Yesterday, Trump was reported to have asked “Why do we want all these people from shithole countries coming here?” This was during a closed meeting in the Oval Office with Congressional leaders, to discuss bipartisan immigration reform. Then this morning, he tweeted out a very limp denial, along with many damning statements that reinforced the simple fact that this clearly exposed: Trump is a bigot.
This is not Fake News.
Two of the Senators present, Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) have corroborated that Trump said this about Haitian and African immigrants. Durbin says on record that Trump used this “vile, racist” language repeatedly. Furthermore, he says that Graham stood up and told Trump that he couldn’t use that language. It’s telling that Graham hasn’t denied this.
As a domestic and international firestorm of blowback took over the news cycle, Trump issued these three tweets at 7 this morning. It’s hard not to argue that they confirm that he fundamentally believes in that awful question he asked (emphasis added):
“The so-called bipartisan DACA deal presented yesterday to myself and a group of Republican Senators and Congressmen was a big step backwards. Wall was not properly funded, Chain & Lottery were made worse and USA would be forced to take large numbers of people from high crime countries which are doing badly. I want a merit based system of immigration and people who will help take our country to the next level. I want safety and security for our people. I want to stop the massive inflow of drugs. I want to fund our military, not do a Dem defund. Because of the Democrats not being interested in life and safety, DACA has now taken a big step backwards.”
If you aren’t outraged, you aren’t paying attention.
First of all, look at the history of immigration in this country. It is an endless sequence of waves of suffering people fleeing from genuinely suffering countries. The hungry, tired, and poor huddled masses yearning to be free are the brains and body of the United States. They are our past, present, and future.
Second, notice how he tries to explain himself by arguing these are “high crime countries?” We need to keep them out for the “safety and security of our people.” To stop the “massive inflow of drugs.” And instead, we need “people who will take our country to the next level.” This isn’t dog-whistle speech. It’s blatant and obvious: Trump is directly accusing immigrants from Haiti, El Salvador, and many African nations as being dangerous criminals who will do nothing but rape our women, flood the streets with drugs, and destroy our country.
Third, after making more than 2,000 documented false or misleading statements in his first year in office, he is insisting that a room-full of honorable leaders are all liars.
Fourth, this was just before MlK day.
But those aren’t the most damning part of this event.
If you aren’t physically sick, you aren’t paying attention.
This is the first time Trump was a clear and unambiguous bigot in front of bipartisan lawmakers behind closed doors. That’s Trump the man, not the candidate trying to woo voters. On the campaign trail, he spewed out an endless stream of dog-whistle statements and accusations to appeal to Americans who shared those nationalistic, bigoted, and racist views. And as fundamentally abhorrent as that was, one could have argued that he was doing this as showmanship to secure their votes. Certainly, many of his voters made that rationalization for supporting him in the primaries and general election.
But now we have him making these statements behind closed doors. Let this sink in. That wasn’t to win votes. It wasn’t to bolster his failing ratings. It was a brief moment of brutal and unguarded honesty. It was something he fundamentally believes.
Trump is a racist. He is a bigot. He doesn’t just represent the worst our country has to offer. He lives it.
This is our President. Our nation’s highest leader. The international face of America. And he isn’t legitimizing the millions of Americans now agree.
And if that doesn’t make you physically sick – I mean repulsed down to your very core so that you are choking back pure unadulterated revulsion – you aren’t paying attention.
Featured image from Creative Commons.