ‘shithole countries’ is extremely unfortunate. We are certainly not a ‘shithole country’. We will not accept such insults, even from a leader of a friendly country, no matter how powerful.”

  54. Akira MacKenzie says

    biggerjohansson @10

    What have you done with your pitchforks?

    We traded them in for bongs and “#Occupy” placards, the same way we traded Lenin for Lennon and Bolsheviks for flower children.

  55. blf says

    The @77 “poll”, in full:

    1. How would you rate President Trump’s job performance?
      ○ Great
      ○ Good
      ○ Okay
      ○ Other, please specify:________

    2. (Optional) Do you have any other thoughts to share with the President?________

    (Please enter your contact details…)